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Snowshoeing trail in Val d'Arolla

· 1 review · Snowshoeing · Valais
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  • Snowshoe hikers at the river below Lac Bleu
    Snowshoe hikers at the river below Lac Bleu
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Val d'Hérens Tourisme
m 2100 2000 1900 1800 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km Lac Bleu Arolla, La Gouille Arolla, Satarma
Circular walk to the frozen Lac Bleu in the idyllic Val d’Arolla: an enchanting experience of pristine nature.
moderate
Distance 2.9 km
1:30 h
254 m
250 m
2,044 m
1,793 m

The Lac Bleu is a tranquil mountain lake named after its piercing blue summer colour. In winter, the frozen lake wears a sparkling white mantle of snow. Framed by dramatic pinnacles, the Lac Bleu promises a delightful snowshoe walk in unspoilt nature, with breathtaking mountain views. 

The lake lies on a plateau above the Val d’Arolla, which is named after the tree that dominates the valley’s forests: the Arolla pine, also known as the Swiss stone pine (pinus cembra). The tree’s aromatic wood is said to help sleep: beds are made from the timber, and pillows stuffed with its shavings.

The snowshoe walk begins at La Gouille, on the valley floor, and traces an anticlockwise loop across the western slopes. The trail initially leads through fragrant forests up to the lake plateau before dropping down to the hamlet of Satarma and briefly crossing to the eastern side of the valley on the way back to La Gouille. The walk can be shortened by taking a direct return route that bypasses Satarma.

Author’s recommendation

Warm up after the walk over a hot drink at the welcoming mountain hotel/restaurant at La Gouille.
Profile picture of Delia Inniger
Author
Delia Inniger
Update: January 17, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Louché, 2,044 m
Lowest point
La Gouille, 1,793 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Cardinal direction
NESW

Track types

Show elevation profile

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals. Do not leave any waste in nature.
  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide. Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger, especially the danger of avalanches.

Tips and hints

More information about the destination: 

Start

La Gouille (1,835 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'603'995E 1'100'291N
DD
46.054138, 7.490266
DMS
46°03'14.9"N 7°29'25.0"E
UTM
32T 383212 5101170
w3w 
///most.taller.reeling
Show on Map

Destination

La Gouille

Turn-by-turn directions

Starting at the hamlet of La Gouille, the trail leads straight up to the neighbouring hamlet of Ouartsé before turning south to climb through forest towards the Lac Bleu plateau (2,092 m). The trail then leads back down through forest to the hamlet of Satarma where it crosses the valley’s main river, La Borgne d’Arolla. The route leads along the valley’s eastern side for about 500 metres before recrossing the river and climbing the other side of the valley back up to La Gouille.

The full trail is about 2.8 km long, of medium difficulty. A short cut reduces the overall distance by about 500 metres, bypassing Satarma to lead along the valley’s western slopes back to La Gouille.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Train to Sion. Take postal bus to Les Haudères, and change on to another postal bus for La Gouille (final destination: Arolla).  Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

Getting there

A9 motorway, exit 27 (Sion-Est), follow signs for Evolène / Les Haudères / Arolla. La Gouille is about 8km from Les Haudères on the road to Arolla.

Parking

Parking in La Gouille.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'603'995E 1'100'291N
DD
46.054138, 7.490266
DMS
46°03'14.9"N 7°29'25.0"E
UTM
32T 383212 5101170
w3w 
///most.taller.reeling
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The official brochure of snowshoe walks in the Val d’Hérens is available from local tourist offices or for download online.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:50’000: 283S Arolla

Equipment

We recommend:  

  • good footwear & snowshoes
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water, picnic
  • camera
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, top right, to download)

Questions and answers

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Rating

5.0
(1)
Julien Gaillard
March 15, 2021 · Community
Fait début mars un samedi Court mais raide
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Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
2.9 km
Duration
1:30 h
Ascent
254 m
Descent
250 m
Highest point
2,044 m
Lowest point
1,793 m
Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Insider tip Clear area Forest
1600 m 1800 m
Morning
1600 m 1800 m
Afternoon

Avalanche conditions

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Maps and trails
  • 3 Waypoints
  • 3 Waypoints
Distance  km
Duration : h
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Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
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