Sander Vancanneyt

La Grande Dixence - Sentiers des Bouquetins - Mont Blava - Col de Prafleuri

CH | | 19 km


Author: Sander Vancanneyt

481 views | Public

Route description

A panoramic route that starts at Europe's biggest concrete dam, along the lake of the Dix valley along the Sentier des Bouqetins with some extra's like the Mont Blava (2900m) and the Col de Prafleuri (2980m).


Height difference: 1412m
Duration: 7-8h
Difficulty: T3 - Challenging mountain hike
Directions: Grande Dixence - Refuge De La Barmaz - Col des Roux - Mont Blava (offtrail) - Col des Roux - Cabane De Prafleuri - Col De Prafleuri - Cabane De Prafleuri - Grande Dixence
Starting point/Parking: beneath the dam plenty of space, you can then take the cable car to the top of the dam or go on foot to the top of the dam


This is a long and demanding hike, although the paths are in good condition, it's best to start early.
The part to Mont Blava is off-trail, for experienced hikers only, do not take risks.


We start at the foot of the dam and follow the road to the main building/hotel at the foot of the dam, from there a trail starts ascending up the hill to the end of the cable car point; it's a great starter for what has to come. At the dam a sign pole indicates the many trails that start from here. A big sign tells you more about the Sentier de Bouqetins which we will follow mostly. We leave the dam behind us (we visit this when the hike ends) and take the path leading into a tunnel in the direction of La Barma. No need for flashlight in the tunnels, it's equiped with lights so you'll see enough. The big road leads us along the lake with nice views and some information about the lake, the dam, fauna, flora, and it's history. At the next junction, we'll take the mountain trail to the right in the direction of Col des Roux (2804m), this path ascends the hill and truns further right towards the col. Once arrived at Col des Roux you can see the Cabane De Prafleuri where we'll go later. The views from this col are a bit obvuscated by the mountains, so we'll go a bit off trail here to find a bigger and better panoramic viewing point at the Mont Blava. At the col, you'll notice a small trail that runs along the ridge to the summit, follow this narrow path to get there. T3 trail so always watch your step! The Mont Blava offers a great view over the lake and the surrounding mountains. We then head back to the col des Roux for the next part of hike, we climb down towards the Cabane de Prafleuri where you can eat and drink something. Before we return to the dam, we go for another sidespin, from the Cabane we take the trail that goes down towards a small river and cross it at the bridge and go straight ahead in the direction of Col de Prafleuri. It's a steep trail at first before it gets more flat and wide. We now enter former glacier area where the road can be flooded by melting water coming from the snow fields and glacier towards the two lakes beneath the trail. Keep an eye on the white-red-white markings to guide you through. Once crossed this wet fields the trail ascends again to the col, another good climb. With an altitude of 2987m it's the highest point of the day and offers some very nice views over the rapidly retreating glaciers. Enjoy the view before turning back to the Cabane de Prafleuri. When you get back at the small river just below the hut, cross the bridge again and immediatly turn left along a descending trail in the direction of Grande Dixence. At the next junction, it's forbidden to go straight ahead and are forced to take the lower part that goes along the river downwards, a snow field can be crossed depending on conditions. At the next junction you'll take the climbing trail to the right and start climbing again, this is the final ascent before you can descend back to the dam. Once at the dam, it's time to get a closer look at the dam, some information panels will tell you more about it and enjoy the view at both sides of the concrete dam. On the other side is a panoramic viewing point for a great look over the dam and the valley beneath thats worth a visit. So this concludes the hike with extra's.

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