It’s a little bit miserable in the weather department around here right now. We’ve not seen the sky properly for a few days and whilst it’s hopefully dumping snow like heck higher up, it’s tipping down with rain here. It seems as good a time as any to mention one of our favourite wet weather activities and share our top 5 waterfalls in and around the Portes du Soleil!
Visiting waterfalls is a lovely summer and inter-season activity whether it’s for a walk, a picnic, a paddle or just to admire the magnificence of nature! It’s also a good one if it has tipped down with rain. It may have washed out your other plans but at least the falls will be running at full bore!
Cascades des Brochaux
This is a big-time favourite of ours! Drive through Montriond, up past Lac Montriond and through the popular Lindarets ‘goat village’ before parking in the car park near the Lindarets chair lifts.
Leave the car and walk along the track on the left hand side and up the valley towards Switzerland. There’s a few boulders for the kids to scramble on on the way and after around 30 mins you’ll reach the area at the bottom of the Mossettes lift. Follow the stream a little further up to get to the Brochaux falls.
This is a great place for a picnic if the weather’s good. In summer, our two never waste any time stripping off to their swimsuits and taking a refreshing shower under the falls! They also love to scramble around in the stream until they’re slightly blue.
Follow the footpath on the left-hand-side of the stream for a lovely walk back down to the car park.
This one’s nice and accessible on the road to Ardent from Montriond. There’s a small layby just after the concrete avalanche protection, just before the hamlet of Ardent where you can see the falls in the ravine from the road. Alternatively, you can leave the car and walk down to a footbridge that spans the top of them.
Ardent falls can also form part of a decent walk from Lac Montriond, following the path upstream towards Ardent.
Cascades de Nyon
Nyon falls are easily accessible from the Nyon telecabine car park in Morzine itself. Just follow the path and the signs upstream along the river Dranse. The path winds up and over the top of the falls and back down through the woods on the other side.
If you want to explore further up, there’s several canyoning companies that operate in the Nyon gorge during the summer months. Some of them start with a rather tasty rappel off the steel bridge that spans the gorge!
Cascades du Rouget
This is a good one if there are older or less mobile members in the party. You can drive all the way up to it and there’s a restaurant right next door. There are loads of challenging paths through the woods for the more adventurous members in the party.
Drive out from Taninges, through Samöens and turn right over the bridge in Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Follow the winding road up to the falls.
The falls drop into a raised bowl above the road before cascading down and under the road bridge and beyond. Some of the footage we’ve seen of these falls in full flow is incredible with the water bouncing back into the air after crashing into the bowl. We need to go back and get some pics when there’s been a huge downpour!
Cirque du Fer à Cheval
Another family favourite and well worth the drive beyond Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval is Cirque du Fer à Cheval. This is a truly spectacular valley, lined with imposing rock walls, peaks and as many as 30 waterfalls to admire on a fantastic loop-walk.
Take your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for Chamois precariously going about their business on the rock faces. There’s a café/restaurant at the start and a huge open area that’s great for a picnic.
We’re still finding new waterfalls and I’m sure there’s plenty more to discover. Please get in touch and let us know if you’ve got a good one to recommend.