The 3 best snowshoe hikes around Châtel

randonnée raquette Châtel

Between forests and snow-covered peaks, snowshoe trekking is becoming increasingly popular every year. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Haute-Savoie is one of France’s ideal destinations for snowshoeing.

Since the confinements, more and more of us are feeling the need to get away from it all. The call of the great outdoors is felt deep within us, along with the desire for new experiences. Among these, snowshoeing is back in the limelight, and is a delight for all adventurers.

Located within the Portes du Soleil ski area in Haute-Savoie, close to the Swiss border, the village of Châtel offers a wealth of opportunities for winter hiking among the mountains. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll lasting a few hours or a real sporting challenge, here’s our selection of the best snowshoe hikes around Châtel.

From Morgins to La Foilleuse: a snowshoe trek near Châtel accessible to all

De Morgins à La Foilleuse une randonnée raquette accessible à tous

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Running time: 1h21
  • 🏔️ Ascent: 499 m
  • 🥾 Level of difficulty: moderate
  • 💙 We love: the views of the French and Swiss mountains.
  • 🧭 Se e the circuit

For this first hike, we’re heading for the village of Morgins in Switzerland. This popular ski resort can be reached in less than 5 minutes from Châtel, thanks to a low-cost shuttle service. This signposted trail, much appreciated by birdwatchers (both professional and amateur), takes you through alpine meadows and forest. Allow 1h30 on average to reach the heights of La Foilleuse, at an altitude of over 1,800 meters. The starting point for several ski runs, this summit offers panoramic views of the Dents du Midi and the Vaud Alps.

Once you’ve reached the top, don’t resist the tempting aroma emanating from the Là Ô restaurant. Valais dishes: poutine revisited, alpine fondue or mushroom puff pastry… Despite the rather high prices, these gourmet dishes are hard to resist! And as an added bonus, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Dents du Midi from the restaurant’s terrace.

Here’s a tip: don’t feel up to making the round trip? Opt for the chairlift! It’s only a few minutes’ ride up from Morgins. The slope can be quite steep and slippery at times, but there’s no particular danger.

From Morgins to Chalet Neuf: a gentle snowshoe hike

Vers Pertuis depuis le refuge de la Vouivre une randonnée intense et sublime

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Running time: 3h31
  • 🏔️ Ascent: 570 m
  • 🥾 Level of difficulty: moderate
  • 💙 We like: the reward of a good mountain meal at the top of the slopes.
  • 🧭 Se e the circuit

Let’s stay in Morgins for this second itinerary, very popular with holidaymakers and locals alike. Offering a loop of around 9 kilometers, this snowshoe hike near Châtel takes you through the charming village of Morgins before beginning your ascent to the summit of Chalet Neuf.

With only 570 metres of ascent, this tour is not particularly difficult. So look up and take time to take in the scenery all around you! Can you spot the border between France and Switzerland, tucked between the mountains?

To make the most of this walk, we recommend that you plan your outing around your lunchtime. Why should you do this? Because the focal point of this itinerary is the Chalet Neuf restaurant. Nestled between the Dents Blanches, the Dents du Midi and Mont Blanc, this small establishment offers simple, mountain-style dishes to invigorate those passing through. Please note that the refreshment bar is only open during lift operating hours.

Towards Pertuis from the Vouivre refuge: an intense and sublime hike

De Morgins à Chalet Neuf une randonnée raquette toute en douceur

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Running time: 6h09
  • 🏔️ Vertical rise: 1,179 m
  • 🥾 Level of difficulty: difficult
  • 💙 We love: the panorama overlooking Lake Taney.
  • 🧭 Se e the circuit

Sports enthusiasts and experienced hikers alike, lace up your snowshoes for this intense and sublime hike. We’d better warn you right away: with a vertical drop of over 1,100 metres, this trail has many (very) steep, difficult-to-access slopes. It’s all about building thighs of steel and keeping your cardio levels up!

But despite its high level of difficulty, this snowshoe hike around Châtel is unquestionably one of our Top Trails in Haute-Savoie. What makes it so special? Quite simply because of the beauty of the landscapes it traverses, between snow-covered peaks. This little-used trail is ideal for reconnecting with nature… and with yourself!

To get you started on this unique hike, head for the refuge de la Vouivre. Set in a wonderful alpine landscape, this inn is located near the village of Vouvry in Switzerland. From here, you can already see Lac de Taney, just a few meters away. But as is so often the case, it’s when you get up in the air that you really appreciate its grandeur and beauty.

With its limestone, red sandstone and black shale cliffs, the Taney region can be enjoyed in all seasons. But there’s something magical about the contrast between this stone and the glistening snow, which makes this snowshoe walk so enjoyable. But don’t forget that the days are short in winter! So it’s advisable to set off as soon as the sun rises, to avoid having to make the return journey at night.

So, you’re ready to hit the most beautiful Franco-Swiss mountains? Haute-Savoie, and particularly the area around Châtel, is full of snowshoeing itineraries. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to get back out there and immerse ourselves a little more in these peaceful, rejuvenating landscapes.

Our tips for a successful stay in Châtel