The 7 most beautiful hikes in the Massif des Bauges

Randonnée massif des bauges : Col de l'Arclusaz

Need a breath of fresh air? Here are the best hikes in the Massif des Bauges to explore at your leisure!

The Bauges massif is a link in the Northern Pre-Alps chain, straddling the departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie. Rising to just over 2,200 meters above sea level, it is a typical « medium mountain » environment, with just fourteen villages… But what character!

The Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unique terroir offers great opportunities for walking in the fresh air.

If you’re between Annecy and Chambéry, why not take a stroll? Generation Voyage has compiled a list of the best walks in the Massif des Bauges.

1. La Croix du Nivolet from Le Sire

Randonnée massif des bauges : le sire

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 1h40

Distance: 6.0 km

Difference in altitude: 236 m

Difficulty: Medium

See the route

To get you started, this hiking route leaves from Parking Le Sire near La Féclaz. Follow the signs to the Croix du Nivolet: you’ll reach the Chalet du Sire after a steep climb. Then follow the cliff to the Nivolet refuge and finally reach the Croix de Nivolet.

A spectacular panorama is the reward for this hike in the Bauges massif. The massif de l’Épine, the Chartreuse and Chambéry can all be contemplated at your leisure. The route can be completed from spring to autumn with no major difficulties.

So, are you tempted?

2. Le Taillefer

Le Taillefer

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 2h10

Distance: 6.6 km

Height difference: 349 m

Difficulty: Difficult

See the route

The Petit and Grand Taillefer are two peaks in the Belledonne range. The aim of this hike in the Bauges massif is to help you discover them. Meet at the Combe Oursière stele on the D114E departmental road to access the itinerary. This will take you to the Pas de la Mine along the pretty Brouffier ridge.

Forty minutes later, Petit Taillefer is in sight! Climb the Gravelles to reach the summit of Grand Taillefer, where the statue of Saint-Éloi stands. At an altitude of 2,857 metres, it offers splendid views of Mont Blanc, the Écrins peaks and the Aiguilles d’Arves to the east.

The Vercors and Dévoluy peaks complete the picture as you head west. The descent even offers the chance to discover a lake… Magnificent!

3. Le Trélod

Randonnée massif des bauges : Le Trélod

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 3h30

Distance: 10.9 km

Difference in altitude: 1,315 m

Difficulty: Difficult

See the route

For this hike in the Bauges massif, head for the parking lot at the Cul du Bois hamlet. Follow the alpine path through the forest, passing under the Dent des Portes. You then head for the ridge overlooking the Chalets du Chardonnet and des Gardes.

Are you ready? A steep climb will test your calves to the summit of Mont Trélod. It’s not that difficult: the chamois that often share the route do it every day… The panoramas are splendid from east to west: Mont Blanc and the glaciers of the Alps steal the show from the splendid Chéran valley!

4. Chemin des crêtes near Saint-Jorioz

Chemin des crêtes près de Saint-Jorioz

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 5h50

Distance: 19.2 km

Height difference: 782 m

Difficulty: Medium

See the route

We suggest this pleasant loop for a family outing in the forest. Family-friendly, but quite challenging at first! The aim is to let you admire Lake Annecy from the crests of the Semnoz. You’ll be facing the Tournette massif.

Easy to access, the route starts at the Sévrier parking lot and climbs up the Chemin de la Liaz. A good climb through undergrowth leads to the GRP trail to the Croix du Cret.

Do you like the view? You can push on to the Cret cross, just ten minutes away. There’s also a fascinating eco-museum on the way back!

5. Col de l’Arclusaz

Randonnée massif des bauges : Col de l'Arclusaz

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 4h30

Distance: 15.0 km

Difference in altitude: 810 m

Difficulty: Difficult

See the route

This hike in the Bauges massif is for experienced hikers only. The route includes some steep climbs, and is best done with good shoes and walking poles!

It all starts in the Bellevaux valley. From the convent parking lot, a narrow forest road leads to the oratory in a sunny clearing. You’ll follow the Arclusaz stream, which can be forded: ideal for a refreshing swim or picnic.

Continue along the path towards the pass: the panorama is fantastic, especially of Mont Pécloz. On the way back, you can visit the Notre Dame de Bellevaux chapel. Pleasant in summer, the local flora makes us recommend this trail in spring. Flowers by the thousands and chirping guaranteed!

6. Mount Colombier

Mont Colombier

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 3h15

Distance: 10.5 km

Difference in altitude: 1,133 m

Difficulty: Difficult

See the route

This hike in the Bauges massif starts at the parking lot in the commune of Aillon-le-Vieux. The trail follows a gradual ascent through the forest to a small lake.

Then it’s on to the Col du Colombier: aerial passages and a great feeling all the way to the summit. You’ll have to earn it, but you’ll be rewarded. The mountains of Beaufortain, Bauges and the whole Belledonne range then rise up before you.

The descent is very pleasant and easy. All that’s left for hikers is to make their way back down to Aillon-le-Vieux, crossing beautiful green meadows. Is it over already?

7. Round trip to Mont Julioz

Aller-retour au Mont Julioz

Photo credit : Alltrails

Duration: 2 hours

Distance: 6.0 km

Difference in altitude: 552 m

Difficulty: Difficult

See hike itinerary

A well-marked itinerary for this hike in the Bauges massif… but not recommended for children or people prone to vertigo! You’ll hike along a rocky ridge that gradually gives you a glimpse of the entire range. The Dent des Portes, Mont Trélod, Mont Pécloz and the Dent de Rossanaz are all there.

Initially forested, the route soon becomes mountainous and sometimes requires you to « get your hands dirty ». For the more athletically inclined, it’s possible to join the GR Tour des Bauges. This route is a great introduction to the joys of mountain walking. We recommend it, but be sure to bring a good jacket: it can be windy!