L'Arcalod, la Sambuy, le Pécloz, le Trélod, Chaurionde... in this region of the French Prealps, these names are famous. They may not be the 14 legendary Himalayan 8,000ers, but these 14 peaks of more than 2,000 metres (6,500 ft) in altitude promise you as many beautiful scenes in an exceptional setting: the Massif des Bauges.
Straddling Savoie and Haute-Savoie and located between the Aravis chain and the Chartreuse Massif, the Bauges are characterised by green pastures, extremely rich fauna and flora and a multitude of incredible summits. In short, an awesome playground for trail lovers.
In this Collection, I bring you 13 day routes, which allow you to set foot on each of the famous 2000er summits. I have ordered the Tours from the highest peaks to the lowest. Some routes allow you to easily integrate several in a single outing, as you will see.
These are routes for intermediate level runners. It is, of course, possible for beginners to take them on, but make sure you take into account the amount of time runs are expected to take and give yourself enough daylight hours to return safely. There are many ways to reach these peaks and this Collection does not aim to present an exhaustive list. It does, however, offer you magnificent circuits that end where they started — ideal for running.
All the routes begin in villages and there is always a car park. The best way to access the routes is by car. However, there are other options, such as by bike or by bus if you are leaving from neighbouring towns. The Transdev line Y51 allows you to get close to many circuits from Annecy.
For all these routes, I strongly advise you to wear trail shoes and take plenty of water and food. Some routes pass through refuges where you can refuel. You will be taking on beautiful ridges overlooking the massif and most of these runs hit trails that are quite exposed. It is therefore strongly advised that you only attempt these routes in good weather. The risk of falls or bad slides becomes much greater in poor conditions. When the weather is good, take your foot off the pedal and enjoy. You will be back again for sure — the possibilities are almost endless!
This is a demanding but splendid loop, which takes you to Pointe de l'Arcalod, the highest point of the Bauges.From the car park, you start your ascent in the forest towards the Col du Chérel on the GRP du Massif des Bauges. From the Col, we already have some nice views of the surrounding peaks. It motivates!You continue …
This demanding but magnificent loop takes you to the second highest summit of the Bauges, the Pointe de la Sambuy.The route begins at the Tamié Abbey car park, where you begin your ascent on a wooded path along the Bard stream. At the end of the forest, a beautiful balcony path will take you to the chalet de la Bouchasse. You continue your journey on a fairly steep path, partly equipped with cables to facilitate the ascent.
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This pretty loop starts at the Couvent à École car park and takes you to the top of Pécloz, the third highest peak in Les Bauges.You follow the paved road along the Chéran to start. This allows you to warm up quietly. After the Nant-Fourchu car park, you fork to the right and start your ascent in the forest.
This route begins and ends in Bellecombe-en-Bauges, and takes you to the summit of Trélod, the fourth highest summit of the Bauges.The warm-up is quick on this lap: in fact, the path quickly becomes quite steep. You are however on a pretty singletrack surrounded by flowers, and the setting is quite exceptional from the start.You arrive at the …
Here is a nice route, which takes you to the top of the Pointe de Chaurionde from the Nant Fourchu car park.You follow the road for a little less than a kilometer before taking a winding forest path. You arrive at the Col de la Fougère, then continue on a fairly flat path to the Aulp du Four chalets and then to the Col du Haut du Four.
A nice loop, which takes you to the top of Mont’Armenaz and Mont Pécloz in an incredible setting where marmots and chamois are numerous.From the Couvent car park, you start by gradually climbing up a wooded path that runs along the Lanche stream. You pass the Notre Dame de Bellevaux chapel and the ruins of an old Benedictine monastery, and continue your ascent on a winding path out of the woods.
This very aerial circuit takes you to the top of Pointe des Arces, the seventh highest peak in the Massif des Bauges. Be careful though: the final ascent to Pointe des Arces is not on a marked path. There is indeed no official trail leading to the summit. I strongly advise you not to climb to Pointe des Arces in bad weather, and if possible not to climb to the top alone.
From the Nant Fourchu car park, this pretty loop takes you to the top of Mont de la Coche.About 300 meters after the parking lot, you leave the road and take a forest track. It gradually takes you to the Orgeval refuge. From the refuge, you continue your journey through a superb valley at the foot of the Arcalod. It’s quite impressive!
This very aerial loop takes you from the Combes car park to the top of the Dent de Cons, at an altitude of 2,063 meters.Your outing begins with a warm-up on the road. After Planchard, you begin your ascent in the forest towards the Dent de Cons, first passing in front of the Cabane des Gardes, an unguarded refuge.
This loop takes you from the Couvent car park to the top of Pointe des Arlicots and Grand Parra, the two lesser-known peaks of the Bauges. And for good reason: they are very difficult to access, and no marked path allows you to go there. I therefore advise you not to venture on this circuit in bad weather.From the …
A nice loop, which takes you to the top of Mont Colombier via the Dent de Rossanaz.From the Aillon-le-Jeune car park, the circuit begins with a little flatness, which allows you to warm up. You then take a nice path in the forest, and start your ascent to the Col du Colombier. The setting is green and flowery, it's really pleasant!
This very nice loop takes you from the Col du Frêne car park to the top of the Dent d´Arclusaz, at 2,040 meters above sea level.From the Col du Frêne, a pretty wooded path takes you to the Col du Potat, in the heart of the mountain pastures. From the Col, you take a winding path and arrive at Pierre Besse, at an altitude of 1,730 meters. You are under the Arclusaz cliff, it is quite impressive!
The loop leading to Tré le Mollard is more or less the same as the one which takes you to Mont de la Coche (komoot.fr/tour/474280334), the two peaks facing each other.The circuit starts at the Nant Fourchu car park, at École. About 300 meters after the parking lot, you leave the road and take a forest track. It gradually …