Easy mountain walks from Les Gets
Amongst all the many activities on offer, exploring the nearby mountain trails on foot is still one of the best ways to enjoy the views and gain a perspective of the area. Although these are both traditionally summer walks, they can also be enjoyed during the winter by using raquettes, commonly known as snowshoes, but you may need to allow longer walking times.
Mont Chery to Mont Caly and back to Les Gets (1.5hrs walk, allow 3.5hrs overall):
Unless you wish to walk to the top of Mont Chery, your overall journey starts by taking the Mont Chery Telecabine and then the Chery Nord chairlift to the Point de Chery. On the way up you will enjoy getting the full perspective of the town, the outlying hamlets and all the bike trails and ski runs that serve the area.
From the top of the telecabine you will start to get views across the whole of the Portes du Soleil area and can look directly over to Mont Blanc. From here you have a choice of taking the chair lift up to the Point de Chery, or you can begin your walk up the path to the left of the chairlift, which winds its way up to the ridge (add 0.5h to the walking time). At the top of the chairlift you will get some of the best panoramic views in the area. At the ‘Point’ just above the top of the chair lift, you may like to look at the information table giving the all names and locations of all the mountain peaks.
On one side you will see the top of Pleney with views of Super Morzine, Avoriaz and the Swiss mountain ranges behind it. As you look further south you will see the peaks of Nyon, Chamossiere, and the northern part of the Grand Massive area with the rugged outline of the Aiguille du Midi behind, and of course the snow covered Mont Blanc. On the other side of the ridge you will see the small resort of le Praz de Lys to the south, and the mountains surrounding that valley up to the Col de l’Encrenaz directly below Mont Chery. Further north you should be able to spot a small part of Lake Leman framed by the St Jean D’Aulps valley.
From here you walk south along the wide ridge footpath for about 30 minutes, as it descends to the small hamlet of chalets at Mont Caly. Here you will find the wonderful restaurant, Les Chevrelles, where you can enjoy a great lunch whilst taking in the most spectacular view of Mont Blanc. This is a truly memorable place to visit on a clear sunny day, and to enjoy some traditional local cuisine. At the height of the season, I recommend that you book a table in advance as it is a very popular, particularly at the weekends (Tel: +33 4 50 79 85 40). Friends or family not walking with you can also meet you there as they can drive up to this point – they should be able to find it on their satnav.
Having enjoyed your lunch, you can take the easy path back down to the top of the telecabine (30-45 min walk), or walk the whole way down to the town (1-1.5hr depending on the route). If you do decide to walk the whole way down, then there are signs to follow which will bring you out on the road that takes you through Les Nants. You might be tempted to take a shortcut through the woods, but take care as some of these well trodden paths become quite steep, with tree roots and some large rain gouged ruts. As a general note, remember to take plenty of water and appropriate clothing and footwear for any mountain walk. The second walk is on the other side of the valley to visit the Col de Joux Plane.
Col de Joux Plane via the Chavannes Express and back to Les Gets (2-3hrs walk, allow 3-4hrs overall):
From the centre of town take the Chavannes Express lift and enjoy the wide vista past the Lac des Ecoles and the various mountain bike and ski runs as you ascend.
At the top you will have great views of Les Gets and Mont Chery on one side and of Nyon, Chamossiere and the valley down to Morzine on the other side. From here you begin by heading south and walking up to, and past, the top of the Nauchets chairlift – seen in the photograph below.
If you wish, you can stop for a coffee and take in the views at Les Lhottys restaurant which is next to the top of the Nauchets chairlift, or follow the road towards the Col de Joux Plane for about 15 minutes until you come to the Wetzet restaurant. Both have tasty snacks and an a la carte menu.
Alternatively, follow the road for a further 10-15 minutes until you come to another restaurant at the Col, which has spectacular views across the Samoen valley and of Mont Blanc. This road actually formed part of one of the most challenging stages of the 2016 Tour de France, from Megeve to Morzine via Samoen, which was won by Chris Froome.
At the Col de Joux Plane there is a small lake, which is a great spot for a picnic and where you can enjoy the sound of the cow bells and watch the ducks on the lake. This is a really beautiful spot and a popular area for Ski de Fond in the winter.
The way back to Les Gets can be the reverse of your journey up, or you can walk all the way back to the town. If you are walking back, then follow the gravel track opposite the Wetzet restaurant which will take you towards the Chavannes hamlet of chalets, and restaurants shown in the photograph below.
Just before you reach the hamlet, there is a small reservoir, and just by the south side of the reservoir there is a path that winds its way down to the town via the swimming lake next to the school, and then onwards down to the bottom of the Chavannes Express.
I really hope you get to enjoy these walks and the magnificent scenery on your next visit to Les Gets.
David Underhill – August 2018