Walks in the Val de Bagnes
Thanks to Andy and Joan Tetley who provided the descriptions of the walks.
This very beautiful area area can be easily accessed by the cable car system that is open in the summer months. Do check exact opening and closing times before setting out. Le Chable is a good starting point as it is about a 25 minute drive from Champex and takes you quickly and easily up to Verbier.
Les Ruinettes to Cabane du Mont Fort and Return (Easier but see alternative and high point 2457m)
Take cable car from Le Chable to Les Ruinettes (café) and Walk to Cabane du Mont Fort (café) via path, which diverts up from track to La Chaux. From Cabane du Mont Fort descend to La Chaux and return to Les Ruinettes via the Bisse du Levron.It is 8km and 260m up and down. An alternative is to descend from La Chaux to Les Tsexaux and take route back to Verbier via Clambin (café). The same cable car can be joined at Verbier to descend to Le Chable. This is 14km and 270m up and 960m down.
Sembrancher to Le Chable and Return (Easier and high point 995m)
Park on east side of Sembrancher and start walk on road that leads to Chamoille. Take road ahead soon, where the route to Chamoille goes right, and then turn left down a track. Cross the river and ascend (roads after crossing main road) to Volleges (café). Then up past Volleges Church to take road on left to Cries. Take track/path from Cries to Le Chable (cafés): some road noise. To return, cross the river and pass by the church (adjacent museum) and follow track/path up and down south side of valley to Sembrancher. It is 12.5km and 320m up and down.
Savoleyres to Lacs des Vaux and return to Les Ruinettes (high point 2705m)
Take cable car from Le Chable to Verbier centre and bus or walk northwest on road in Verbier to take other cable car to Savoleyres (café). Take walk to east via Croix de Coeur to Col des Mines (part of Tour du Val de Bagnes). The path after Croix de Coeur is a bit exposed in places and the lower route towards Les Ruinettes and climb back to Col des Mines is more up and down but not exposed. From Col des Mines, take track to Lacs des Vaux and then ascend to Col des Vaux. Descend to Les Ruinettes (café). It is 10km and 550m up and 710m down (ex walk to cable car to Savoleyres, another 1.5km and 85m up).Take cable car from Les Ruinettes direct to Le Chable.
Verbier to Sarreyer and return to Le Chable (high point 1740m)
Take cable car from Le Chable to Verbier centre (cafés and shops) and take road to east of cable car and higher track at fork. Follow route to Clambin (often signed as Chez Dany, closed). From there take route to Sarreyer: this is initially a track but take a path, which goes ahead at a Z bend. 0.2km after a sign to Sarreyer shows a lower path, there is a point where a path goes down right and a small path goes ahead: in fact the correct path is between the split of these two and has a yellow mark on a rock near two trees. When the path later meets tracks/roads, cross for path on other side. From Sarreyer (café, closed on Mon), take roads through town to path down towards Versegeres and follow track beside river. Take next bridge to right over river and then left on track back to Le Chable (becomes roads near end). 10.5km and 250m up and 960m down.
Mauvoisin round Lac de Mauvoisin (Bit Harder and high point 2540m)
Drive to Mauvoisin (café), which is nearly 1 hour drive. Walk up to top of dam, via path/road and tunnel. Turn left at tunnel split to exit to top of dam. Cross over dam and take track/path on east side of lake, which initially has some extra tunnels. This section of the route is part of the Tour du Val de Bagnes and various route guides are available including the Walking in the Valais book (route 101), which goes further up. Turn right off this route before Lac de Tsofeiret to descend and cross the stream leading to the Lac de Mauvoisin (a bit steep). Then take track back along the west side of lake to return to Mauvoisin. There is a long tunnel of about 1km passing the dam of the lake but it is lit and has some small view points. 17km and 760m up and down.
La Cot towards La Larzay and round Montagne du Six Blanc and Return (high point 2200m)
Drive above Bruson to La Cot (café) and take route north to join part of the Val de Bagnes route and then at Moay take path up from car park and turn right to La Larzay. Continue south towards Tete de La Payenne but turn left earlier after second ski lift to rejoin the Tour du Val de Bagnes route round Montagne du Six Blanc (ridge but not Six Blanc peak) to return to la Cot. 10.5km and 700m up and down. An alternative is to drive up to Moay (café) by track, which reduces up and down to 560m.
Savoleyres to Pierre Avoi and Return to Verbier (high point 2473m)
Drive to northwest Verbier to base of cable car giving access to Savoleyres. Walk west from Savoleyres (café) to Pierre Avoi mountain and the last bit to the peak is an option as it is a bit like climbing with ladders (part of Tour de Val de Bagnes). Continue south on path near cliff (not hard) to descend to Chute du Bisse and follow stream (Bisse) to northeast, which becomes Bisse du Levron. Take paths near Les Pretaires, Les Luis and join road to return to the base of the cable car. 7.5km and 180m up and 940m down.
Montagnier to Lourtier and Return (high point 1344m)
Drive to Montagnier, which is southeast of Le Chable on same side of river, and park near school. Take road up to join road going right towards La Providence, Reception and turn left soon up another road marked with yellow diamonds. Briefly up this road, turn right again on road with pedestrian sign to La Dent etc. Then take track to left and later path to join another road/track up towards Le Chatelard. Continue on track towards Sarreyer (café, closed on Mon) and take roads through to southeast of town to join path to Lourtier (café). Take road up part of Lourtier and turn right on road/track over river. Then join track/path coming back northwest through Champsec and then use road through village to join path beside river. Take second bridge over river and then left on path to Montagnier. 14km and 620m up and down.
Cabane Brunet to Cabane Col de Mile and Return (Bit Harder and high point 2,473m)
Drive to Cabane Brunet by passing Lourtier and taking road on south side of river. Turn right to road/track on a Z bend before Barmasse, which leads to Cabane Brunet at end. This drive can take 55 minutes. From Cabane Brunet (café) return west on route, which is part of the Tour du Val de Bagnes and leads eventually to Col de Mile (café). Good views over Grand St. Bernard Pass at end. Return by the same route. 14.5 km and 800m up and down, as well as 6.5 hrs.
Les Ruinettes to La Chaux and return to Verbier (high point 2260m)
Take cable car from Le Chable to Les Ruinettes (café) and follow track to south/east to La Chaux (café), which is the start of a cable car towards Mont Fort. Take path down to join the Bisse du Levron and follow path beside stream (Bisse) to west. Shortly before returning to les Ruinettes, take path to left to descend to Verbier. Take cable car from Verbier to Le Chable. 8.5km and 280m up and 860m down.
La Chaux to Fionnay (Harder and high point 2650m)
Take cable car to La Chaux via Les Ruinettes. Take track towards Cabane du Mont Fort and divert right over area to cross stream and join part of Tour du Val de Bagnes (also Tour des Grand Barrages) to Lac de Louvie and go to Cabane de Louvie (café). This route from Cabane du Mont Fort to Fionnay is in the Walking in the Valais book (99). From Cabane de Louvie, descend on path to Fionnay. The route to Lac de Louvie is a bit exposed in places and the path down to Fionnay is a bit steep. From Fionnay, take bus back to Le Chable. 9.5km and 450m up and 1275m down.
Finally just over the mountain to Val de Nendaz
Siviez to Lac de Cleuson in Val de Nendaz (high point 2320m)
The drive to Siviez is 1 hr 10 mins drive, which is over the normal limit, but there is an option of taking the cable car from Le Chable, which is beautiful. Drive to Le Chable and take cable car towards Mont Fort via Les Ruinettes and then descend to Tortin (café). Then take chair lifts down to Siviez (café) and up to Combatseline (café). One all day ticket covers all the lifts and includes going up and down from Mont Fort, which has fabulous views. It is necessary to start fairly early to get back in time for last cable cars, 9am is probably ideal at Le Chable. From Combatseline take path south towards Lac de Cleuson (slightly exposed) and descend towards Lake’s dam. Cross dam to church and descend to Siviez. Then take chair lift, cable cars back to Le Chable. 9km and 270m up and 670m down. It is possible to turn left on way down to Siviez to walk to Tortin and take cable car. This is slightly quicker and changes route to 8.2km and 370m up and 470m down. Note that last cable car from Tortin is usually 3.45pm and 3.15pm is better to ensure links down through Verbier.