Excursions in Cogne Valley

  • Lillaz Lago Loie

Place of departure: Lillaz (1,617 m)
Place of arrival: Lake Loie (2,354 m)
Difference in altitude: 737 m
Total journey time: 5 hours
Difficulty: E Time to visit: from June to October
Itinerary Description We start in the village of Lillaz and after passing through a grove, we can admire the waterfalls coming from the Torrente Urtier. Having embarked upon the valley, we cross a small bridge and enter a coniferous forest, before arriving at Alpe Bardoney: here in early summer we can see the great variety of alpine flora, and easily spot the curious marmots. Leaving the path that goes by Colle di Bardoney, we turn right to reach Lago di Loie, where the chances of seeing chamois and ibex increase and the landscape becomes magnificent, letting us observe the Mont Blanc massif. The descent into a mature coniferous forest could give us some surprises with the chance of seeing birds like the spotted nutcracker and the Eurasian jay.

  • Valnontey Sella

Place of departure: Valnontey (1,666 m)
Place of arrival: Laghetti del Lauson (2,656 m)
Difference in altitude: 1,050 m
Total journey time: 8 hours
Difficulty: EE
Time to visit: from July to September N.B: it is a traverse.
Itinerary Description The itinerary starts from the village of Valnontey, near the Paradisia Alpine Garden, where almost all the natural environments of our mountains have been rebuilt, including a butterfly garden, whose visit is therefore recommended before embarking upon the itinerary. The path winds through the first part of the forest, then up to high-altitude pastures: Walking is recommended at a lesiurely pace, because the area is one of the most frequented by the symbolic animal of the park, the ibex. Before arriving at the refuge, it is worth pausing and observing the alpine pastures of Lauson and the surroundings of the classic marmot. After a short stop at the refuge, we take the path towards the Herbetet alpine pastures, proceeding with caution, because the path becomes exposed in some places, but it is still possible to benefit with the aid of chains. The return, after an initial steep descent, follows the entire valley floor, past Pont de l'Erfaulet, the picturesque village of Valmianaz and the interesting Prà Suppiaz peat bog, with the accompanying flora and wildlife of the high altitude wetlands.

  • Sylvenoire Gontier

Place of departure: Sylvenoire (1,324 m)
Place of arrival: A. Gran Nomenon (2,309 m)
Difference in altitude: 985 m
Total journey time: 5 hours
Difficulty: E time to visit: from July to October
Itinerary description Sylvenoire is a delightful village, whose intersection lies just beyond Vieyes on the road for Cogne. The route begins along a dirt track until the Plan Pessey alpine pasture, where we cross the river and find the mule-track that goes directly from Vieyes. We continue our climb up to a fork in the road, where you choose the right fork through a dense forest with notable examples of white spruce, then we draw near to the Chantel surveillance hut. Near the hut, we follow the Path to the left which, although steep, is well marked and comes out onto the wide grassland circle of Nomenon , overlooked at the top by the lodges of Gran Nomenon, and in their vicinity to Mario Gontier refuge: from this point we can admire the majestic north face of Grivola, enriched by several hanging glaciers.

  • Lillaz casotto dell'Arolla

Place of departure: Lillaz (1,617 m)
Place of arrival: Alpeggio dell'Arolla (2,258 m)
Difference in altitude: 640 m
Total journey time: 3.30 hours
Difficulty: E
time to visit: from June to October
Itinerary Description From the village of Lillaz we enter, first on a dirt road then on the mule-track, into the great valley of Valeille, moving up to the pasture of the same name in the heart of the valley, the view of the glacier head in the valley is spectacular, even if wounds to the environment are still evident from the large-scale floods of the nineties. The Initial forest of larch and fir trees and the deciduous groves along the stream are just the prelude to the final ascent that will take us in front of the hut of the Park in the vallone del Arolla. Meetings with chamois, ibex and even golden eagles are always frequent in the magnificent setting of a grand landscape of high mountains.

  • Valnontey - Valmianaz - Pont de l'Erfaulet

Place of departure: Valnontey (1,666 m)
Place of arrival: Pont de l'Erfaulet (1,830 m)
Difference in altitude: 164 m
Total journey time: 3 hours
Difficulty: T Time to visit: from June to October
Itinerary description From the village of Valnontey, we follow a dirt track that leads up the valley to the village of Valmianaz, perhaps the best example in the Cogne valley of local architecture both as individual building components, and as a type of agglomeration. During the journey, it is well worth stopping to note Prà Suppiaz peat bog, with its wet and very delicate environment, it is advisable to approach with caution to observe the typical aquatic vegetation, fish and amphibians (common frogs and brown trout). After passing Valmianaz, we go along a smooth path, and paying attention to the probable presence of traces of ungulates, we arrive at the foot of the magnificent glacial amphitheatre of Valnontey, then to Pont de l'Erfaulet.