WALKING AND HIKING

         
 
Meribel Lifts

In summer a couple of the gondola lifts are open in each valley.  For prices and opening times see the lifts page.  For maps see the mountain biking page.

Walking and hiking in the Meribel Valley

To stay over night in the Refuge du Saut please call M. R. Chardon in Le Praz, on  0033 479 08 4031.  For details of further refuges please email refuge@mottaret.com

For exploring the Alps, Meribel Mottaret is a great place to be based, it offers some fantastic walking and hiking:

  • The Tueda Nature Reserve with its beautiful lake begins next to the centre of Mottaret

  • The whole area lies in the Vanoise national park in which there are 28 mountain refuges for hikers

  • The main lifts are open enabling you to start walks from the top of the mountains

  • There are 20 marked trails through the forest and meadows of the Meribel valley 

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Tueda Nature Reserve 

The Tueda Nature Reserve begins next to the apartments advertised on this website with Lac Tueda and then extends up the valley that lies between Mont Vallon (Meribel Valley) and Aiguille de Fruit (Courchevel Valley) all the way to the the Gebroulaz glacier.  The nature reserve covers 2,700 acres. 

The Tueda nature reserve offers outstanding opportunities to explore the unspoilt beauty of the Alps.  Anybody visiting the Three Valleys in summer should take the opportunity to visit the lake and the nature reserve.  There is ample parking at the head of the Meribel valley in Mottaret to access this wonderful place.

The nature reserve is protected from any ski development.  There are no ski lifts, no ski pistes and no skiing.  Whilst the area within the ski domain of the Three Valleys is beautiful the nature reserve is particularly spectacular.  Anyone walking or hiking in this area can not fail to be impressed by the natural beauty of this part of the alps.   Whilst there are many people who might wish the three Valleys to be extended further, it is a blessing that this area of outstanding natural beauty has been protected to preserve its natural beauty.

This is a beautiful lake set at the head of the Meribel valley just below Mt Vallon.  The Lake is truly stunning as you can see from the photo on the summer homepage (more photos).  No swimming or boating is allowed on the lake however fishing is permitted. 

The apartments are located right by the entrance to the nature reserve (250 metres).  (The car park that serves the apartments also serves the entrance to the nature reserve.)

River Trout up in the Tueda Nature Reserve Lac Tueda is situated at the entrance to the nature reserve, past the lake the reserve continues up the valley.  At the end of the lake there is a path that continues up the mountain.  The Trout river that feeds the lake runs to the left (as you go up) in a series of short water falls.  After an uphill stretch of about half an hours walking you reach a plateau. The Trout river meanders along this flat plain.  The spectacular Aiguille de Fruit rises to the left with Mont vallon on the right.  At the end of the plateau the route continues up another short incline to another plateau.  Refuge de Saut is in this plain, surrounded on all sides by spectacular mountains.  The route then continues up this valley until it reaches  up at a slightly more challenging incline towards the bottom of the glacier.

Meribel Trails

Hikers of all levels enjoy 20 marked trails through the forest and meadows of the Meribel valley. Details and a map of these walks are available in the "Guide des sentiers" on sale at the Tourist Offices 6,10. For more details, see IGN maps 3533 West and 3434 West.
These trails explore all the best spots of the valley. Within half a day, they allow discovery of the villages, picturesque sites and lakes. Some of them, especially on the forest roads, are very easily accessible even to young children. The ridges of Tougnete, Saulire and Mont-Vallon offer fantastic views over the Mont-Blanc, Beaufortain or Vanoise mountain ranges.

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William Gurney. Last updated 11 June 2009
will@mottaret.com