After spending the night at Residence de Vallorcine, we were up early and on our way to the Gorges du Dailley in Valais. Jean had read somewhere that it was a fairly easy walked so we set off with some confidence.
We started the trek beginning in Salvan which is supposed to take three hours and had the intention of doing as much as we could before little legs started to get tired. We left the car at the free car park and followed the signs for the gorge which took us through the pretty village of Salvan accompanied by the gentle tinkling of cowbells.
"As we got further into the forest we could hear the sound of rushing water and were soon presented with an enormous waterfall. It was a spectacular sight and our eyes followed the path of wooden steps which would take us right to the top - 600 in total if you follow the whole trek route."
There is a toilet for public use at the Hotel Balance which is well sign-posted once you reach the village. The path then took us through a beautiful wooded area with views stretching out across the mountains and the valley below. It was much warmer than we imagined so we were grateful to have worn removable layers and baseball caps.
As we got further into the forest we could hear the sound of rushing water and were soon presented with an enormous waterfall. It was a spectacular sight and our eyes followed the path of wooden steps which would take us right to the top - 600 in total if you follow the whole trek route. The steps were sturdy and well maintained but we then came across a few places on the climb where there we no steps and we were reliant on tree roots and rocks to get a foothold.
Jude managed manfully and enjoyed the challenge of working out (with our hands for guidance) where to put his feet to reach the next platform.
We stopped often to admire the view stretching out beneath us which was really impressive. As we started to get further the steps became quite steep and Jude (quite rightly) began to tire so instead of continuing to the top, we decided to peel off the gorge path and follow a sign back to Salvan.
The path we took was steep and apart from a couple of log steps in places, it was purely a matter of finding footing in the rocks to get down. After about 15 minutes we were reunited with the forest path and followed the route back through the village again.
Our impression of the walk was that it was really a wonderful experience, full of beautiful scenery and breathtaking sights. While we wouldn’t have called it easy, it would definitely have been possible for us, as amateur hikers, to manage the whole walk relatively comfortably had it not been for a tired mini-explorer and the 10 extra kilos of child (one who discovered she was in a good position for pulling my hair) we were both carrying on our backs. We were there quite early and the car park was deserted which was good. I imagine it would be more difficult if there were lots of people on the steps above and below you and the car park was full when we returned around lunchtime.
Our advice would be to arrive early, make sure you have plenty of water, sunscreen and layered clothes to remove as you climb...oh, and don't forget to stop and admire the view as you go!
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Baby Change Facilities : Yes
Accessibility : Not possible with a pushchair