This is a lovely family walk, accessible to all, which offers exceptional views of Salanfe, the surrounding peaks, the lake and the dam. The discovery trail will guide you through the historic and geological treasures of the area. The trail was fully updated and expanded in 2019, to include the remnants of the dam’s construction: the path is dotted with six explanatory panels between Van d´en Haut and the lake. Historical photos are displayed on the crest of the dam wall and show the giant construction site that existed between 1947 and 1952. The Discovery Trail brochure is available from the Inn.
From the Van d’en Haut campground, follow the path that goes up to the Salanfe dam (see itinerary). From the Inn, head in the direction of Susanfe pass, taking the old road along the lakeside. Half-way between the inn and the other end of the lake, by the fountains, you can see the foundations of the old mountain chalets which were flooded when the dam was inaugurated (1). At the end of the road, you will pass by the Gietroz inflow (2) from the storage basin in the Susanfe valley. Cross the spectacular delta at the end of the lake, where there is an overhanging glacier known as the Glacier Noir (Black Glacier). From there, head upwards again in the direction of Ottans. At the fork (3), take the trail that heads up to the Emaney pass. Approximately a third of the way up to the pass, the trail splits off in the direction of the Ottans lake (4). The trail continues towards the gold and arsenic mines cabin, passing an old wagon (5) and the entrance to one of the mines. It climbs further towards another mine entrance and then joins the trail (6) leading down from the Golette pass. This track will take you back to Salanfe dam, a gravity dam installed in 1952. The return to Van d’en Haut is by the same path taken coming up.
Variation: the circuit can be shortened by not going to Ottans lake, 1hr30. From the Inn, going around the lake and visiting the gold mines takes 2hr45.
Beware: the mines are abandoned, do not enter!
You can download the Discovery Trail description sheet here
Around Lake Salanfe on SuisseMobile