Le Bois de la Laye
Hiking through the Larch forest above Lac du Chevril
- Location: Tignes – Le Lac / Lavachet
- Distance: 3.7km
- Level: Beginner | Family Friendly (with options to extend for a bigger hike)
- Vertical Gain: 335m
- Typical Duration: 2 hours
This walk includes a spring, a waterfall, streams and a lake, and is ideal for a gentle stroll or family picnic, or even a bigger hike if you chose to continue into the woods.
Starting from behind the Residence Le Homeclub in Lavachet, the path heads down towards Bois de la Laye, gradually descending through alpine grassland. At the second fork in the path, you can either keep right and head into the forest, or take a left which takes you down the left side of the Gouille de Salin (a stream which is a resurgence of the Lac de Tignes).
The water filters through the limestone and reappears as a large spring. The steep and winding path descends sharply using stepping stones to help you avoid the wetter areas. After crossing a small wooden bridge the noise from running water increases until you cross another wooden bridge just at the foot of the large and spectacular waterfall. Take in this breath-taking view and perhaps stop here for a picnic.
After this beautiful spot, you could either head back up to Lavachet or keep heading down. If you continue down, you can either go straight down to reach the Lac du Chevril, or take a right which takes you into the forest above the cliffs by the side of the lac. If you take this path, it will eventually take you all the way around to the Val d’Isere village of La Daille. If it is during the months when the bus between Tignes and Val d’Isere runs, this is a great walk around to Val d’Isere and then you can take the bus back to Tignes 1800 in order to avoid the big hike back up.
The Bois de la Laye ecosystem is fragile. Respect the natural environment by keeping to the paths, not picking flowers, and taking your rubbish away with you. Do not venture on to the banks of the lake stream. There is a strong current.
What to bring…
The route can found on IGN map 3633ET Tignes/ Val d’Isere and in the ‘Les Sentiers de L’Ete’ booklet available from the Maison de Tignes Tourist Office for €10.