La Bourgeoise walk - maximum reward minimum effort

Updated: Mar 19



La Bourgeoise is the peak, topped with a cross, to the north above Verchaix village that you can clearly see from the back of the chalet and the garden.


For hardy souls, it's possible to walk, or cycle, up to La Bourgeoise from the chalet itself but the usual option, which justifies the maximum reward for minimal effort tag is to drive the 12 km up to the Col de Joux Plane and park at the top.


The walk is signposted from the parking area on the right hand side of the road at the Col.


After a short, relatively flat (79m height gain) walk, or rather, stroll of 45 minutes, you'll arrive at the Mapellet cross and be rewarded with stunning views of the Giffre Valley, Mont Buet, the Aravis range and Mont Blanc.


It's also a popular launching point for paragliders.



En route you'll pass through a wide plateau where, according to our guidebook "in the past, cows were taken to the plateau on 15 August to fight. At the end of these combats, which only rarely caused serious injuries, the victorious cow was "enthroned" as queen of the herd. This tradition continues, and combats between queens are organised every year".




To return, you can either retrace your steps all the way or, at the Mapellet signpost, branch off to return via the Lac de Joux Plane; fishing is permitted in the lake and permits can be bought on site.


Once back at the Col de Joux Plane, the lovely Relais des Vallées, which is open summer and winter for lunch, dinner and drinks is well worth a visit. It's very popular so we'd recommend booking or at least popping in before you start your walk. The menu is quite short but the fondue is worth the trip up there itself.


The road is open as far as the parking in winter too, when the top of the Joux Plane is an extensive cross-country ski area with a dedicated toboggan run and snowshoe trails, including one to the Bourgoise. If you don't fancy the drive, there's a bus that runs from the tourist information office a couple of minutes walk from the chalet.


Our favourite time of year for this walk is Autumn; in the mornings the valley is often shrouded in mist but above the cloud there are clear blue skies and warm sunshine.





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