Fall Colors · Lake · Views
This loop makes a great day hike to explore the hills and mountains above the charming town of Annecy. The climb is tough so come prepared for a challenge, but also know that you'll be rewarded for your efforts with two outstanding viewpoints from the summits of Mont Veyrier and Mont Baron. From these high points, you can survey the stunning blue waters of Annecy to the west and the snow-capped peaks of the heart of the French alps to the east.
Starting from the southeastern edge of town, you can find the start of this trail tucked alongside a hedge on the east side of the road that circles Lake Annecy. There are several public parking areas nearby, or if you are staying close-by you can hike the wide lakeside path to reach the start.
From the beginning, you are faced with a steep climb, as the wide trail climbs straight up toward the eastern hills of Annecy. You hike past houses on your left on a wide rocky path, but soon will start switchbacking through dense woods, climbing steeply up narrow and, at times, rocky singletrack trail. Most junctions are signed with signposts telling you the distance to key destinations although the trails are not named. You may spot occasional colored blazes painted on trees.
You'll continue the switchbacked climb for the first two miles until coming to the Col du Pre Vernet (here the road also comes quite close to the trail). Take the trail marked for Mont Veyrier, turning to the southeast and continuing your climb through the trees. You'll be climbing along a rocky, tree-covered ridgeline. At just over 2.5 miles, you'll reach the vista at Mont Veyrier. Enjoy the views of before continuing on for another 0.5 miles to the equally impressive summit at Mont Baron.
From Mont Veyrier and Mont Baron, you can survey the blue-green waters of Lake Annecy and the looming shoulders of Mont Semnoz to the west and the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the east. On clear days, you can often spot paragliders enjoying the breeze high above the lake.
From here, you could simply head back the way you came, but for a more adventurous outing, make the hike a loop by continuing on past Mont Baron and looping down and around through the woods to head back to your starting point. Theres is a pretty steep descent you'll have to navigate past Mont Baron, but take your time and after about a mile of hiking, the trails will mellow out a bit, allowing for a pleasant hike through the verdant landscape.
History & Background
Shared By: Kristen Arendt