Ovronnaz and up to Lac de Fully


Above: In search of Lac de Fully

Ovronnaz is a little ski station in the Valais region of Switzerland that has featured recently in the Tour de Suisse. It’s a beautiful and steep 10 kilometre climb.

Vineyards down low, south facing for plenty of sun on a cool November day, and dozens of amazing hairpins:

Hairpin Heaven

The profile above is only for the climb to Ovronnaz. It’s completely paved. But from there, I took a gravel road in search of Lac de Fully. It’s a high quality, unpaved road, initially through a forest and then along a ridge with views of the Valais plain below.

After a few easy kilometres the route turns up again. It’s a fun, traffic-free road, winding ever higher, with snowy peaks high overhead.

Approaching end of road

At approximately 1800 metres (marked on the map above) the road ends at L’Erie. There is a little parking lot and a hiking trail-head.

I realized I was still along way from the lakes, but decided to continue on the hiking trail – see top photo. It is mainly ride-able but with the wet and some snow ….. and some vertiginous narrow ledges looking straight down to the valley far below … I walked much of the route.

But thoroughly enjoyed myself, as did my bike:

Suddenly, my bike sees something off to the left

After a few kilometres, at just over 2100 metres, I turned a corner and looked into a completely snow filled valley and caught site of Lac de Fully Inferieur below. There is a larger dam / lake higher up to the right, Lac de Fully Superieur, but there was too much snow to continue.

Lac de Fully inferieur is frozen

As best I can tell, there is no road up to these lakes, one stops a little below and then there is a small cable-car thing. I did see some huts being resupplied a several times by a helicopter.

I considered descending and looking for a trail down, but given the snow, the shortage of daylight, and my tired legs, I decided to just due an about face and return back the way I came.

All-in-all a great mid-November adventure up high. Maybe I’ll return next summer and try to get to the bigger lake.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. It’s great to see that you made it up to the lake in November!
    I rode in this area in the summer on my MTB. Starting in Martigny, I went via Euloz and Chiboz, then joined your route up to Lac de Fully. I went past both lakes and even made it over Col du Fenestral, from where you can descend to Ovronnaz past the ski lifts. Unfortunately, I had to push the bike for a fair portion of the section after leaving Lac de Fully Inferior, both on the way up and down Col de Fenestral. Once I got into the region of the ski lifts above Ovronnaz, at about 2000 metres, there were good trails and roads, but until then it was really rough going.
    After getting to Ovronnaz, I started climbing again and made it over Col de la Forcla and finally down to Derborence. However, I definitely don’t recommend trying that – there was WAY too much pushing and carrying the bike (basically all of the section above 2000 metres on both sides IIRC).

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