autumn bisse hike in valais

Autumn Hike along the Bisse de Mont d’Orge & Siphon

When the beautiful autumn colours arrive in Valais there is one amazing hike you should not miss.

Close to Sion, the capital of Valais,  you will find the little area with a nature reserve and its little but very rich in wildlife lake – the  Mont D’Orge area.

Hiking the Bisse de Mont d’Orge and Siphon Bisse are perfectly combined in one beautiful loop hike on the magnificent Mont d’Orge hill. It offers a stunning view of the Rhône valley and the main focus point for sure is the city of Sion with Valère and Tourbillon castles at one point dominating the view.

kids hiking along the vineyards in Sion Monr d'Orge
Along the Bisse Mont d’Orge in Sion Valais

Where to start the hike Bisse de Mont d’Orge & Siphon Bisse

By the beautiful Mont d’Orge lake in Sion you will find a shady car park which is free of charge. I suggest before you start the bisse hike have a look around the lake first. It is small and can easily be combined with the Mont d’Orge Bisse. Or if you have smaller kids with you, maybe do not walk the full lake circle first but save the energy for the Bisse hike.

At the end of the car park you will find the dedicated yellow hiking signs guiding you at 1st down a rather steep path and away from the lake. Very quickly the views are opening up and the stunning panorama of Sion city and the Rhône valley is revealing itself in front of you.

Head down until you are within the vineyards and then take the narrow path to the right . You are now on the Bisse de Mont d’Orge.

NOTE: If you are hiking with little kids there are some areas where you may need to hold onto their hands. You will be hiking along the natural stone vineyard walls and some do have a 2m unsecured drop on one side. Personally I would suggest this hike for children age 5 and more.

Hiking along the Bisse de Mont d’Orge in Sion

Apart from the absolute amazing views all along this autumn hike in Valais you also will walk between the famous Valais vines and see large cactus plants. This shows how hot and dry the climate in Valais is, as these cactuses do very well along the Bisse de Mont D’Orge.

Furthermore,  the path will guide you through the vineyards of Mont D’Orge, which make this beautiful hike even more special. Information boards explain the different vines and grapes varieties.

The Bisse de Mont d’Orge (irrigation system) still carries water and is used for the vines along the path.

vineyards during the autumn months in Sion
See the path along the Bisse de Mont d’Orge

Changing to the Bisse de Siphon

The Bisse de Mont d’Orge ends when you reach a gravel road that leads up to a house. Follow this road until you get to another junction and on your right a steep path leads upwards. This is the trail that will eventually bring you to the Bisse de Siphon which for the last few years has not carried water.

Even though it was uphill for a quite a while, all the hard work will be rewarded with some spectacular Rhône Valley views. And because you are now walking towards Sion on an upper path, the beautiful view of the two castles Valère and Tourbillon will come back into sight again.

Take a moment and really picture this scene. Believe me it is gorgeous. The trail will come back down close to the start of the Bisse de Mont d’Orge and the path that will bring you back to the car park.

Alternative Option  Just before the trail comes back down to join the starting point, you have the option to hike up to the viewpoint of the Mont d’Orge hill. It is a bit of a scramble but the amazing views and the remains of the Castle of Mont d’Orge are well worth it. Not to be forgotten, at the western end of the hill top the beautiful statue of Notre-Dame de Mont d’Orge.  If you are heading to the top you would come back down a different path which leads directly to the Lac de Mont d’Orge.

statue of Notre-Dame de Mont d’Orge statue
statue of Notre-Dame de Mont d’Orge. Photo credit @ Alittlebitoutoffocus
girl hiking along the siphon bisse in sion
View from the Siphon Bisse back to the City of Sion

When Best to Hike the Bisse de Mont d’Orge

This is a hike which has its charm during any season, but we love it the most during the Autumn months (October – November). I would suggest to avoid harvest time as it may get too busy with all the workers that are gathering the grapes. If you hike it late afternoon the sun will be nicely shining on you which enhances the colours even more.

Should you hike the Bisse de Mont d’Orge during the winter months be careful when the temperatures have dropped. Although at the valley floor the trail can get icy.

an autumn photo of the castles Valère and Tourbillon in Sion
View over to the Castles Valère and Tourbillon in Sion

Lac de Mont d’Orge, Sion Valais

On the foot of the Mont d’Orge hill, lies this rich little lake which is the characteristic element of the site. Whether you like butterflies, dragonflies or any other creatures that love to live around a pond, there is an extraordinary diversity of them all. The Lac de Mont d’Orge is also home to Mallard ducks and is well known for the white-water lily (Nymphaea alba). The site is used for all kind of studies and schools often spend their nature classes around the lake.

If you have not yet admired the lake before the bisse hike, you may want to visit it now, as the car park is right there anyway.

If the Museum La Maison de la Nature is open during the day you are there, it would be well worth to enter. Often, they have some great interactive displays ideal for children.

As there is no restaurant close by best to bring a picnic, you will find a dedicated area next to the car park.

a small lake surrounded with its tress in full autumn colours , mont d'Orge
The beautiful Lac de Mont d’Orge, Valais Switzerland

Hiking Bisse de Mont d’Orge and Siphon Bisse Map, Sion Valais

How the map works: Click on “Learn More” to get to the full map layout with profile and interactive route indicator.
Note: I have not included the hike to the very top of the Mont d’Orge hill, but you can clearly see it on the map.

 

Hiking Facts

Location:: Sion Valais Switzerland
Length:: 4.4 km, The complete loop trail. Without the top
Level:: easy – hiked with kids of 5 years old. careful with younger kids, there are some drop-offs
Highest point:: 695 m
Ascent 119m / Descent 119m

Good to know

  • Free parking at Lac de Mont d’Orge
  • Not push chair friendly nor are bikes allowed on the trail.
  • Toilet facilities by the lake and the Nature Museum
  • Be careful when you hike it during the winter months as the path can get slippery.

You may also like these Articles of the Region

I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when planning your Autumn Hike along the Bisse de Mont d’Orge & Siphon Bisse
If I have left anything out or you have a question, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries also.

Thank you & Never Forget to Explore

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Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife and founder of Packed Again – a Swiss Family Travel & Adventure Blog. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.

It is outdoors where we feel the most connected and happy with each other.

The Blog will give you lots of information on Swiss Adventures & Beyond.

Never Forget to Explore!

Thank you Corina

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