mountain dam lake view

Bisse de Chervé – Panoramic Hike in Nendaz

valaisclickable pin to safe about hiking bisse de Chervé in NendazWe love a panoramic hike in Valais with differing terrain and views that leave you speechless.

Another great panoramic hike in Nendaz Valais, our home terrain, is the accent Bisse de Chervé.

It is an old Bisse and it is not carrying water anymore, but this should not deter you from hiking this amazing path.

You will be rewarded with a diverse path which includes a chairlift ride and a nice lake to relax or rest a while.

For other hikes in Nendaz & the Valais check out our Swiss hiking Map.



Where is the Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz ?

This beautiful panoramic hike is at  Siviez – Tortin, in the region of Nendaz, Canton of Valais.

NOTE: On the Google Map the Chairlift Novelly to Combatseline is not marked. But I can assure you there is a chairlift. 🙂


Important Path info

You will arrive at a small wooden bridge (see photo above) and a little way after, the path splits. It is safer to follow the right path taking you around the rock. The left one brings you to a climb down section, which is manageable but it is easier to hike around the rock.

It is also here where you can clearly see on the stone wall on your left the ancient woodwork where the Bisse once carried much-needed water down the valley to water raspberries and apricot trees.

Siviez-Tortin is the access point to the 4 Vallées domain, whether it is for a summer hike or a winter ski day.

You need to drive all the way to the end of the valley to Siviez where you will reach a large car park and the lift system.

The Bisse can be hiked from different directions/starting points but we prefer to commence this panoramic hike in Nendaz with an easy chair lift ride up to Combatseline.

Reverse Hike

Alternatively, you could hike this Panoramic hike in Nendaz – the Bisse de Chervé, in the opposite direction as we describe it on here. Siviez car park – up to Cleuson Dam – up to the bisse and along to the chairlift Combatseline and a ride down. Or a hike down if you prefer. Our old knees combined with the kids enthusiasm at the end of a hike,  means we prefer a scenic ride down 🙂

Father and son standing at Bisse de Cherie looking down the Nendaz Valley
At the start of the Bisse de Chervé with Combatseline on the horizon.

What to expect from the Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz

By now, if you have read some of our hiking blogs you should know that we love a hike with a nice panorama.  Plus a path that has some character like water crossings, bridges, narrow goat trails and if possible a lake.

Well this is exactly what the Bisse de Chervé – Nendaz offers. Firstly, I need to inform you that this Bisse is no longer carrying water. You do see some old wooden structural features at one point along the path which clearly shows where the ancient Bisse de Chervé used to run, but this was a long time ago.

panoramic view along the bisse de Chervè
All what we love on a hike right here. Bisse de Chervé – Nendaz, Valais

It is not a difficult hike but in some places the path drops steeply to the valley floor.

After all, it is a red-white-red mountain path. On wet days or early in the season when melt water is cascading down and over the path it can get a bit slippery.

The whole pass is covered in rhododendrons – Alpen Rosen – plus  other beautiful Alpine flowers. If you’re hiking it in late summer, you’re in luck as dessert can be picked all along the path, Blueberries. These same bushes take on a magnificent red colour during the autumn.

photo collage showing a family hiking on bisse de Chervè in Nendaz
on the Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz

Let’s start the Hike – Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz

If you don’t feel like ascending the +500m altitude gain to start the Bisse, hop on the Novelly chairlift in Siviez and enjoy the ride up to Combatseline.

Don’t forget your jacket, even if it was super-hot at the car park, this chairlift always has quite a cold breeze.

At the top of the chairlift you will find a restaurant with a playground. Alternatively you could just pop up there, have lunch, enjoy the views and ride back down again. But let’s not do that and start this beautiful Panoramic hike in Nendaz-  Bisse de Chervé.

chickens playground at Combatseline in Nendaz
Top of the Novelly Chairlift at Combatseline 2240m

A clear sign guides you in the right direction towards the end high mountains with the valley floor on your right.

The path is quite narrow and unlike most bisses, has several up and down sections. Normally, we’re used to hike a Bisse (water irrigation system) that is pretty flat, but this one is a little different.

Always stop, turn around and admire the view behind you as well.  You will see all the way down the Nendaz Valley and over to the other side of the Valais.

When you look down and to the area that lays to the right, you are marvelling at the 4 Valleys ski domain.

Somewhere along the path Cleuson Dam with its lake will come into sight. It is a fun game to guess after which corner you will finally have this most amazing view through the Larch and forest trees, down to the turquoise water of the lake. You need patience, as surprisingly only after about a good hour’s hike this beautiful view can be admired.

Cleuson dam and like amongst forest trees and mountains
Finally after a good hours walk, this is your reward. Cleuson Lake

Half way…. Bisse de Chervé -Nendaz

Finally, you will get a glimpse of the lake and the sun’s reflection sparkles through the trees. Not long afterwards and you get a full view of the lake and the dam wall.

It is here where you will understand, why this particular hike is one of our favourites in our local region, Nendaz.

On your left you will encounter more and more small water streams which cross your path. Always a good place for a break and a play.

family crossing a hiking bridge
Bridge crossing on the Bisse de Chervé hike.

From this point onwards, you can pretty much at all times view Cleuson lake. The intense turquoise colour in the middle of this beautiful landscape will make you click away photos without stopping. I love it when there is still some snow on the mountains.

girl hiking along bisse de cherve with mountain lake
Along Bisse de Chervé just before we are hiking down to Cleuson lake

Short cut or longer way ? Bisse de Chervé

Below on our hiking map we show you option one. For 4km extra hiking you can complete option two.

Hiking option one

This time, the kids made the family decision and opted for the short cut. It guides you directly down to the beginning of the lake.

You can see a path heading down on your right leading straight to the lake. There is also a yellow pedestrian sign pointing down. For more help it is pretty much right after the photo above.

This is a place you might see some Marmots, and if you do not see them you will for sure hear their whistling.

It is fairly steep but it does shorten the hike by around an hour .

family hiking in the Valais Alps
Images along Bisse de Chervé with cut down on Hiking option one

Hiking option two

This panoramic path in Nendaz continues along the length of the lake, at the same height, until you reach a place called La Gouille. Here you are pretty much at the end of the lake and  now need to take the path to Siviez which is clearly signposted. You will walk back on a lower path all the way down to Cleuson Dam. It is 3.9km more than Option one, so count a good 1.15 hour extra.

There is the option to walk on either side of the lake back to the dam. Either stay on the larger path – on the right side of the lake – or hike down to the lake shore and join the barrage on the left side of the lake. You can see the left side lake path very well on this photo below.

gils sitting on stone viewing down to a mountain lake
View of Cleuson lake if you hike option two.

Final part of Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz

Once you have arrived at the lake you are no longer on the Bisse de Chervé.

As you cross the Barrage, or arrive from the leftside lake path, a visit to the chapel of St-Bartélémy is simply a must.

We always need to include a break at the lake shore to throw some stones. This is best done on the Chapel side of the dam wall. Where, depending on the water level, you will find some small beaches.

chapel next to mountain dam
Front view of Cleuson lake with Chapel and Dam

Note: this is a bit of an insider tip, there is the possibility to drive all the way up to the dam. But be careful as there are large water evacuation drainage canals crossing the road. Just in case you want to meet with family members at the dam that are not hiking.

To finish our Panoramic hike in Nendaz – Bisse de Chervé, we have again two options.

Hiking option one

kids sitting at mountain dam
beautiful view over Cleuson Lake

By the chapel there is a hiking sign guiding you down at the side of the dam wall. Half way down, the forest path is leading you to the left into the forest through beautiful Larches.

Golden coloured during the autumn months, a scene well worth to return and experience.

Follow all the way down to the car park in Siviez. And if you’re lucky you will see some wildlife on the way such as deer, marmots and maybe even a fox. For sure you will pass some of the local d’Hérens Cows before reaching the car park.

Hiking option two

Cross back over the dam wall and walk down the wide path all the way to Siviez. For us the less interesting option, but it is an option.

If you’re too tired you may also be able to get a lift down from visitors that drove up to the dam.


Suggestions & Tips

    • If it interests you, you can visit the inside of the Barrage (Dam). It is a one hour guided tour every Friday starting at 14h. For more information contact Nendaz Tourisme Office 
    • From the Barrage you have many more options for longer hiking trails. I will soon link some on here. In the mean time, of you have a question ask in the comments below. I am happy to answer where I can.
    • It is also a good place to Mountain bike and E-Mountain bike up to the barrage or even further to the Cabane de St.Laurent.

Hiking Map for the Bisse de Chervé in Nendaz

How the map works: Click on “Learn More” to get to the full map layout with profile and interactive route indicator.

NOTE: This map shows you route option one. The start is with the chairlift up to the start of the Bisse.

Hiking Facts

Location:: Siviez Tortin, Nendaz  Valais
Length:: 9.8 km inkl Chairlift, 7.6km walking from top of chairlift
Level:: easy – hiked with kids on their 5th Birthday
Highest point:: 2323m
Ascent 80m / Descent 595m (+ 500m Ascent with Chairlift)

Good to know

  • IMPORTANT, Before you are planning this hike and you plan to ride up to Combatseline, inform yourself with Nendaz Tourism if the Novelly Chairlift is running or not. 
  • There is the restaurant at Combatseline at the top of the Novelly Chairlift with a playground. Alternatively you also have the option of restaurants at the Siviez Car park.
  • Most of the time windy on the Chairlift
  • Toilets by the Siviez Car park at the ticket office
  • Not pushchair friendly
  • Easy hike but need to be foot-sure
  • Picnic places available but no grill stations on the Bisse.

You may also like some other activities in Nendaz or different family hikes in Valais.

These hikes below have an age rating for kids between 3-5 years of age. This is simply a recommendation by us. On each hike I have stated the age of our twins at the day of the hike.

I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when Hiking along this most beautiful Panoramic hike in Nendaz – Bisse de Chervé. If I have left anything out, 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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