Why we changed from a planned easy family walk to quite a strenuous alpine hike in Grimentz – Zinal !
That day we camped in Grimentz and the plan was to drive over to the Zinaltal (Valley) in Val D’Anniviers to get an idea for a future visit followed by a small family stroll to a waterfall.
When we got there, the nature with its many ragged mountains has awoken our hiking lust.
With our target waterfall in sight we started our walk. The closer we got to our destination, the more the valley opened up and our (my) curiosity of what lays behind the next ridge was simply too strong to resist.
And somehow, I managed to guide the whole family all the way up to the cute Cabane du petit Mountet overlooking the Zinal Glacier.
Where is Grimentz-Zinal in Val D’Anniviers?
Val d’Anniviers is one of the many valleys calling the Valais their home.
Val d’Anniviers starts in Sierre and makes its way up into the high mountains. Near the end it splits again into two smaller valleys – the Val de Moiry in the west – and the Zinaltal to the east.
The resort of Zinal is nestled at the end of Val d’Anniviers and is a climbers, alpine lovers and mountaineer’s paradise.
Surrounded by the highest mountains of the Swiss Alps, also named the “Grand Couronne des Alpes” (Great Alpine Crown) it is a place for all those who love nature at its purest.
For this of you who are impressed like we are with the Swiss 4000m peaks here are the names of some of the peaks which make up the Grand Couronne. The Zinalrothorn, is the one that you see straight in front of you as you approach the area. It also includes the Weisshorn, Bishorn Obergabelhorn, Matterhorn and Dent Blanche.
But it’s not all about scaling the big peaks. Hiking in Grimentz-Zinal also offers amazing family hikes. Some easier, some more strenuous, like hiking to the Cabane du Petit Mountet.
As you drive along the Zinaltal, numerous waterfalls are cascading down from the high surrounding mountain peaks. A real spectacle and the kids had fun spotting the biggest and highest one. I maybe have to add that this was in May and therefore the waterfalls where carrying a lot of meltwater.
At the end of the Valley is a big carpark and a large open space with the Zinalrothorn looking over it. Just stunning.
Below you will find a map with the directions to Grimentz-Zinal and some sightseeing stops you may want to include when driving up the Val d’Anniviers.
What to expect when…
Hiking in Grimentz-Zinal to the Cabane du Petit Mountet
When you park your car at the end of Zinaltal, there are numerous options for hikes and walks. And if you do not have a plan like we did, it is quite overwhelming on which one to take.
Walk the simple flat loop alongside the river which starts and finishes at the car park. Easy, flat and pushchair friendly. The kids could throw some stones into the river, build some cairns (rock piles) and just simply have a good time.
Do like we did and just go and explore the mountains. Just before the historical area “Le Vichiesso” you can now follow the signs saying “Cabane du Petit Mountet.” Below you will find more about this hike
Walk alongside the river and up to an area known as “Le Vichiesso”. It is a bit like an outdoors museum telling the story of how in earlier years people organized the alps and their alpine cheese making. On request you can visit a tsigière (chalet in an alpine pasture) reconstructed in the traditional style and its cheese storeroom. In an unenclosed part of the cave, next to the cheese storeroom, you can see the large pan in which the cheese was made. Further up and still intact is a pig cave built for shelter for the night and from bad weather.
Of course, Hiking in Grimentz-Zinal is not just these three options. This is just if you are driving to the end of Zinaltal and wondered what you could do from there.
Hiking to the Cabane du Petit Mountet
For us what made this hike special, was that after passing the “Le Vichiesso” Cheese making area, we were surrounded by this beautiful snow and ice covered Mountain Crown with its 4000m peaks.
And knowing up there somewhere is the Cabane du Petit Mountet made it super special.
The hike was steep, but we found a good rhythm. With the many water streams, man-made bridges to cross, and even a section where there were some chains to hold on, it made it fun and interesting.
Ah, and not to forget the view, even the kids stopped often and marveled at the massive icefields high above us in the distance.
We finally came out of the steep forested part, and found ourselves on a beautiful straight plateau with a stream running through. Perfect to fill up our empty water bottles. 🙂
And then the surprise…. We spotted the Cabane du Petit Mountet, (you can see it on one of the photos, Lucas is even pointing to it) but it was high up on a ridge. Which meant for us, another steep gravely path to overcome.
That was quite a tough one, and to be honest with you, to motivate the kids we needed some magic….
But as always, we made it and the reward was priceless. Standing once more so close to a Swiss Glacier, the Zinal Glacier, was special and to see the large ice caves within the glacier made us curious.
We found out that Hiking in Grimentz-Zinal is not only possible during the summer but also during the winter time. You can book a guided snow shoe tour to visit these massive glacial ice caves.
An adventure we will have to investigate a bit more and see if this is possible with the kids.
Suggestions & Tips
- When you are hiking in Grimentz -Zinal to the Cabane du Petit Mountet you also have the option to sleep up there.
Unfortunately, we hiked during Covid-19-season and the Cabane was closed. It might also have still been closed as it was still early in the hiking season. So better check with Grimentz-Zinal tourism or with the Cabane du Petit Mountet directly whether an overnight is possible.
- We also saw some mountain bikers, so there must be a route up there if this would be your preferred activity. Again check with Tourism as they have plenty of maps for you.
Hiking Map to Cabane du petit Mountet in Zinal
How the map works: Click on “Learn More” to get to the full map layout with profile and interactive route indicator.
Location:: Val d’Anniviers, Zinal – Cabane du Petit Mountet
Length:: 10.3 km
Level:: medium (hiked with kids age nearly 5)
Highest point:: 2175m
Ascension 608m / Descent 608m
Good to know
- If Cabane is open refreshments are available
- Not pushchair friendly
- Mountainbike path available, please check with Grimentz-Zinal tourism direct.
- Steep on some places, keep your kids close by.
- Alternative route, slightly longer in time but less steep. You can see it on the map. The path is on the right looking at the map.
You may also like the following 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.
- Ferpècle: A stroll or bike ride to the Mont-Miné Glacier, Valais
- Lötschental Panorama Hike
- Hiking to Lac de Salanfe with Kids
- 12 Easy Family Hikes in Valais
- Family walk in Crans Montana – Bisse des Miriouges
- Activities for Families In Nendaz – Tracouet Station Lac Noir
- A Family Hike at La Grande Dixence Dam
- Easy Hike around Lake Sanetsch
- Tseuzier Lake – Best family friendly hike with little kids
I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when Hiking in Grimentz-Zinal, To the Cabane du Petit Mountet.
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.