Tseuzier Lake - A must family hike with little kids
The Valais has so much more to offer than Zermatt which is of course a must visit destination when in Switzerland. But most international tourists enter Valais from Interlaken and head straight to Zermatt. Followed by an overnight or maybe two and leave again with the Glacier Express up to St. Moritz. Voila the Valais is ticked. What a shame they have just missed hundreds of other great activities, hikes, and sightseeing areas which deserve as much love as Zermatt does.
I hope with this next stunning family friendly hike for little kids I can prove to you how right I am. And maybe you remember this post when you’re planning a trip to Switzerland. You can be sure it will be much quieter around Tseuzier Lake which is maybe just what you need.
Where is Tseuzier Lake 1776m
Tseuzier Lake or Lac de Tseuzier as it is called by the locals (as you're in the French speaking part of the Valais), is an artificial reservoir in the Canton of Valais created by the Rawyl dam.
Located in the municipalities of Ayent and Icogne up a long, interesting and windy mountain road. The journey up to the lake is an experience on its own as the road makes its way up the mountain whilst the scenery gets more dramatic by the minute. You will pass through tunnels still rough inside and super narrow. Just go slowly and try to enjoy the view as much as you can.
Closest large town is Sion, the Valais Capital, situated in the floor valley.
What to expect at Tseuzier Lake
Another great family friendly hike for little kids, especially if the young mountaineers in your group have already gained some experience in hiking.
It not only offers a great hike for little kids around the peaceful lake but also amazing views and picture-perfect mountain sceneries wherever you look. The imposing Col de Rawyl mountain range dominates the backdrop of this great family friendly hike whilst the front view beyond the dam is wide-open and an upper mountain station of Crans Montana can clearly be seen.
Some of Valais’ great 4000m peaks such as the Zinal-Rothorn, Dent Blanche and the Weisshorn are visible on the horizon.
There is no preference in which way to start your hike. Although the path is less steep if you do it anticlockwise. Cross the dam wall first and let the little ones throw some stones into the water, so it excites them already. On the far right-side of the lake, after you have crossed the dam, you will find some access to the shore. This makes a great place to have a picnic, play around and enjoy this peaceful place.
When you’re ready to start the hike simply follow the path around the lake. In some areas you need to take your children by the hand, not negotiable. But all in all, it is a safe hike. Passing through picturesque mountain meadows and colourful tree formations when visiting in autumn. Just before leaving the forest you will find a station with an encyclopaedia of the flowers and trees. A good place for the kids to have a little rest whilst you identify the flowers or trees around you especially when walking this hike during the summer months. The whole Valais offers a great variety of mountain flowers and so does this place.
Follow the path slightly uphill and listen out for the water cascading from the waterfall . During spring and summer there are actually two sources which create the waterfall, whilst in autumn and winter only one source flows.
There is a path down to the pool of the waterfall where you can cool down your feet if really needed or even have a swim, if you’re courageous enough. If you do not fancy to climb down to the waterfall you do not miss out, as the view from the viewing platform is lovely. A great panorama binocular is at your use which indicates the mountains visible in the distance.
From here the path descends through the forest and as the kids were getting a bit tired we needed some excitement for them. Nothing better than letting them find the hiking path markings and for each one they find a Smartie is the bribe/reward. (smile)
We're in luck, as further on you will pick up the Bisse de Sion (water irrigation system). When we visited in the middle of October the Bisse was not carrying any water which was the next great excitement for the children. They found it super amusing using it as their magic walkway. And honestly by that time they had been walking for two hours and anything that kept them going was fine with us.
This area was in the shade as of mid-afternoon, and the jackets were welcome. Remember to turn around occasionally and admire the view you’re walking away from.
I have to admit we were happy when we saw the end and even happier that the kids walked it all. With only 3 years and 3 months I believe this is quite an achievement. Even if it involved singing, and magical rocks which they talked to and got so excited that they walked to the next “talking rock” without any problems. It all helped! (Smile)
How to get to Tseuzier Lake
Car: From Sion follow signs for Anzère. At the village of Saint-Romain, at crossroads, leave the main road (which turns sharply to the left) and continue straight on, following the sign for “Barrage de Tseuzier”.
Bus: If you prefer to arrive with public transport you’re in luck. From Sion station take the postal bus to the dam. You need to change at St-Romain. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch
When you arrive by car there are different parking possibilities. One place is right before the dam. If this one is full, carry on and head about 100m along the lake on the left-hand side you will find some more places there.
If your little one’s legs are not yet strong enough to hike the full 4.6km, still visit this amazing place and have a picnic at the shore of the lake. Walk a little distance and turn around. We preferred the right-hand side, although it is a bit tricky in some places and kids may need to hold your hands. It is definitely a place where you can spend the whole day.
Take it easy on the road, as it gets quite windy and narrow in some places. Nothing to worry about, just go slowly. If you arrive with public transport make sure you know when the last bus is heading back down the mountain. It is a very long walk back to civilization!
Even on hot summer days, have a warm jacket in your backpack, you are hiking at 1776m.
Good to know
• Our twins were 3 years and 3 months old when they walked the family friendly hike for little kids at Tseuzier lake. Honestly, I was quite impressed and thought they may not make it.
• If you start your hike anticlockwise you will have less inclination on the hike.
• You can do the left-hand side of the lake with a pushchair until the little hut.
Fact: 4.6km roundtrip 80m elevation
You may also like these other activities in the area
- Easy Hike around Lake Sanetsch in Valais
- Swiss Altitude to 3300m with kids
- Nendaz Village - Why it is the best family resort in Valais
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