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Champex to Trient via Alp Bovine

· 2 reviews · Hiking trail · Switzerland
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    Photo: Minna Harshbarger, Macs Adventure
m 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Alpage de Bovine Col de la Forclaz Trient Glacier Plan de l'Au

This is the easier of the two options from Champex to Trient with a moderate climb to Alp Bovine via Col de la Forclaz and onto Trient. If you prefer a tougher option via the Fenêtre d'Arpette please see the separate route 'Champex to Trient via Fenêtre d'Arpette'.

Distance 17.5 km
5:42 h
768 m
946 m
The official route goes via Alp Bovine, a splendid walk through pine and larch forests interspersed with alpine meadows and wonderful views down the Rhône Valley, before continuing onto Trient. 
Profile picture of Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Update: February 12, 2020
Highest point
2,049 m
Lowest point
1,280 m

Rest Stop

Col de la Forclaz

Safety information

Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains - always be prepared and carry appropriate clothing; warm as well as waterproof layers, hat and gloves etc. Please see your information pack for a detailed packing list.

Tips and hints

***If you have been booked into a hotel in Martigny you will be required to catch a bus at the end of your walking day, see your itinerary document for more details.

Points of Interest

Bisse du Trient

After passing Café du Glacier the trail continues along a well-made gravel path with a gradual decline. During the last decade of the 18th century this was a railway line constructed to bring ice from the glacier to the Forclaz Pass, and from there distributed across Europe to destinations such as Paris. At the peak, 20 – 30 tonnes of ice were exported daily. A small irrigation ‘bisse’ runs beside the path sometimes in a ditch and other times on an elevated wooden channel. 

Trient Glacier

The Trient Glacier is 4.3km long and covers an area of nearly 6km2, and can be split up into the upper section or ‘plateau’ where the ice is 100–150 metres deep, and the ‘tongue’ which extends into the valley, nearly 1,200 metres lower in elevation. During summer meltwater from the glacier feeds the Trient River.

Food and Drink

Between Champex and Trient there are few opportunities to buy food or drink so be sure to bring enough provisions with you.

You will pass Bovine Alp  and Col de la Forclaz where refreshments are available 


Champex (1,467 m)
2'575'104E 1'097'621N
46.029668, 7.117123
46°01'46.8"N 7°07'01.6"E
32T 354283 5099067



Turn-by-turn directions

 Walk up the road leading out of Champex, passing the campsite on your right-hand side and the La Breya chairlift on the left. Bear left at the junction on to a minor road which will take you passed Gite Bon Abri (in 20min time). 

When the road forks, bear right to descend to a lower road at a four-way junction. Turn left and soon pass the string of chalets at Champex d'en Bas in another 15min. Cross a meadow and once on the other side turn left on a track with a sign for Plan de l'Au and Bovine. The path will lead you through woodland and on to a paved road. Turn left to reach the farm buildings of Plan de l'Au, admire the views into the Rhone valley. 

Follow the ascending dirt path, which curves left at a gateway and narrows to a footpath. The trail now climbs into the wooded combe of La Jure. There are several streams to cross, as you ascend the vegetation changes and high above admire the craggy ridge which links the Clochers d'Arpette with Le Genepi. Alp Bovine comes into sight, it is a working dairy farm which also provides refreshments to hikers.  

The trail ascents only another 50 m to reach Collet Portalo, enjoy the last view back to the Grand Combin before descending through pleasant woodland to Col de la Forclaz

Emerge from the woodland at Col de la Forclaz, continue descending to reach Trient


all notes on protected areas


2'575'104E 1'097'621N
46.029668, 7.117123
46°01'46.8"N 7°07'01.6"E
32T 354283 5099067
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Such is the way of Alpine hiking that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Kiki Sayre
August 27, 2018 · Community
Raining on our 8/22 descent from Col de la Forclaz to Trient. While the Kev Reynolds book makes much of staying on trail to Trient and not dropping into Le Peuty, we would have been better off going to Le Peuty, then walking the road. Our trail was rerouted due to a small landslide and put us on a very steep grassy meadow that was very slippery and had me on my derrière in the mud!
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Photo: Kiki Sayre, Community
Kate Frewin
July 23, 2018 · Community
Beautiful walk and not as challenging as the walk to Les Champex. There are no atms in Trient and nothing opens before 3 so bring your Francs (and something to eat if you plan to get in early)
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Photos from others


17.5 km
5:42 h
768 m
946 m


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