A perfect dayhike in the Swiss Alps with spectacular views of snowy mountain tops, green valleys and lakes of the deepest blue. A steep climb is rewarded with the unforgettable view from the Fenêtre de Ferret overlooking the Italian valley and Alps near the Grand St. Bernard pass.
Fenêtre de Ferret trail
Trailhead: Les Ars Dessous (5,840 ft / 1.780 m)
Distance: 4.4 mi / 7,1 km round trip
Highest point: 8,851 ft / 2.698 m
Total elevation change: 6,000 ft / 1.836 m
Total time including breaks: about 5 hrs
Hiked: July 2016
Our base camp: La Fouly, Valais, Switserland
Our map: Carte Nationale de la Suisse, GD St-Bernard 1365
Basecamp La Fouly
The Fenêtre de Ferret (the window of Ferret) is a 8,851 ft / 2.698 m high mountain pass on the border of Switzerland and Italy, located in the canton of Wallis/Valais. The canton is bilingual, but in this area the main language is French.
I hiked this trail with my then 16 year old son in the summer of 2016. We flew to Geneva and made a 2 hours drive to the village of La Fouly, where we camped at the amazing Camping Des Glaciers. This campsite alone is worth a visit, as it is located at the end of the Glacier de l’A Neuve at 5,250 feet / 1.600 m.
A note for American hikers: like in most other European campsites, there are no picnic tables (or fireplaces) on campsites. So bringing lightweight camp chairs is a good idea.
La Fouly is a Tour du Mont Blanc hub and it can be a bit busy. Some tourist groups arrive with tour buses, but most people come walking all the way from Italy or France. And this creates a good athmosphere in the village.
La Fouly has a small grocery store and an outdoor shop next to one of the hotels. Be prepared that the shop is very expensive, as to be expected in such a remote village. The hotels offer rooms and dormitories. There is also a small restaurant in the village with good pizza’s.