The Barmus loop trail : Snowshoe Passy
Winter Hike
The Barmus loop trail : Snowshoe Passy

The Barmus loop trail : Snowshoe Passy

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Enjoy the beautiful views all along this easy, varied and marked snowshoe hike
At the gates of the nature reserve of Passy, enjoy your walk with a view on the Mont-Blanc and discover the different birds wintering in this preserved environment.

6 points of interest

  • La Maison de la Réserve

    The exhibition an information office Maison de la Réserve naturelle de Passy is located in Plaine-Joux and welcomes you during the school holidays. The permanent exhibition about fauna, flora and landscapes will open the doors to the nature reserve. You may find answers to some of your questions here and can admire the wild species hidden in nature. If the Maison de la Réserve naturelle is closed, don’t worry, go up to the passageway. There is permanent free access to information about former (geological times) and present landscapes, the wonders of biodiversity and the great challenges of the mountains of the future (water, glaciers, global warming...).
  • Fauna

    The Nutcracker

    Thanks to its robust beak, this bird mainly feeds on seeds or nuts!

    In order to feed during the winter, it will collect the seeds of cembros or other pine-trees during the summer and hide them in the ground. By dispersing the seeds while transporting them, it participates in the forest regeneration process.
  • Fauna

    The Crested Tit

    It is a small forest passerine that often lives in the company of its congeners, such as the Black-capped Chickadee or the Willow Tit, because they like the same habitats.

    Its presence is linked to that of old trees, whether dead wood or aging trees, which are also called "senescent wood". It particularly appreciates softwood forests (spruces, pines and firs).

    It is a little bundle of energy, lively and in constantly in motion, easy to recognize by its crest. It feeds on small insects, larvae and spiders but also of conifer seeds.
  • Fauna

    Encounter with a wild animal, what to do?

    During the harsh winter conditions, animals have no other choice than trying to survive day after day. Our presence on their territory will obviously disturb them, and even frighten them; so let's try to minimize this disturbance:
    • Stop and wait quietly untill the animal goes away.
    • Do not shout or make sudden movements which would stress the animal even more.
    • Do not try to approach it nor follow it.
  • Fauna

    The Black Grouse

    Highly sensitive to any disturbance, it seeks for resting areas in the northern valleys during the winter. The Black Grouse saves its energy by limiting its activity. An icon of mountain fauna and a shy bird, it was called after the shape of its tail feathers, which are curved like a lyre!

    The male, or rooster, keeps its blue-black plumage in all seasons. The hen, which raises the broods on its own, has a less colorful and reddish-brown plumage, providing good camouflage and protection from predators. Homochromy is the word used for this protective coloring in animals that makes an individual visually become part of the landscape.
  • Fauna

    The Rock Ptarmigan

    This species, using mimicry, is able to transform its plumage according to the seasons, becoming visually part of the landscape. During the winter, its plumage is pure white; during the summer, it has brown and black spots on the top; in autumn it is grayish flaked with white on the top.
    Its name, which means "hare's foot", refers to its foot digits covered by fuzz in the winter!
    It is one of the most endangered bird species in the Alps.
    Every year the nature reserves of Haute-Savoie, in collaboration with "L'Observatoire des Galliformes de Montagne", carry out population monitoring in order study their evolution.


  1. From the chalet, head towards La maison des lutins and follow the children's tow rope, located on the right. Continue to the bottom of the ski lift le Blaireau. Immediately next to it you’ll find the start of the marked forest trail.
  2. Follow the trail which overlooks Lac Vert and then climbs to the Chalet d'Ayères refuge.
  3. Take, on the left of the refuge, the trail that goes up through the forest to the chalets Les Mollays.
  4. Cross the "village" and turn left after the last climb. Enter the forest, flat, until you cross the Arc-en-ciel ski lift and arrive at the Barmus chalets.
  5. Then go down to the station, along the slopes, on the left, staying within reserved area for snowshoes.
  • Departure : Maison de la Réserve naturelle de Passy (Plaine-Joux)
  • Arrival : Maison de la Réserve naturelle de Passy (Plaine-Joux)
  • Towns crossed : Passy

Altimetric profile

Sensitive areas

Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.
What do you want to do ?
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Impacted practices:
Aerial, , Land, Vertical
Sensitivity periods:
Asters - Conservatoire d'espaces naturels de Haute Savoie
Christelle BAKHACHE : 06 49 99 99 48


Warning : The conditions of the trails are subject to change, remember to inquire before leaving.

Always be careful and plan ahead when hiking. Asters, CEN 74 can not be held responsible for the occurrence of an accident or any inconvenience on this itinerary. Before leaving : - Check the weather conditions: adapt your equipment - Your hike on these marked trails is under your own responsibility - Walking times are estimations You are in a fragile environment: respect it Access to the trail is conditioned by weather conditions. For more information, contact the l’Office de Haute Montagne de Chamonix : +33 (0)4 50 53 22 08.

Information desks

Plaine-Joux, 74190 PASSY

04 50 90 23 07


The station is also served by bus line L85 (SAT Mont-Blanc).

Access and parking

Reach the Passy Plaine-Joux resort by road D43.
Parking at the entrance of the station.

Parking :

Parking Plaine-joux station


Emergency number :114

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: