The deers loop trail : snowshoe Les Houches
Winter Hike
The deers loop trail : snowshoe Les Houches
Les Houches

The deers loop trail : snowshoe Les Houches

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Winter loop in the heart of the forest, on the lookout for deer.
In the footsteps of large deer species, discover the secrets of the forest during the winter season.

4 points of interest

  • Fauna

    The Red Deer

    A herbivorous and ruminant animal, its food consists mainly of different kinds of grass depending on the season. During the winter, it survives mainly by using its reserves and eats only 2 to 3 kg of dry matter a day, unlike other seasons when it needs 10 kg of food per day.

    Its territory is much smaller during the winter when it stays in the forest and near villages to save its energy.

    The male loses its antlers in March and they grow back in May.

    The female of the deer: the doe, can be confused with the roe deer! This one is much finer (20-25 kg) and its antlers are much smaller.
  • At the gates of the nature reserve

    Above you is located the nature reserve of Carlaveyron. Protected since 1991, Carlaveyron offers a remarkable diversity of landscapes. At the bottom of the Diosaz gorges, the forest - by the diversity of its species – is similar to a real natural forest. Higher up, admire the amazing action of erosion.

    The topography has been shaped by an ancient glacier, and the melting process created its garden: lake, peat bogs...

    Observe wildlife and enjoy the peace and beauty of a protected area.
  • Flora

    Usnea barbata or Beard Moss

    This fruticose lichen which you can observe hanging on branches is commonly called "old man’s beard" or "beard moss". This medium or high altitude mountain plant grows in humid environments, and can be considered as an bio-indicator for clean air. It is especially present in quiet coniferous forests composed by firs, spruces, larches... It colonizes branches and trunks, growing very slowly and its longevity is exceptional. It constitutes a great food supply for deer and chamois when grass becomes scarce during winter. Find out about the many benefits of this wild plant!
  • Flora

    Spruce forest

    This forest dominated by spruces is an important item of the alpine landscapes. It can be of natural origin or from plantations, meant to protect the soil from erosion or for wood production.

    It is home to many species of birds such as Black woodpeckers or owls. The stumps and logs are also housing many saproxylophagous insects, that is to say insects which feed on dead wood.


  1. Reach the water point of Les Mouilles after a short steep climb
  2. Follow the trail, marked itinerary (purple snowshoe panel)
  3. Admire the viewpoint at Les Gouilles at an altitude of 1200m.
  4. On the way down, follow the same track for the last two turns.
  5. A very short steep climb leads to the water point of Les Mouilles
  • Departure : Parking "route de coupeau"
  • Arrival : Parking route de coupeau
  • Towns crossed : Les Houches

Altimetric profile


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. 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.

What to do when meeting a wild animal?

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 until 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.

Information desks

Pl. de la Mairie, 74310 Les houches

04 50 55 50 62


Train: Les Houches train station, then reach, by road, the loop of the deer, marked itinerary.

Access and parking

By car: Reach Les Houches-centre, exit N°27, at Parc Merlet. A parking plot is available at route du coupeau, in the second bend.

By train: Les Houches station

Parking :

Parking route de coupeau (second turn)


Emergency number :114

Report a problem or an error

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