Morillon Les Esserts: Plateau de la Charniaz

Morillon Les Esserts: Plateau de la Charniaz

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Winter hike on the broad La Charniaz plateau between undergrowth and clearings.
Passing through woodland, the trail winds its way between several streams for a pleasant, easy walk (with almost no changes in elevation) with views over the entire valley.


  • morillon-les-esserts-plateau-de-la-charniaz

    Credit: Points d'intérêts du parcours - Asters-CEN74


4 points of interest

  • Fauna

    Keeping quiet in the mountains

    In the heart of this fragile natural environment, noise can be a nuisance to both wildlife and other visitors. People come here to rest and recuperate, to listen to the whistle of marmots, the call of a bird of prey or the trickle of a stream. Excessive noise can have harmful consequences for the reproduction and survival of wild animals, so it's important to minimise noise disturbance. It's our "playground", but it’s their home so let's adopt the right attitude!
  • Fauna

    The white-throated dipper

    The white-throated dipper is a small aquatic bird. It has dark brown plumage and a white chest. Its special feature is its ability to dive and swim underwater with its short, rounded wings to obtain food. The dipper nests in rocky crevices along watercourses. The presence of dogs (not kept on a leash) in its environment can be fatal for its chicks. If you listen carefully, you may be lucky enough to hear its melodious song!
  • Flora

    Spruce forest

    This predominantly coniferous forest (fir, spruce, pine and larch) is a key ecosystem in the Alpine landscape. Whether natural or artificially planted, spruce forests have two main functions: to protect soils from erosion and to produce wood. These forests are often threatened by human activities such as logging, agriculture and urban development. These threats generally lead to difficulties in regeneration, to mineralisation of the soil and loss of the microclimatic environment in the undergrowth. Stay on the existing trails to avoid creating new ones!
  • Lake

    A mountain stream, or a nant

    A nant is a term used to describe a mountain stream. This environment is very difficult for aquatic life. Here you will cross a maze of watercourses ( the Perrière stream, the Cuttaz brook and, further on, the Nant Taffon) that feeds the Giffre, a tributary of the Arve and a sub-tributary of the Rhône. The Giffre originates in the Sixt-Fer-à-cheval nature reserve.


From the Morillon 1100, the trail starts in front of the parking lot in Les Esserts village. Once you reach the Charniaz plateau, take the path to the forest edge on your right. The trail marked with “Domaine du Haut Giffre” signposts, crosses a forest and several streams. Back in a glade, go slightly uphill towards the Chalet de la Charniaz. On the plateau, you can see the Pic du Marcelly to the West and the Aouille du Criou to the East, two iconic peaks of the valley. To return, you can find the trail back on your left, where you'll take the initial path to go back to the parking area.
  • Departure : Morillon les Esserts
  • Arrival : Morillon les Esserts
  • Towns crossed : Morillon

Altimetric profile


Warning: The trail conditions 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 any accident or incident on this itinerary!!! Access to the trail is subject to weather conditions. For more information, contact the Tourist Office: Haut-Giffre Tourisme : 04 50 34 49 36


From Morillon village : Essert cable car. Free bus shuttles stop at several ski resorts :

Access and parking

Located on the D54 road at the entry to Les Esserts village, it is only a 10 minute drive from Morillon Village.

Parking :

Morillon 1100 parking area, Les Esserts

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