Combe noire Waterfall
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Combe noire Waterfall
Les Contamines Montjoie

Combe noire Waterfall

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In the forest, along the waterside, and following history.
Along the water and through history, this forest trail immerses visitors in the atmosphere of mountain forests punctuated by the freshness of tumultuous torrents. A walk ending with a breathtaking view of the Combe Noire waterfall.

10 points of interest

The nature reserve

A few steps away from the true entrance to the nature reserve, a panel presenting the issues of this protected and regulated natural space.
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The roman route

More than a touristic itinerary, the roman route was one of the main ways of crossing the Alps during Antiquity!
Before the Roman invasion, Val-Montjoie was home to Ceutrons, a Celtic tribe practicing livestock breeding. For their cheese production, they imported salt from Moutiers via the Col du Bonhomme mountain pass. They participated in the establishment of these routes leading to Italy, which were taken by the Romans during the invasion of the Alps.
Observe the section of Rochassets, it was carved in the rocks in order to create a passage for the charriots!
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Notre Dame de la Gorge

To know everything about the history of the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge, and have a better visit afterwards.
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Flora

The bogs at la Rosière

On your left are located the bogs of La Rosière, but be careful, admire them from the trail because these are fragile habitats with high biodiversity!

Originating from the ice age, this wetland was first a depression eroded by the glacier in which the melting ice stagneted. It’s a paradise for carnivorous plants such as Alpine Butterwort or the Round-leaved Sundew...
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Flora

The round-leaf Sundew

It is a small carnivorous plant that lives in peat bogs, environments offering few nutrients. Don't worry, it feeds only on insects, which it traps and digests thanks to a sticky substance produced by the red hairs covering its leaves.

It is called "Rossolis or Sundew" because of the scintillation of this substance in the sunlight.

This species is fragile and protected, please do not touch it !
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Small patrimony

The roman bridge

Also called "Pont de la Téna", this structure dates back to Roman times! It is located on the ancient strategic route which made it than possible to reach the valley of la Tarentaise and Italy directly from Les Contamines.

This route, which has become the GR5 since, is a popular tourist destination.

The bridge overlooks the gorges of Bont Nant.

Admire the natural pools that the torrent has shaped slowly but surely!
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Hay meadows at la Laya

Once mowed and grazed, these natural meadows have slowly evolved into forest since all pastoral activity was abandoned. Shrubs and spruces have gradually colonized these old meadows. This encroachment of open habitats is threatening for certain species such as Golden Oats, appreciated by herds, or Alpine automn Colchic.
Since 2014, the Nature Reserve has carried out brush clearing and later season mowing in order to restore this environment for autumn grazing.
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Flora

The Alpine autumn Crocus

It's the end of summer... It's during this season that the Alpine autumn Crocus flowers. Its name refers to Colchis in Greece, the homeland to the enchantress Medea.

This plant contains a very toxic alkaloid: colchicine. According to alchemists, this substance, used in very low doses, would cure rheumatism and acute flares of gout.
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Fauna

The Sparrowhawk

Like a lightning, a silvery silhouette threads its way silently between the branches, accompanied by the alarm calls of tits and wrens... How lucky you are! You observed the Sparrowhawk!
This small diurnal bird of prey, is common but very discreet. It terrorizes passerines, an order including most songbirds, on which it feeds!

It is a predator using a special ‘surprising’ technic to hunt by flying as close as possible to the rock walls or hidden behind obstacles to startle its prey.
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Geology

The waterfall of Combe noire

Take a break on this bridge and enjoy the cool spray from the Combe Noire waterfall. Can you imagine that the glacier of Tré-la-Tête reached this exact location in 1870! Since then, it has lost a few hundred meters but you can still feel its presence through the torrential river which formed impressive sculptures called "giant's pots" by a deafening eroding process of the rock !
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Description

From the Notre-Dame de la Gorge car park:
  1. Cross the footbridge over the torrent to reach the track.
  2. Stay on the main track following the torrent upstream.
  3. Stay on the GR and take the ancient roman route which rises in front of you.
  4. Stay on the route and cross the "Pont romain".
  5. Turn left in the direction of "la Laya" - "Tré la tête".
  6. Turn left to access the Combe Noire waterfall.
  7. You have arrived. The return is by the same route.
Departure : Parking « Notre Dame de la Gorge », Les Contamines-Montjoie
Arrival : Parking Notre Dame de la Gorge, les Contamines Montjoie
Towns crossed : Les Contamines Montjoie

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

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.

Transport

Shuttles from the center of the village of Contamines-Montjoie (from the end of June to the beginning of September).

Access and parking

Go to Contamines-Montjoie (74170). Cross the village and stay on Route de Notre-Dame de la Gorge (D902) for 2 kilometers until you reach the large parking of Notre-Dame de la Gorge located on your right.

Parking :

Parking Notre Dame de la Gorge

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