Jovet lacs loop trail
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Jovet lacs loop trail
Les Contamines-Montjoie

Jovet lacs loop trail

Fauna
Pastoralism
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Discover the crystal-clear waters of the Jovet lakes.
Between forests, mountain pastures and the rocky cliffs where the large low-lying lake nestles, you'll discover a dazzling array of natural environments.

16 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.
  • The Roman roads

    More than just a tourist attraction, the Roman roads were one of the main routes used to cross the Alps in ancient times! Before the Roman invasion, the Ceutrones, a Celtic tribe who farmed livestock, inhabited the Val-Montjoie. To make cheese, they used salt mined at Moutiers via the Col du Bonhomme. They were involved in building roads to Italy. These roads were taken over by the Romans when they invaded the Alps. Take a look at the Rochassets pass: it was carved out of the rock to allow chariots to pass through!
  • Notre Dame de la Gorge

    Find out everything you need to know about the history of the Notre Dame de la Gorge church, so that you can make the most of your visit later on.
  • Flora

    Rosière boglands

    On your left are the Rosière boglands, but be careful to only admire them while walking along the path, as they are fragile environments and hidden treasures of biodiversity! Tracing its origins from the Ice Age, this boggy area is the result of a glacier erosion which caused water to stagnate. This is the kingdom of carnivorous plants such as the Alpine cattail or the round-leaved sundew...
  • Flora

    The round-leaf Sundew

    It is a small carnivorous plant that lives in low-nutrient peat bogs. Don't worry, it only feeds on insects, which it attracts and digests using a viscous substance produced by the red bristles that cover its leaves. It is also known as " Rossolis or Sundew " because the substance sparkles when exposed to light. This species is fragile and protected, please do not touch it!
  • Small patrimony

    The Roman bridge

    Also known as the "Téna Bridge", this structure dates back to Roman times! It is located on the strategic route used at that time to reach the Tarentaise valley and Italy from Les Contamines. This route, which has since become the famous long-distance GR5 hiking trail, is a popular tourist attraction. The bridge overlooks the gorges of Bont nant. Marvel at the pools of water that the waterstream has sculpted over the years!
  • Refuge

    The mountain refuge of Nant Borrant

    This classic mountain refuge dates back to the 1800s. In 1842, the municipality of Les Contamines gave permission to build an inn here. It was known as the " Mountain Hotel " until 1976. With the development of the " Mont Blanc Tour " long-distance hiking trail, it became a refuge. However, ever since its creation, it has always been in the hands of the same family! It is open from June to the end of September. The Nant Borrant refuge is at the gateway to the nature reserve that begins just beyond the stream...
  • Fauna

    The Stoat, a mountain chameleon

    White in winter and with brown backs and beige bellies in summer, stoats have black tail tips all year round. Often confused with the common weasel, the stoat differs in size. It is larger (17 to 33 cm) and has a two-coloured tail. A carnivore, its favourite prey are voles. Stoats are vivacious and playful. The Stoat often moves in leaps of up to 50 centimetres in height, covering great distances for its size of up to 15 km.
  • The mountain pasture

    Alpine pastures are a landscape that have been shaped by humans since prehistoric times, during the Neolithic period, when livestock farming was first practised. Had it not been for the grazing of domestic animals at this altitude, the area would have been occupied by a few species of bush accompanied by few animal species. The mountain pasture is a rare example where human activity generates a biodiversity of animal and plant species that is more prolific than what would be produced by the natural evolution of the environment. Many species of plants, birds, invertebrates, mammals, etc. can be found here.
  • Cow mountains

    How can you tell which breeds of mountain cow can be found here? The Abondance breed originates from the village of the same name in the Chablais region of Haute-Savoie. It can be recognised by its distinctive mahogany coat and white head and belly. The 'Herens' cow comes from Valais in Switzerland. They are bulkier, with a single-coloured coat that is often black, sometimes dark red or chestnut. Its provocative, aggressive behaviour is used in the traditional "battle of the queens" in the 3 countries around Mont Blanc. But rest assured, no animals are harmed in such contests!
  • Refuge

    The mountain refuge of la Balme

    Situated at the foot of the Aiguilles de la Pennaz (2668 m) as part of the Mont-Blanc tour, this refuge has a strong heritage of family tradition. Three generations have welcomed hikers here. This former farmhouse is surrounded by mountain pastures that are still cultivated by mountain farmers. Just look at the height of the roof and little will be left to imagination; during winter, the only thing sticking out of the snow is the chimney! This refuge is open from June to September
  • Flora

    Habitat restoration

    The areas of habitat suitable for the Lyre Grouse are also suitable for pastures because of their biological richness. The presence of small herds used to be an effective way of maintaining these habitats: it was a two-way street beneficial relationship. When mountain farming was abandoned, this fragile balance broke down. Since 2014, the Nature Reserve has been clearing vegetation to artificially substitute grazing previously done by domestic animals, thereby restoring the natural habitat that supports the reproduction of this galliform.
  • Livestock guardian dogs 

    These are guardian dogs, so their use is permitted in nature reserves. They are there to defend sheep and lambs from attacks by large predators, such as wolves. Often large in size, these dogs, known as "molossoids", dedicate their lives to protecting the livestock to which they are deeply attached. When approaching the herd, it is important to remain aware of their attitude and to adapt to it, while following simple instructions: - Keep your distance from the herd (go around it if possible) - Call out loudly to the herds and dogs to avoid surprising them - Stay calm and avoid sudden movements, keep walking without running. Don't hesitate to speak softly to them so that they get used to you and accept your presence. - Avoid looking dogs in the eyes and try to ensure that you always have an object or an obstacle between you and the dog.
  • Fauna

    The White-throated Dipper

    Also known as the Water Robin, because it looks like a robin with its brown plumage and white bib, this species does not belong to the same family! The dipper has a surprising characteristic: it can dive or walk underwater, even against the current, in search of food. Although not particularly shy, the dipper is sensitive to disturbances. Summertime visits to waterways by hikers or their dogs are often fatal to the species. This is the reason why dogs must be kept on a leash in nature reserves.
  • Fauna

    The wolf

    Wolves have been making a comeback in France on their own since the 1990s. Originating in Italy, the species first colonised the southern Alps, then the entire Alpine region. Since the summer of 2019, its presence has been confirmed in some of the Haute-Savoie nature reserves, which is why guard dogs are kept around several herds. The wolf is a carnivore. It feeds mainly on wild animals such as chamois and roe deer. But it can also eat sheep, especially when the herds are not guarded. To avoid interfering with the dogs' duties, please follow the instructions!
  • "Sentinel" lakes

    Since 2013, a research programme has been uniting researchers, protected area managers and locals in the "Sentinel Lakes" network, to help preserve high-altitude lakes. Alpine lakes, as rich and fragile ecosystems, bear witness to past and present changes in the climate, the natural environment and human activities... They are like lookouts, unrelenting and ever vigilant watchers. Every year, chemical and physical analyses (temperature, transparency, etc.) are carried out in this network of lakes, Lake Jovet being one of them.

Description

From the Notre-Dame de la Gorge car park: Cross the footbridge over the stream to join the itinerary. Stay on the main route that goes upstream on your right. Stay on the GR and take the Roman road that stretches out in front of you. Stay on the route and cross the Roman bridge. At the crossroads, take the left-hand path towards the Col du Bonhomme. At the crossroads, turn left towards "Lacs Jovet". You are now at "Lac Jovet". Walk around the lake in any direction you please. Return 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


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.
Impacted practices:
Aerial, , Land, Vertical
Contact:
Asters - Conservatoire d'espaces naturels de Haute-Savoie
contact@cen-haute-savoie.org

Black grouse - winter

Impacted practices:
, Land
Sensitivity periods:
JanFebMarAprDec
Contact:

Black grouse - winter

Impacted practices:
, Land
Sensitivity periods:
JanFebMarAprDec
Contact:

Recommandations

Always exercise caution and plan ahead when hiking. Asters, CEN 74 cannot be held responsible for any accident or incident that may occur on this trail.

Transport

Bus shuttles depart from Les Contamines-Montjoie village centre (from late June to early September).

Access and parking

Reach Les Contamines-Montjoie (74170). Drive through the village and stay on the road to Notre-Dame de la Gorge (D902) for 2 kilometres until the road ends at the large Notre-Dame de la Gorge car park on your right.

Parking :

Parking Notre Dame de la Gorge

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: