Cascade de Berard

Haute-Savoie / near Chamonix, Rhone-Alpes, France

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 2
At the top of Cascade de Berard

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Cascade de Berard was the lone waterfall on our France trip where we didn't get to see it properly after hiking to it.

That was because access to the viewpoint where we could be face-to-face with it was forbidden and blocked. So all we could do was settle for disappointing views of the waterfall from the bridge over its top. We were even able to see the viewpoint below us across the stream where we should've been. Unfortunately, it didn't appear we had a way of detouring there safely.

Yet despite this setback, we were able to enjoy some Alps scenery as the trail itself allowed us to get out and enjoy the beautiful snowy mountains that were surrounding us. Even as we hiked the 20-minute uphill trail, there were a pair of prominent peaks that constantly commanded our attention as they towered over the trail and the handful of mountain chalets we passed between.

Even on the drive to its trailhead, we were able to see Mt Blanc as well as the ski resort town of Chamonix along with its surrounding jagged peaks and glaciers.

Perhaps one of these days, we might be able to return here when the trail work is done. We did see a sign here that work is being done (since 2008) to improve access to that side.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

On the way to Cascade de Berard (not far from Cascade d'Arpenaz), we managed to get this view of Le Mont Blanc (The White Mountain), which was the highest point in FranceOn the way to Cascade de Berard (not far from Cascade d'Arpenaz), we managed to get this view of Le Mont Blanc (The White Mountain), which was the highest point in France
We spotted these jagged peaks near the town of Chamonix as we were traversing a col on the way to Cascade de BerardWe spotted these jagged peaks near the town of Chamonix as we were traversing a col on the way to Cascade de Berard
Immediately after visiting Cascade de Berard, we then headed straight for Yvoire, where we spent the afternoon there relaxing like these folks were doing by the shores of Lake GenevaImmediately after visiting Cascade de Berard, we then headed straight for Yvoire, where we spent the afternoon there relaxing like these folks were doing by the shores of Lake Geneva
Le Mont BlancLe Mont Blanc - the highest point in France

Within the town of Chamonix-Mont-BlancWithin the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

An impressive glacier near the town of Chamonix-Mont-BlancAn impressive glacier near the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

The car park at Le Buet Train StationThe car park at Le Buet Train Station

Starting on the trail just across from the roadStarting on the trail just across from the road

One of the scenic peaks watching over us as we hikedOne of the scenic peaks watching over us as we hiked

More pretty peaks looming above us and the trailMore pretty peaks looming above us and the trail

The trail goes between some attractive mountain chaletsThe trail goes between some attractive mountain chalets

The trail was still climbing beyond the mountain chaletsThe trail was still climbing beyond the mountain chalets

Looking back down the mountain towards the Swiss borderLooking back down the mountain towards the Swiss border

The trail starts becoming forested past the chaletsThe trail starts becoming forested past the chalets

Bridge and some structure above the fallsBridge and some structure above the falls

The barricade on the other side of the bridge blocking further progressThe barricade on the other side of the bridge blocking further progress

Looking over the top of the falls from the footbridgeLooking over the top of the falls from the footbridge

Looking down at the lookout where we wish we could've beenLooking down at the lookout where we wish we could've been


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Unsatisfying top down view from the footbridge above the top of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We drove here from Cascade d'Arpenaz along the autoroute A40. We followed this route towards Chamonix-Mt Blanc where the autoroute eventually became La Route Blanche (The White Route) as it approached Chamonix while ceasing to be an autoroute (note: we did NOT take the Mt Blanc tunnel crossing into Italy).

At that point, the road became D1506 due north (headed towards Martigny in Switzerland) going through a pass before descending towards a train station at Le Buet. This train station was where we could park the car and start the hike for Cascade de Berard, which started right across the road from the train station's car park.

The falls belongs to the Haute-Savoie department of the of the Rhône-Alpes region, and it is very close to the Swiss border. Meanwhile, the Chamonix-Mt Blanc town is very close to the Italian border. Indeed, being here felt like we were on the mountainous frontiers of eastern France.

For geographical context, Chamonix was 101km (around 90 minutes drive) east of Annecy, 82km (over 60 minutes drive) southeast of Geneva, and 223km (about 2.5 hours drive) east of Lyon. The city of Lyon was 466km or at least 4.5 hours by car from Paris. However, we used the very fast and efficient TGV (high speed train or le train a grande vitesse), which wound up taking around 3 hours to cover this stretch between the two major cities.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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