Cascade de Berard

Haute-Savoie / Chamonix, Rhone-Alpes, France

About Cascade de Berard

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-05-20
Date last visited: 2012-05-20

Waterfall Latitude: 46.02003
Waterfall Longitude: 6.91575

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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.

Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_027_20120520 - Within the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_080_20120520 - An impressive glacier near the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_032_20120520 - The car park at Le Buet Train Station
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_034_20120520 - Starting on the trail just across from the road
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_039_20120520 - One of the scenic peaks watching over us as we hiked
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_041_20120520 - More pretty peaks looming above us and the trail
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_046_20120520 - The trail goes between some attractive mountain chalets
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_048_20120520 - The trail was still climbing beyond the mountain chalets
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_050_20120520 - Looking back down the mountain towards the Swiss border
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_053_20120520 - The trail starts becoming forested past the chalets
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_056_20120520 - Bridge and some structure above the falls
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_060_20120520 - The barricade on the other side of the bridge blocking further progress
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_061_20120520 - Looking over the top of the falls from the footbridge
Mt_Blanc_Chamonix_062_20120520 - Looking down at the lookout where we wish we could've been


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.

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

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Tagged with: haute-savoie, rhone-alpes, french alps, mt blanc, mont blanc, chamonix, france, waterfall, italy

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