About Cascade de Berard
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 during our visit in May 2012.
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.
They pretty much towered over the trail to the Cascade de Berard as well as the handful of mountain chalets that we passed by in between.
Even on the drive to its trailhead, we were able to see Mont 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.
Cascade de Berard resides in the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc commune in the Hautes-Savoie department of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes province of France. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their local tourism board website.
We drove to Cascade de Berard 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.
It ceased to be an autoroute en route to town (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 with three countries seemingly converging on this spot.
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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