Cascade de Flumen

Jura, Burgogne-Franche-Comte, France

About Cascade de Flumen

Hiking Distance: 2km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2012-05-22
Date last visited: 2012-05-22

Waterfall Latitude: 46.3581
Waterfall Longitude: 5.89621

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Cascade de Flumen was the last waterfall we visited on our 2012 France trip.

It was certainly one of the more obscure ones because it probably wouldn’t have had an obvious trail (or even be found) had a hydroelectric facility not been here.

Flumen_Gorge_016_20120522 - Cascade de Flumen in a swollen state
Cascade de Flumen in a swollen state

It sat at the bottom of the head of the Flumen Gorge where we saw three misty waterfalls (each probably at least 30m tall) gushing in parallel.

It was difficult to take a photo encompassing all three waterfalls, but then again we might have been here in flood.

During our visit, we witnessed parts of the trail being inundated by the swollen stream, and the quantity of spray from the falls blasted pretty much everything around it.

Perhaps what made the Cascade de Flumen that much more intriguing was that there were other waterfalls (each with different names) further up the gorge.

Flumen_Gorge_038_20120522 - Chapeau de Gendarme, which was one of the waterfalls further upstream of the Cascade de Flumen
Chapeau de Gendarme, which was one of the waterfalls further upstream of the Cascade de Flumen

We managed to experience a few of these while driving the twisty D436 road between Saint-Claude and Septmoncel.

I believe all of these roadside waterfalls along this stretch of road fed into the stream responsible for Cascade de Flumen.

Walking to the Cascade de Flumen

We managed to take a trail from a hydroelectric facility near Le Martinet (an outskirt of the cliff-hugging town of Saint-Claude; see directions below).

Even though the sign indicated it was only 20 minutes walk along the Flumen Stream to the waterfall, it definitely felt much longer than that.

Flumen_Gorge_007_20120522 - Julie on the trail along the creek leading up to the Cascade de Flumen
Julie on the trail along the creek leading up to the Cascade de Flumen

The trail along most of the Flumen Stream was mostly flat and it looked like it used to be an old unsealed road.

Signs pointed the way to the Cascade de Flumen when there were trail junctions (except for maybe one junction where a trail went up but didn’t indicate where it was going).

In any case, it seemed like the road was there for hydroelectric purposes as it led to some bridge with some hydroelectric structures right on the stream.

When the trail reached that hydro-looking bridge, a smaller more narrower foot trail continued along the Flumen Stream to the right.

Flumen_Gorge_014_20120522 - Looking towards the flooded section of the lower trail leading to the Cascade de Flumen
Looking towards the flooded section of the lower trail leading to the Cascade de Flumen

Typically, that trail would’ve led us right to the Cascade de Flumen, but given the flooded conditions that the Flumen Stream was in during our visit, the trail was actually inundated and not safely passable.

This was the kind of situation that could’ve easily resulted in getting swept away by the stream had we persisted on the lower trail.

Fortunately, there was an alternate trail that went up then closer to the waterfall before steeply descending to an elevated bank of the creek in front of the waterfalls (thus bypassing the dangerous flooded section).

And after having a difficult time trying to take photos without damaging our gear and not getting too soaked, we were back at the car after a little over an hour away from it.


Cascade de Flumen resides near Saint-Claude in the Jura department of the Burgogne-Franche-Comte province of France. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their tourism board website.

Flumen_Gorge_004_20120522 - Even the car park for the trail to Cascade de Flumen was flooded
Flumen_Gorge_009_20120522 - The trail to Cascade de Flumen mostly parallels the Flumen Stream
Flumen_Gorge_011_20120522 - The hydro-looking bridge seen along the trail to the Cascade de Flumen
Flumen_Gorge_013_20120522 - A split in the trail to the Cascade de Flumen, where we could take the lower trail on the left or the elevated trail on the right
Flumen_Gorge_021_20120522 - Part of La Cascade de Flumen after having descended right in front of it, but the mist was so intense that water was all over the lens by the time this photo was taken
Flumen_Gorge_017_20120522 - The third waterfall of Cascade de Flumen was hiding behind the foliage on the far right in this photo
Flumen_Gorge_024_20120522 - After having our fill of the Cascade de Flumen, Julie headed back to the car along the same trail we came in from
Flumen_Gorge_025_20120522 - Saut du Chien ('Leap of the Dog') - one of the named waterfalls we saw along the D436 further upstream from the Cascade de Flumen
Flumen_Gorge_032_20120522 - Looking back at the panorama towards Saint-Claude from the Saut du Chien pullout
Flumen_Gorge_036_20120522 - This was the Chapeau de Gendarme, which was another one of the waterfalls that we saw along the D436 further upstream of the Cascade de Flumen (suggesting it also feeds that waterfall)

We’ll describe the driving directions from the nearby town of St Claude.

From the town of St Claude, take the D436 towards Geneva.

There will be a turnoff on the right down a decline towards the hamlet of Le Martinet (Road D290 or the Route du Martinet), which you take.

After a few minutes on this road, be on the lookout for a small sign on the side of a building indicating Cascade de Flumen on your left.

Flumen_Gorge_003_20120522 - The hydroelectric facility by the trailhead for the Cascade de Flumen
The hydroelectric facility by the trailhead for the Cascade de Flumen

That sign will lead you on a very narrow (practically single-lane) unpaved road with a few ruts and potholes towards its end where there’s a hydroelectric building and room for a few vehicles.

The trail begins behind the barricade next to the parking space. and heads in the upstream direction.

The trailhead was about a 90-minute drive away from Prévessin-Moëns (and slightly longer to Geneva).

The waterfall itself belongs to the Jura Department of the Franche-Comté region (also known as le pays qui respire or the country that breathes given the region’s laid-back and very “un-French-like” personality).

For geographical context, St Claude was 83km (90 minutes drive) northwest of Geneva and 128km (over 90 minutes drive) northeast 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.

Find A Place To Stay

Left to right sweep of all three waterfalls though the mist did wet the camera towards the end

Fixated on one of the named waterfalls (Chapeau de Gendarme, I believe) that feeds Cascade de Flumen further down in the Flumen Gorge

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: jura, franche-comte, flumen, france, waterfall, geneva, prevessin, martinet, st claude, saint claude, burgogne-franche-comte

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.