Grande Cascade de Tendon

Vosges / Epinal, Grand Est (Lorraine), France

About Grande Cascade de Tendon


Hiking Distance: 300m round trip
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2018-06-20
Date last visited: 2018-06-20

Waterfall Latitude: 48.0992
Waterfall Longitude: 6.69774

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True to its name, the Grande Cascade de Tendon was the larger of two waterfalls in relatively close proximity to each other in Northeastern France.

This particular waterfall featured a cumulative drop of about 32m (I’ve also seen it said to be 50m), which was enough to proclaim this to be the highest waterfall in the Vosges Department.

Cascade_de_Tendon_019_06192018 - The Grande Cascade de Tendon
The Grande Cascade de Tendon

By the way, this department was named after the mountainous massif in the northeast of France near the German border.

Visiting this waterfall was easy as it was already visible from the parking area (see directions below).

From there, we merely walked up a somewhat rocky and uneven path alongside the waterfall’s stream before reaching a spot near the base of the main drop.

Given the slippery and uneven nature of the terrain, we had to really watch our step to avoid injury.

Cascade_de_Tendon_014_06192018 - The rocky path leading closer to the base of the main drop of the Grande Cascade de Tendon
The rocky path leading closer to the base of the main drop of the Grande Cascade de Tendon

At this vantage point, we could cleanly see most of the main drop.

However, the upper tiers were more concealed by the overgrowth and the sloping cliff faces responsible for the main drop of the falls.

While the trail appeared to continue on by veering further to the left away from the waterfall, we were content with this short but sweet experience before heading back down.

Overall, we only spent about 45 minutes away from the car, but we easily could have spent less if we wanted to.

Cascade_de_Tendon_056_06192018 - Looking downstream from the foot of the Grande Cascade de Tendon
Looking downstream from the foot of the Grande Cascade de Tendon

That said, we also could have extended our visit by walking the lower trail 2km from the car park towards the nearby Petite Cascade de Tendon though we were able to get there by car.

Authorities

The Grande Cascade de Tendon resides near Tendon in the Vosges department of the Grand Est province (formerly Lorraine) of France. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their tourism board website.

Cascade_de_Tendon_004_06192018 - Already from the car park, we could see the Grande Cascade de Tendon through the trees
Cascade_de_Tendon_006_06192018 - This sign suggested that there was a circuit trail taking in the Grande Cascade de Tendon that would take about 2 hours and 45 minutes though I wasn't sure where or what was on this excursion
Cascade_de_Tendon_009_06192018 - Looking up at the rocky and rooted trail alongside the stream leading up towards the base of the Grande Cascade de Tendon
Cascade_de_Tendon_022_06192018 - Broad look up at the main drop and an upper tier of the Grande Cascade de Tendon as seen from its base
Cascade_de_Tendon_029_06192018 - Portrait look up at the Grande Cascade de Tendon with its somewhat hidden upper tier as seen from the base of the main drop
Cascade_de_Tendon_049_06192018 - Direct look straight at the Grande Cascade de Tendon and its hidden upper tiers from the base of the main drop
Cascade_de_Tendon_052_06192018 - Looking directly up at the Grande Cascade de Tendon from its base with a large boulder in the foreground
Cascade_de_Tendon_059_06192018 - Looking up at where the trail continued its climb beyond the base of the main drop of the Grande Cascade de Tendon
Cascade_de_Tendon_064_06192018 - Last look back at the Grande Cascade de Tendon as we were back by the car park
Cascade_de_Tendon_067_06192018 - Back at the car park for Grande Cascade de Tendon at the end of our short visit. That was when we noticed that there were a few more cars that showed up just as we were done with our excursion

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Our visit to the Grande Cascade de Tendon was part of a long drive from Luxembourg City, Luxembourg to Freiburg, Germany via Colmar, France.

We’ll only describe the drive from Epinal or Colmar.

From Epinal, we left the southbound N57/E23 autoroute at the D420 exit (for Colmar and Epinal Centre).

Keeping left at the fork, we then took the third exit at the roundabout to head east on the D420 (towards Colmar).

After continuing straight at the next roundabout (to continue towards Colmar on the D420), we then drove another 300m before turning right onto the D11A (towards Colmar).

After 200m, we kept left to remain eastbound on the D11 and followed this road for another 20km.

Cascade_de_Tendon_012_06192018 - Looking back from the car park towards the Auberge au pied de la Grande Cascade (Inn at the foot of the Big Waterfall)
Looking back from the car park towards the Auberge au pied de la Grande Cascade (Inn at the foot of the Big Waterfall)

By this time, there was a white sign pointing the way to the Grande Cascade de Tendon, where we then turned right onto the Chemin des Cascades.

We then followed this narrow descending road for the remaining 700m before reaching the car park just beyond the Auberg au Pied de la Grande Cascade.

The drive from the freeway exit at Epinal to the Grande Cascade was about 23km (20 minutes).

Note that the signposted turnoff for the Petite Cascade de Tendon was just under 2km west of the Chemin des Cascades.

Cascade_de_Tendon_002_06192018 - The car park for the Grande Cascade de Tendon
The car park for the Grande Cascade de Tendon

Going in the opposite direction from Colmar, we’d follow the D417 west for roughly 64km (about an hour drive) before turning left at the signposted turnoff for the waterfall on the Chemin des Cascades.

For some geographical context, Epinal was about 73km (under an hour drive) south of Nancy, 93km (over 1.5 hours drive) west of Colmar, and 193km (over 2 hours drive) south of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Meanwhile, Colmar was 74km (about an hour drive) south of Strasbourg, and 51km (under an hour drive) west of Freiburg, Germany.

Semi-circular downstream to upstream sweep of the falls revealing the rugged surroundings

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Tagged with: vosges, lorraine, france, waterfall



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