The Mauvoisin Dam is a 250m high concrete dam making it the largest arch dam in Europe. Built between 1951 and 1958 the dam overlooks the Val de Bagnes in Switzerland and generates 1,000 GWh of electricity a year.
It is possible to hike or bike this high mountain route which takes you through a series of tunnels with breathtaking views of the lake, waterfalls, mountains and valleys.
The hike around the lake is a demanding 22.2km circuit of wild landscape so you need to be prepared to enjoy the alpine scenery for approximately 8 hours of hiking carrying plenty of refreshments, warm layers and sunscreen. The trail begins at the foot of the dam and soon disappears into an opening in the mountainside through a former construction gallery for nearly 400 meters through the rock. The trail leads high above the eastern shores of the reservoir and leaves civilization behind, with the path surrounded by wild alpine flowers and sightings of chamois, marmots and ibex. This area is part of Switzerland’s 2nd largest nature reserve.
At the southernmost point of the trail you arrive at the Cabane de Chanrion, a welcome stop for refreshments and to rest a little before following the trail along the western shore of the reservoir back to the dam. This high mountain trail is well marked along the way.