La Cascade de l’Arpenaz (SALLANCHES)

You have quite probably passed the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz on several occasions, on a trip between the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc and 🇨🇭 Geneva or 🇫🇷 Annecy on the autoroute.

The 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz is one of the most visible and iconic of our waterfalls in the region . . . but have you ever come off the motorway and headed onto the local road past the village of Luzier to explore?

MBFF highly recommends a visit, and this is why . . .

Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©

A few interesting facts

A site classé naturel, the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz is 270m high and is characterised by sedimentary folds in the rock (schistes).

Locals say that when the local wind called la bise (the kiss) blows the water into the rocky wall, the waterfall becomes the voile de la mariée (the bride’s veil). And that when the waterfall falls to the right, it is a sign of good weather and when it falls to the left, bad weather . . . (I can confirm that the water was falling in every direction when we passed by the other day – what does this mean?).

Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz©

A family picnic spot

The 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz has a few 🍏 picnic tables at your disposal, as well as parking on-site, so you can just have a relaxing afternoon there.

Cascade d’Arpenaz ©
Summer sushi picnic at Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©

Hikes & VTT routes  

OR . . . you can use the waterfall as a starting point for hiking or VTT routes en famille. Sallanches Tourisme has treasure hunts available, which link the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz to 💦 Lacs des Ilettes and the village of Luzier. For more information about 💦 Lacs des Ilettes, see separate article here. The lower hiking route from the waterfall leads to 🧗‍♀️ climbing rocks, and if you head upwards, you can get as far as the Alpage de Véran.

[ ⇒ for more information about the family hike from 💦 Lacs des Ilettes to the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz, see separate MBFF article here ]

Into the woods at Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©

Summer escape

Local folk know to head to the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz to escape ☀️ summer heat . . . you can take a chilly dip in the bassin at the base of the waterfall and seek shade in the woods that surround it. A little stream runs from it over rocks, emptying into the Arve river – this is a perfect spot for children to play.

Cascade de l’Arpenaz – the bassin ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz – the bassin ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz – the bassin ©
Summer escape at Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz – the stream ©

Autumn leaves 

The woods surrounding the 💦 Cascade de l’Arpenaz are glorious in 🍁🍂 autumn, as are the Lacs des Ilettes . . .

Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Cascade de l’Arpenaz ©
Autumn VTT outing Lacs des Ilettes & Cascade de l’Arpenaz © montblancfamilyfun

Practical Information
address: route d'Oëx , 74700, Sallanches;

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