Location: Grand St Bernard pass, Swiss – Italian border
Description: beautiful difficult and very busy hike
Total length: about 12 km
Walking time: about 5 hours
Elevation: +/- 1040 meters
Altitude: between 2408 and 2761 meters
National hiking map 1: 50’000: 292 Courmayeur
Best period: from june to september
Difficulty : T3+
Departure and itinerary
From the Hospice du St Bernard follow “Fenêtre de Ferret and lac de Fenêtre” by the path that overlooks the road to the pass in the direction of Italy. This path continues flat for about 500 meters. At the height of the Italian border it descends in the direction of the statue of St Bernard. From the statue, the route continues downhill for about 100 meters until you reach a fork with the indication « Col de Fenêtre » marked on a large pebble (arrow in light yellow paint). Be careful not to descend on the pass road! Follow this path along the foothills of the Italian side of the Grande Chenalette and the Pointe de Drône. This rugged path follows the twists and turns of the terrain above the pass road but stays at approximately the same elevation for about 1km. A little after the plumb of the Pointe of Drône, the path climbs towards the point of altitude 2605 and bypasses it on the right. At the end of the climb, go down slightly to follow a flat path which joins the climb to Fenêtre de Ferret.
From Fenêtre de Ferret go down in the direction of the Lacs de Fenêtre. At the last of the 3 lakes (altitude point 2457) follow to the right (north-east), Col du Bastillon, Col des Chevaux and Col du Gd St Bernard. The climb begins slowly and becomes more difficult in the last foothills of the Col du Bastillon. From the top of the pass, descend into the magnificent Combe de Drône following the direction of Grand St Bernard. After about 2 km of descent, go up following the “Chemin des Chevaux” and climb towards Pas des Chevaux. From the summit go down towards Grand St Bernard to reach the starting point.
Very nice course between Switzerland and Italy. In high season, very busy route. The climb towards the Col du Bastillon and the Col des Chevaux can cause problems for people suffering from vertigo. Along the route there are many places to organize your picnic. At the start of the hike, be careful not to follow “Lac de Fenêtre” via the Pointe de Drône. As soon as the first snow falls, the Col d Grand St Bernard is closed to traffic.
Public transport timetable (Martigny gare – Hospice du St Bernard)