Location: Right bank of the Rhône above Martigny in the Bas-Valais.
Description: trail of medium difficulty with vertiginous passages equipped with chains. The route is sometimes very lightly marked.
Distance: 22.7 km
Difference in altitude: 1912 m
Total length: 48 km-effort
Altitude: between 453 m and 2048 m
National excursion map 1:25’000: Barberine 1324 and Sembrancher 1325
Best period: May to November
Rating: S, T3
Helpful hints: the first 1/3 of the route to Le Coeur is through a steep forest with few recent markings on a narrow path that can be dangerous. The exposed passages are equipped with chains. Poles are still useful and caution is advised.
The start is from the Vernayaz train station, so it is possible to use public transport. (2’569’495 / 1’108’875 / 458 m). Cross the cantonal road and take path T3 (white-red-white) just before the bridge over the railway. The gravel path quickly sets the pace until you reach the village of Gueuroz. Then follow the signs for the path through the village to the next junction at pt 683. Caution: above the village, do not return eastwards on the village protection wall. Continue under the wall, paying close attention to the not always recent path markings. The rise is rapid. Continue along the edge of the ridge to the Charavex clearing (pt 1445) and continue towards the Coeur. From here, follow the ridge that leads to Mont de l’Arpille via Le Temelet and La Cheutse. The path is still in T3 through a forest devastated by the bostriche. The route then follows the well-marked signs to the summit of Mont de l’Arpille at pt 2085. The view is breathtaking.
The return journey takes the same path to the pt 1830 of the alpage de l’Arpille. The downhill path then leads to the Rhône plain with a magnificent panorama as far as the Grands Communaux (pt 1564 ) in the forest. Continue towards Chez les Proz and then in the direction of Ravoire-Martigny to the ruins of the Bâtiaz castle. From the plain, continue northwest on the path between the rock face and the cantonal road that leads back to Vernayaz. In case of exhaustion, the last few kilometres can be done by train from Martigny.