Zinal Valley Loop

Distance: 3.6 - 2.8 miles

Valais, near Zinal in Valais

View along the east side of the river

View along the east side of the river


This pleasant loop hike starting in the center of Zinal travels on a wide path along the west side of the Navisence River, crosses two bridges and then returns to via the east side of the river. This walk is great for families with small children and is a good option on a rainy day.

  • Distance: 2.8 miles (Loop)
  • Elevation: 5,450-ft. at Trailhead
    Maximum elevation - 5,700-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 250-ft.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Basecamp: Zinal
  • Region: Valais


Trail Description - Zinal Valley Loop

Note: the mileage for this hike is measured starting at the tennis courts and ice skating rink in the town of Zinal. The loop walk from this start/end point is 3.6 miles. If starting from the post office/bus stop, at 0.3 miles (round trip) to the hike.

In Zinal walk south along La Barmette (the town’s main street) to the Singline parking lot at the end of the village. Turn right into the parking lot and then cross the bridge over the Navisence River. On the west side of the river turn left (south) on the broad track signed for Petit Mountet and Grand Mountet. The wide track now travels through pastures on easy grades with nice views of Besso towering above the east side of the valley.

At 1.7 miles reach a junction with a route branching left toward Lac Arpitettaz and the Arpitettaz Hut. Follow the trail down to the river. The river here is braided into two channels, separated by a small island. Cross the minor channel on a good wood bridge, walk a short distance across the island and then cross a second wood bridge to the east side of the river.

Turn left on the east side of the river and follow a broad track north back to the parking lot and village. Along the way you will find some picnic tables and a few spots to sit along the river. Before reaching the car park pass a restaurant on the right.

Hike Variations

If you want a longer walk along the river, from the post office walk south along La Barmette and then turn right on the small road between the Hotel Europe and the Restaurant La Ferme. Follow the road as it drops down to the Navisence River. Cross the river on the La Barmettaz Bridge and then turn left, walking up the west side of the river. You can walk as far as the Singline Bridge at the car park at the south end of the village or walk all the way to bridge near the La Arpitettaz junction (described above) and then follow the trail back along the east side of the river. Total distance for this variation is 3.8 miles.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile for the Zinal Valley Loop hiking trail

Driving Directions

Directions in Zinal: From the Post Office/Bus stop in Zinal, walk south along La Barmettaz (the town’s main street). The mileage in this description starts the hike a few blocks beyond, near the tennis courts and ice skating rink.

From Grimentz to Zinal: From Grimentz, board the bus to Zinal and get off at the post office. If possible catch a direct bus to Zinal. Otherwise, take the Vissoie Bus to Vissoie where you will need to change for a bus headed up the valley to Zinal. The direct buses will take 15 minutes. If you need to change in Vissoie the ride will take 58 minutes or longer.

The bus makes several stops in Grimentz. Schedules are posted at the bus stops and are available online at the SBB website or download the SBB app.


Trail Resources