2-day hike: Zinal – Cabane d’Arpitettaz

Key figures

18.8 km

7:10 h


1112/1112 m

4 / 5

5 / 5

Just outside Zinal, near the campsite, we begin our hike to the Cabane d’Arpitettaz. We first follow the Navisence river for two kilometers along the Plats de la Lée. After the first ascent, we cross the river at kilometer 4. From the bottom of the valley, we are already treated to views of the Zinal glacier, the Grand Cornier (3961m) and the Dent Blanche (4357m).

As we continue our ascent to the hut, the trail becomes steeper. By the time we reach the picturesque Lac d’Arpitettaz, we have completed nearly the half of the climb. The ever-changing weather that day and the thick, constantly moving clouds create a mystical atmosphere. It is well worth taking a break here to appreciate this breathtaking mountain landscape. If luck is on your side, the landscape may even reflect on the water’s surface.

We continue our ascent and occasional catch glimpses of the Weisshorn (4505m) and Zinalrothorn (4221m) peaks through the clouds. At the bottom of the hut, we encounter an obstacle. A bridge has been washed away during a storm in August 2023. Consequently, we have to take an improvised detour, which prove to be rigorous and technically demanding. This alternative route can surely be classified as a T4 trail. As we reach the top, we are relieved to be back on a marked path. It is precisely at this moment that nature rewards our efforts, as we spot a large group of running ibex.

Arriving at the Cabane d’Arpitettaz, located at the foot of the majestic Weisshorn, we are warmly welcome by the friendly couple guarding the hut. By the end of the day, the once overcast sky gradually clears, revealing the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape. With the weather being uncertain, it is noticeably quiet that day and there are only a handful of guests for the night. Immersed in the serenity of the mountain scenery, we peacefully enjoy our time at the hut and the sunset at the end of the day.

The next morning, the weather is excellent. We take the same route back down. Alternatively, a popular route is the Roc de la Vache, a path with an additional 300 meters positive and negative gradient. In this fine weather, we linger a little longer at the Lac d’Arpitettaz, take a few more photos before heading back down to Zinal.

Are you interested in this hike?

If you are interested in this hike, find our detailed description on outdooractive.