Located in Chevaline, a small village near Lake Annecy, the Creux de l’Enfer (hollow of hell) waterfall is a little-known hike. It is a wild site at the foot of the Charbon mountain in the Bauges massif.
Chevaline is a picturesque village with just over 200 inhabitants. It houses a small church dating from 1145. The village became infamous because of the assassination in September 2012.
It is given 15 minutes to reach the waterfall from the car park. Possible, but you would have to walk really fast! It’s more around 25-30 minutes for an average hiker. It is also given an elevation of 100 meters. I did not have an altimeter with me, but I think it was closer to 250 m. The Creux de l’Enfer waterfall is at 857 meters above sea level and the start is approximately 600 meters.
The hike starts on the path situated on the right of the forest track. The first part is in the woods. After the heavy rains, the path can turn into a stream. The ascent is steep but the hike is short.
Halfway through the hike, the path meets the forest track. I went to the left because of the view of Lake Annecy. I like hiking to waterfalls when the weather is overcast. The place is atmospheric…
The two paths will cross again. At this time, I can hear the waterfall coming off the path on the left. Back in the wood again for the last part before seeing the waterfall.
A few more minutes and the path ends near a ravine where you can see the creux de l’enfer waterfall. It is surprisingly big!
The Creux de l’Enfer waterfall is located on the Nant Borien stream, a tributary of the Lire river (which flows into Lake Annecy). The hike does not allow you to get close to the waterfall. The trail stops near a ravine and I didn’t attempt to go too close since the terrain was very muddy.
I went there in June, just after a period of heavy rain. The vegetation was dense but the waterfall was visible. Although it is difficult to get an idea of its height in the photo, the waterfall is about ten meters high.
The way back is down the same path. Luckily, it wasn’t too dark since it was approaching 6pm.
Creux de l’Enfer?
The hollow of hell isn’t a really inviting name for a waterfall. I looked everywhere to find why it was named so but couldn’t find anything. Let’s hope it wasn’t because of an obscure legend…
Note that Google maps is not up to date and the start of the waterfall wasn’t easy to find. To facilitate access, follow the information below:
- From Doussard, take the direction of Chevaline
- Follow road D181 (route de Chevaline) to Chevaline village
- At the town hall, take the road (Côte de la chamoissière) on the right, just before. There is also a sign indicating the waterfall.
- At the crossroads, go straight and take the dead-end, route forestière du Tarfet (formerly route forestière de Chevaline).
- Follow the road to the end and park
The Creux de l’Enfer waterfall path is on the right.