Nestled at the foot of Tête du Ruitor and its glaciers, within a beautiful setting, Saint-Grat Lake is the highlight of any hike in its own right. Through the final twists and turns before the lake, the slope is smooth and the route straightforward. The next climb much steeper, leading to Refuge Adami gives you a stunning view point.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park at the place called Plan Ronchet at the junction between the road coming from Valgrisenche and the path leading to the place called Grand’Alpe (spelt Grand’Alpe on the IGN map at 1/25000, Grand Alpage on the Italian map at 1/25000 and most probably by mistake, Gradalpe on the OSM map). Head for Valgrisenche a mountain village that you'll reach from Arvier in the Aoste valley. In Valgrisenche, take the road towards Bohne which then overlooks Beauregard Lake's left bank. Roughly 1.5 km after the end of the lake and before heading down a windy trail leading to Surier, you'll come across a junction.
(D/A) Take the path heading west. You'll reach a group of chalets at the place called Grand'Alpe.
(1) Ignore a path that heads off to the left sticking to the main track (north-west). The path gradually heads up along the left bank of Grand'Alpe Torrent (Rio Grand'Alpe on the Italian map). You'll reach some alpine chalets at the place called Revéraz-Décot (IGN map), Revera Basse (Italian map) or Revera Bassa (OSM).
(2) Go past the chalets heading north-west. Around high point 2170 the path turns into a trail through the pastures: ignore a trail heading off to the left towards the torrent instead head right reaching the torrent a bit further up.
(3) Cross the torrent (high point 2200) and head north with the torrent to your right hand side. Here, you'll be able to see Saint-Grat Lake with Ruitor Massif in the background. After about a kilometre the trail steers away from the torrent then heads up a steep slope. After a few bends, cross the glacial rock bar to reach the lake.
(4) Don't head north along the lake, instead go left, and between some blocs of rocks you'll come across a trail heading up over the lake. The trail is windy and heads east. Head up the bends sticking to the same direction until you get to the first neves and reach a berm with a cabin (Refuge Adami).
(5) Head back the same way to get down.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.69 - alt. km 0.69 - Grand'Alpe or Grand Alpage
2 : km 2.38 - alt. km 2.38 - Revéraz-Décot or Revera Basse
3 : km 3.06 - alt. km 3.06 - Torrent du Lac or Rio del Lago
4 : km 4.54 - alt. km 4.54 - Lac de Saint-Grat or Lago di San Grato - Lago Di San Grato
5 : km 5.7 - alt. km 5.7 - Refuge Adami
D/A : km 11.4 - alt. km 11.4
Saint-Grat Lake can be the highlight of a family hike in its own right: the slope has around a 500 m drop and should take around 1 hour and a half walk (without stops).
The rest of the hike, from the lake to the shelter is for more experienced hikers: heading up from the lake, roughly 300 m drop and an hours walk.
Whichever you choose (the complete hike or just to the lake) hiking gear and shoes are a must. Make sure you have warm clothes and sun protection. Take water supplies.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3532ETR.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Saint-Grat Lake is in a stunning setting with impressive views over la Tête du Ruitor and its glaciers, the last glaciers' snouts plunging into the lake.
Val D'Aoste is a self-governing Region where French is the official language and Italian commonly used which explains the different spelt typonyms.
In Valgrisenche, you can get a hold of some excellent quality fontine (mildly cooked hard cheese) either in the village food shop or directly from the cheese cooperative on the outskirts of the village heading back towards the valley. In the pastures, you'll come across herds of the local breed of cows Valdostana pezzata rossa whose milk is used to produce fontine cheese.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.