The Lac du Grand Ballon and waterfall of Kletterbach

A Lautenbachzell walk posted on 06/02/11 by demo. Update : 31/08/17

An original route to get to Lac du Grand Ballon avoiding the road. You will discover beautiful trees, a waterfall and views over the Petit Ballon and the Black Forest along the way.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h10[?]
Distance Distance : 8.61km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 310m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 305m
Highest point Highest point : 1017m
Lowest point Lowest point : 771m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Vosges mountains
Location Location : Lautenbachzell (68610)
Starting point Starting point : N 47.923182° / E 7.118343°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 3719OTR


Park your car in the Schutzle car park down the paved forest road of the same name leading to Lautenbachzell. The GPS position of the start of car park is 47°55'24.20"N,7° 7'6.03"E. From the village centre, continue on Grand Rue towards Sengern to find the path that climbs steeply to Schutzle on the left (a sign indicates the direction of Gustiberg). Follow this road to the car park 3 km away. The paved road ends here (S).

Follow signs for Gustiberg. After a 90° turn to the right and crossing a stream, a small well-marked trail heads up steeply to the left (1). Take it to the Gustiberg colony, then on to the farmhouse (2). You then come to stubble and the forest road. Follow it to the Lac du Grand Ballon (well signposted) (3).

On the way back, return to the Gustiberg farmhouse and inn and continue on the forest road on the right, following the Blue Crosses. It goes down a bit at first and becomes flat after a fork that you pass on your left (at a picnic table) (4). Continue to the Kletterbach waterfall at the first rapids you come across (5).
One hundred metres before the waterfall (retrace your steps), a path starts on the left and winds down. Take this and head down to the forest road where you turn right to reach your starting point. Along the trail, you can see the lower waterfall.

Hope you enjoy this walk in Lautenbachzell.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 1.07 - alt. km 1.07 - Intersection. Take the left path.
2 : km 1.82 - alt. km 1.82 - Auberge du Gustiberg
3 : km 3.47 - alt. km 3.47 - Lac du Grand Ballon
4 : km 5.53 - alt. km 5.53 - Fork. Continue straight ahead.
5 : km 6.59 - alt. km 6.59 - Klettenbach
D/A : km 8.61 - alt. km 8.61

Useful Information

This is a well-trodden route, even if the path back after the waterfall is not very busy and not necessarily very visible. For this part, I recommend proper walking shoes.

If the weather has been below freezing for a while the waterfall may freeze and is definitely worth a look!

You can stop at the Gustiberg farmhouse and inn for a drink or food (outside of summer and weekends, remember to warn them of your arrival).

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3719OTR.

Click here to see how to reach the starting point.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Download sheet and map

Opinions and comments


Number of opinions : 39
Description quality : 3.44/4
Routemap quality : 3.38/4
Walk interest : 3.36/4
Global average : 3.39/4

on Tue 09 Aug 2016 12:25:39 CEST : Re: The Lac du Grand Ballon and waterfall of Kletterbach

Date of walk : 08/09/16
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Couldn't actually find car park indicated from coordinates, drove along a tiny degrading road with a precipitous drop on one side! took us to Lac du Grand Ballon, fine - walked from there to Grand Ballon following signs instead - good walk! (much up).

See the full discussion on this walk to find out more.

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