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Another lake?
how to reach the dam area
Verticalp fun park
Dam and lake
Snow in june
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Emosson lake and dam

Emosson lake and dam

Category: Roadtrip Swiss


Another lake?


To the west of the Valais lies Lake Emosson and its dam of the same name. Another lake? There are indeed many lakes in Switzerland. Another dam? There are many dams too in Switzerland. Why would you stop here? For me the first reason was practical, the dam was more or less on my way but it wasn't a bad thing after all. The dam and lake have been converted into a small fun park (the Verticalp) which will delight the children. On the program, small train, big funicular, small funicular and a splendid view of the region. We went there in mid-June and the area was covered with a thick layer of snow!


Travel dates:
June 2016


Visit duration:
1 day




how to reach the dam area


The dam is accessible from the train station Le Chatelard, from there you can take a funicular to the dam. You can reach Le Chatelard station by car or train from Martigny but the train journey is quite expensive, so the car remains the simplest option. If you are not interested in Verticalp Park, you can take the road to Guele which will take you to a high parking lot with a view of the dam. The dam is about forty kilometers from Martigny, the road rises rather strong but is in very good condition.





Verticalp fun park


The Verticalp park surrounds the dam site and is accessible only by train from the Chatelard station, the entrance to the site costs a little less than 30 euros per adult and about half for children, which could represent a big budget for large families. The journey is made in three stages and we start with a funicular from the Chatelard, followed by a picturesque train and finally a small funicular to reach the dam. You can stop every step of the way for a walk and enjoy the scenery, but keep an eye on your watch as trains and funiculars have strict schedules. In season there were really not many people and we even had the funicular for ourselves. Verticalp is expensive enough for a short train ride, but it's a great experience especially when travelling with children.



Dam and lake


The Emosson dam is not the biggest dam in Switzerland but its size is impressive, the concrete façade is 180m high and at the top of the dam you are more than 2000 meters high. The view of the surroundings is superb and as the area is not very populated, the scenery outside the dam is quite well preserved.

The Verticalp train is not the only attraction in the area, you can of course make hikes, but beware the two main hikes are classified in the "difficult"category. The complete walk takes several hours, including a 5-hour walk to discover the site where you can see traces of dinosaur footprints. We didn't go that far, with a 4-year-old child it's not possible and there was too much snow anyway.

However, it is possible to walk around the lake without any problems. For example, you can walk on the dam and take a path that joins a smaller dam a few hundred metres away. For those who would like to break the crust, you can eat at the first and second funiculars (above).

Lac et barrage d'Emosson photo

Snow in june


We were at the Emosson dam in the middle of June 2016, it was almost 30°C in the valley but at the level of the dam the temperature was less than 10°C and a thick layer of snow (more than 50cm) covered the landscape. The region had experienced heavy snowfall two weeks before our arrival, which is quite surprising at this time of year. The lake was almost empty because the snow hadn't melted yet, so the landscape is rather lunar. The snow also blocked the access to certain roads, so it is better to find out before climbing to avoid this kind of surprises. Overall I am quite happy to have been there because snow or no snow, the site is worth the detour and the combination of walking and train will allow the youngest to enjoy it too.




Lac et barrage d'Emosson photo



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