The Borgne River
Crossing the entirety of the Val d’Hérens, the Borgne river has its source at the foot of the Arolla glacier, at the confluence of the Borgne d’Arolla and the Borgne de Ferpècle torrents, in Les Haudères. Some 21.5 km long, the Borgne flows into the Rhône.
In Euseigne, where the famous Euseigne pyramids can be admired, the Borgne receives the waters of the Dixence river. The latter, over its 12.1 km, shapes the Val des Dix, with its source boasting an altitude of 2,030 m. The name Dixence is now particularly well-known thanks to the Grande Dixence dam, the highest gravity dam in the world. Part of the Borgne waters are also captured by the dam.
Descent through the Borgne Gorges
Formed by the Borgne over 3 km and featuring a five-hundred-meter drop, the gorges carved into the local rock play host to a fabulous hiking trail. The trail can also be experienced in less challenging form by covering the path downhill from Euseigne to reach Bramois. The route is fully signposted and safe, but some parts are steep and narrow and do require special care.
A majestic, unspoilt and at times a dizzying spectacle, the Borgne gorges, carved deep into the surrounding quartzite, are particularly suited for Spring or Autumn trips, when the trees are changing colour and the landscape is particularly moving.
Along the Way, Do not Miss…
The Hermitage of Notre-Dame Longborgne
Built in the 16th century, the Hermitage of Notre-Dame Longborgne, an imposing religious building overlooking the village of Bramois, was carved directly into the cliffs.
On your way to the hermitage, admire the beauty of the rock outcrops in colours ranging from white and gray to light green.
Staying in the Region for Several Days?
We would also recommend another looped walk, which includes a detour to see the Longborgne hermitage and lets you discover the Pont Riva footbridge. Built during the 19th Century, you will be charmed by this little stone bridge inspired by Roman arches.
Cambioula Hot Water Springs
Known as early as the 15th Century for their healing properties, the thermal and mineral hot springs of Ciamboula, which can reach a temperature as high as 29°C, await you for a few moments of pure relaxation.
Did You Know?
The Cambioula subsoil is rich in sulphurous water; it is actually this water which ends up supplying the pools of the Dixence Resort hotel complex in Hérémence.
The Bramois Power Station
In Bramois, the hydropower plant has been generating power from the waters of the Dixence and Borgne rivers since 1918. Originally intended to power the electrolysis furnaces of the Chippis aluminium plant, the building was renovated in 2018 and is now ISOS-listed (protected as part of the Federal inventory of heritage sites of national importance).
The Euseigne Pyramids
No need to mention them, really… the Euseigne pyramids are an exceptional, monumental natural phenomenon that have been listed in the Inventory of landscapes, sites and natural monuments of national importance since 1983. When the glacier covering the Val d’Hérens retreated, the compact deposited moraine was carved by erosion. As it contained large boulders, these protected the soil underneath, forming majestic cones adorned with stone caps. Not to be missed!
The Villages of Euseigne and Bramois
Finally, your day trip should include a stroll through the old centre of the villages of Euseigne and Bramois.
Landscape and Relaxation
Do not hesitate to punctuate your hike with well-deserved breaks to admire the fauna, ﬂora and the numerous stunning panoramas offered by this excursion.
In addition to footbridges, mountain paths, steep slopes, rocky and forest paths, you will also have the chance to cross beautiful meadows, which offer the perfect opportunity for a picnic break.
From time to time, don’t forget to glance upwards and try and spot the village of Nax, the church of Vex or admire, in between gorges, the stunning landscape of the Bernese Alps.
Filled with so many opportunities for stops and interesting activities, your day will certainly be full of charm!