5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail
5 Jura Crest Trail

Hiking

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Jura Crest Trail

Stage 12, Ste-Croix–Vallorbe

Route report
95 photos

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Jura Crest Trail

Not far from the Swiss-French border, the trail leads through the splendid Vaud Jura. The trees and rocks here could tell many a tale of smuggling. Old metal crafts and the railway are the focus in Vallorbe.
For the first few minutes, the path leads through Sainte-Croix, famed worldwide for its music boxes and music automatons. On turning left at the edge of the village, you will already be surrounded by typical Jura meadows. Traverse the meadows of Mont des Cerfs to reach the hamlet of Gittaz-Dessous, from where you continue on a road for vehicles. At Col de l’Aiguillon, you are just a few hundred meters away from the French border. Tank traps remind you that the frontier is close, and you will come across military bunkers throughout this stage. After leaving the forest behind you, it is worth looking back at the rock wall of Aiguilles de Baulmes, which you hiked around via the Col de l’Aiguillon pass. The climb to Le Suchet starts after Grange Neuve. You really should not miss the five-minute detour to the summit, to take another look back at the peaks along the Jura Crest Trail.

As you descend to Le Suchet chalet, you can enjoy the sweeping views of Lake Neuchâtel, the plain and even the Alps in the distance. The downhill walk takes about two hours, through enchanting Jura meadows until you reach Ballaigues. You come closer and closer to the steep rock walls (falaises) of the Mont d’Or, towering about 200 meters high. A little way outside of Ballaigues, you can discover a historic cart track (Roman road). It resembles a tramway track but instead of iron rails, the carts were guided along grooves that were driven into the rock base. In the mid-19th century, sought-after salt was transported via this route from the French saltworks to Bern and western Switzerland.

Shortly after Ballaigues, the route crosses the motorway and, a little later, the Lac du Day dam which stores water from the river Orbe. This river has its source in the Grotte de l’Orbe, a stalactite and stalagmite cave that is one of Vallorbe's tourist attractions. The path takes you past Le Day Viaduct, a fine stone arch bridge dating from 1925. Walk along the shore of Lac du Day reservoir until you reach the Iron and Railway Museum. Since the Middle Ages, Vallorbe's deposits of iron ore and reserves of firewood have helped it to develop into a major centre of the iron industry. Hemmed in between the Dent de Vaulion and the Mont d’Or, the path leads to the destination of this stage: the venerable station building at Vallorbe. However, the size of this railway station is not due to the town's population: it was needed because the routes between Lausanne, Yverdon and France were historically important.
Not far from the Swiss-French border, the trail leads through the splendid Vaud Jura. The trees and rocks here could tell many a tale of smuggling. Old metal crafts and the railway are the focus in Vallorbe.
For the first few minutes, the path leads through Sainte-Croix, famed worldwide for its music boxes and music automatons. On turning left at the edge of the village, you will already be surrounded by typical Jura meadows. Traverse the meadows of Mont des Cerfs to reach the hamlet of Gittaz-Dessous, from where you continue on a road for vehicles. At Col de l’Aiguillon, you are just a few hundred meters away from the French border. Tank traps remind you that the frontier is close, and you will come across military bunkers throughout this stage. After leaving the forest behind you, it is worth looking back at the rock wall of Aiguilles de Baulmes, which you hiked around via the Col de l’Aiguillon pass. The climb to Le Suchet starts after Grange Neuve. You really should not miss the five-minute detour to the summit, to take another look back at the peaks along the Jura Crest Trail.

As you descend to Le Suchet chalet, you can enjoy the sweeping views of Lake Neuchâtel, the plain and even the Alps in the distance. The downhill walk takes about two hours, through enchanting Jura meadows until you reach Ballaigues. You come closer and closer to the steep rock walls (falaises) of the Mont d’Or, towering about 200 meters high. A little way outside of Ballaigues, you can discover a historic cart track (Roman road). It resembles a tramway track but instead of iron rails, the carts were guided along grooves that were driven into the rock base. In the mid-19th century, sought-after salt was transported via this route from the French saltworks to Bern and western Switzerland.

Shortly after Ballaigues, the route crosses the motorway and, a little later, the Lac du Day dam which stores water from the river Orbe. This river has its source in the Grotte de l’Orbe, a stalactite and stalagmite cave that is one of Vallorbe's tourist attractions. The path takes you past Le Day Viaduct, a fine stone arch bridge dating from 1925. Walk along the shore of Lac du Day reservoir until you reach the Iron and Railway Museum. Since the Middle Ages, Vallorbe's deposits of iron ore and reserves of firewood have helped it to develop into a major centre of the iron industry. Hemmed in between the Dent de Vaulion and the Mont d’Or, the path leads to the destination of this stage: the venerable station building at Vallorbe. However, the size of this railway station is not due to the town's population: it was needed because the routes between Lausanne, Yverdon and France were historically important.
25 km
780 m | 1050 m
7 h 00 min
easy (hiking trail) | difficult

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Ste-Croix
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map
Arrival / return travel Vallorbe
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Signpost management
Signposting is managed by the cantonal hiking trail organisation on behalf of the canton. Lend a hand by becoming a member in your canton.
Become a member
Vaud Rando
Place Grand-St-Jean 2
1003 Lausanne
contact@vaud-rando.ch
www.vaud-rando.ch

Services

Accommodation

Chambres d’hôtes Grangette Bellevue
Chambres d’hôtes Grangette Bellevue
Sainte-Croix
BnB Les Replans
BnB Les Replans
Ste-Croix
Hôtel de France
Hôtel de France
Ste-Croix
La Ferme du Marais
La Ferme du Marais
La Vraconnaz
Chalet de Grange-Neuve
Chalet de Grange-Neuve
Baulmes
B&B Laffely
B&B Laffely
Vallorbe
Chambre d’hôtes Au fil de l’Orbe
Chambre d’hôtes Au fil de l’Orbe
Vallorbe
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Bookable offers

5 Jura Crest Trail: Couvet - Nyon
5 Jura Crest Trail: Couvet - Nyon
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Places

Sainte-Croix / Les Rasses
Sainte-Croix / Les Rasses
Vallorbe
Vallorbe
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Places of interest

CIMA Museum
CIMA Museum
Roman road track to transport salt
Roman road track to transport salt
Pré-Giroud artillery fort
Pré-Giroud artillery fort
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization