Road trip in the Beaufortain, between lakes, mountains and breathtaking landscapes
Let’s go for 4 days of Road Trip with my friend Julie. This time we leave with «Alberto» the van that my parents often lend me. So let’s tell you that we are luxury from luxury. Toilet, shower and queen size bed!
The tanks are full, the backup camera is fixed, and we’re headed for the Beaufort country. It’s the kind of place we love in a van. There are no less than 3 lakes and plenty of great hiking and mountain biking opportunities.
There are plenty of dodo spots. You can easily land in the evening in the countryside or on car parks dedicated to this purpose. No need to remind that if you choose the wild and natural option, it is essential to respect the place and take back ALL its waste, even toilet paper.
Night 1 / Day 1
Lac de Roselend
Arriving in the late afternoon we decide to land at Lake Roselend. We are lucky because even in the middle of August, we had no trouble finding an ultra cool beach spot by the lake. A real moment of peace at sunset and sunrise with a breathtaking view of the Rock of the wind that is imposing masterfully above the lake. If all the spots are full then you can try your luck near the lake of Gittaz or that of Saint Guerin not far from there.
Beaufort & Lac de Saint Guerin
After a sumptuous awakening, let the rain… What do I say? To the monsoon! It rained waterspouts.
So we decided to take a tour of Beaufort to visit the village and do some local cheese and produce shopping. And, of course, we met a Beaufort distributor 24/7. Only in Savoy does this kind of thing exist! Are there really people who have big cheese cravings at night? You have to believe that in Savoy this is the case!
So our first day of hiking fell by the water, that’s what I’m saying. But we are not discouraged, heading for Lake Saint Guerin.
ATTENTION for vans and campers (this does not concern vans), you will not be able to go through the pass because the road is forbidden to campers (from the pass). Actually the road is too narrow for 2 cars at a time. You will therefore have to go down on Beaufort and then up the valley of Arèche to reach the lake of Saint Guerin! Obviously we were fooled because the sign is at the entrance of the pass! Difficult to anticipate.
In the rain, Lac de Saint Guerin is truly mystical. It made me think of Canada.
What do we do in a van when it rains? Well we take care of ourselves as we can, we prepare good dishes, we taste good wine and good local cheese and we play board games.
Between two showers we could still go around the lake and pass on this superb Himalayan footbridge. The lake, the fog that settles and rises gently on the side of the mountains, the small drops of rain on the face, silence… You feel very small and powerful at the same time.
Night 2 / Day 3 :
Le lac des fées
Only in the world facing these sublime landscapes we decide to sleep on the spot. Some trucks join us at the end of the day.
There were even some brave people camping wild! Suffice to say that with the rain falling and the cold it was, I was delighted to have Alberto as a faithful steed for this road trip.
Awakened with the sun, we set off towards the fairy lake. We had spotted the day before by going around the lake a sign indicating its direction. As soon as there is the word lake, I must tell you that it immediately arouses my attention. So Fire, it’s time to discover a new mountain lake. But natural this time because the lakes of Roselend and Saint Guerin are dam lakes. This does not spoil their beauty!
1h40 walk later, here we are at fairy lake! And Wow what a surprise, this place is really superb. The instinct was good!
Julie had the courage to swim… Not me, the water was way too cold…!
This lake is an ideal spot to bivouac with a magnificent view of the Arèche-Beaufort valley. You can also get in a van to sleep there. There’s a gravel road as wide as a road that goes up there. Obviously I do not recommend it because climb on foot, and bivouac will have much more charm in my opinion. But it is specific to everyone.
The hike from Lake Saint Guérin is largely feasible with children. Besides, there were quite a few families when we went there. This lake is an ideal spot to bivouac with a magnificent view of the Arèche-Beaufort valley. You can also get in a van to sleep there. There’s a gravel road as wide as a road that goes up there. Obviously I do not recommend it because climb on foot, and bivouac will have much more charm in my opinion. But it is specific to everyone.
The hike from Lake Saint Guérin is largely feasible with children. Besides, there were quite a few families when we went there.
Night 3 / Day 4
On the way down, there were still a lot of people around Lake Saint Guerin. Nothing to do with the night before when it rained.
So we went back to sleep at Roselend Lake, where there were surprisingly fewer people. We found a spot in front of where we slept the first night and we were alone on the large parking lot with a superb view of the lake. Another sweet evening with a splendid view.
And that sight in the morning,
what a joy to wake up there!
The next day to finish the loop of our road trip, we decide to go back through the cormet of Roselend then we took the road towards the valley of Bourg Saint Maurice in order to reach a charming small mountain hamlet.
Les Chapieux is a village surrounded by the Beaufortain and Mont Blanc mountains. Ideal spot for hikers because it is the starting point of many trails. You can enjoy a huge plot of several hectares specially dedicated to vans and campers, right on the river. There is even enough to empty the black waters and toilets available. No luck for us, that day the grey water tank was ultra full. So impossible to empty our toilets.
You will also find 2 Hostels, and 3 cafes/ restaurants if you want to eat. I had a crush on the Auberge “Les chambres du soleil”, we didn’t sleep there because we were in a van but went for coffee. The place is really charming and the couple running this business is really adorable. I urge you to stop by if you’re there.
In the village we found a small grocery store that sells products from the village farm. I brought back delicious goat cheese! And the top is that you can see the goats that are at the origin of this delicious cheese, frolicking around.
Night 4 / Day 5
After a small aperitif at the inn, we return wisely to the van to prepare a good meal. The evening is super pleasant with the sound of the river’s water runoff and the mosquito-proof candles that illuminate just the right thing. A moment of serenity and peace.
The next day, after shopping for local cheese and jam at the hamlet’s grocery store, we take the road back. Direction Bourg Saint Maurice then Valmorel! And the circle is complete!
Small stop-off to empty the black and grey waters. The little gesture that we love to make during a road trip (of course it’s ironic)!
Before this road trip, I didn’t know all these places. It’s only an hour from my home (when I lived in Valmorel).
Nuggets at hand, or rather van!