Les Gorges du Pont du Diable
The Gorges du Pont du Diable is located on the River Dranse. It offers a great example of erosion in the limestone Alpine foothills of Chablais in Haute-Savoie.
The river originally flowed down a deep valley until it hit a limestone barrier, the "Rochers de la Garde", which dates back to the Cretaceous and the Jurassic periods. Over time this natural barrier has been eroded by the fast-flowing river, becoming a gorge.
Access for the public was provided in 1893 and the site was given listed status in 1908. Since 2012 the Gorge du Pont du Diable has been considered an iconic site of the Chablais UNESCO Global Geopak.
In summer, visitors come here for refreshing walks and to glimpse the natural forces at work.
Formed by the action of ancient subglacial rivers, today the River Dranse of Morzine is swallowed by the limestone gorges. These are dominated by an imposing arch: Le Pont du Diable, "The Devils Bridge". Discover its legend, marvel at the surrounding cliffs, and the agile chamois who cross the sleep rock to lick the stones.
Start your walk in an impressive beech forest then descend 70 metres down the steps which are anchored in the rock. The first set of stairs cross a group of enormous rocks stuck between the gorge's walls and give us a memorable sight: the Dranse River, running almost 50 metres beneath us at the bottom of the chasm.
The gorge's walls are like immense drapes and eerie excavations. The "giants pans" formed by the river’s whirlpools, only add to the fantasy of the location. Erosion has also sculpted many fantastic shapes to see along the visit, such as a grey marble "cushion", the same rock found at the quarry in la Vernaz. Streams have covered the gorge in colourful mineral deposits so that if you arrive at around 10 o’clock, you'll see the the sun’s rays light up a magical palette of greys, greens, ochres and blues.
The gorges were originally an underground river bed hollowed out by unfiltered waters. The blockfield obstructing the upper part comes from the vault’s dislocation.
Another relic of the melting is an isolated block over thirty metres above the torrent, an imposing arch called the "Pont du Diable".
Written guided visit available in English