Long distance trail - from Lac Blanc to Grand Ballon

  • All day
  • 41km
  • 1398m
  • Expert

As well as the Vosges cows, Munster cheese and blueberry tart, the star of the massif is the GR5, which follows the Vosges ridges and offers views of some of the most beautiful scenery. Here's a 3-stage description of this legendary section that crosses the Vosges ridges from the Col du Calvaire to the Grand Ballon.

Stage 1: from Lac Blanc to the Hohneck → The first part of the route epitomises the charm of the high altitude landscapes of the Vosges massif. Between lakes, high moors and rock faces, this section will not fail to fill you with wonder. With no particular difficulty, the route links the Col du Clavaire to the summit of the Hohneck, following the legendary GR5, marked by its red rectangle. You'll pass through two national nature reserves, Tanet-Gazon-du-Faing and Frankenthal-Missheimle, offering breathtaking panoramic views.

The stage ends at the Hohneck, the third highest peak in the massif at 1363m.

Stage 2: There are two options for the rest of the route. The first is to stay on the ridge line. If you choose this option, follow the signposting for the red/white/red rectangle variant of the GR5 as far as the Col du Herrenberg. This will take you to the peaks of the Kastelberg, Rainkopf and Rothenbachkopf, which form the undulations of the massif and offer unrivalled views.

The real GR5 route descends into the Munster valley before returning to the ridge. A little more challenging, it takes you through the magnificent Wormsa valley, a listed natural site shaped by a glacier in the Quaternary era. The scenery continues to change, and you'll discover two more lakes: Schiessrothried and Fischboedle.

Back at the junction of these two options, the route continues along the ridge with a view of Lac de Kruth below as far as the Col du Hahnenbrunnen.

Stage 3: On this final stage, you will pass through Markstein, a well-known mountain resort. As you follow the route des crêtes, your eyes will be focused on your ultimate goal, the summit of the Grand Ballon, which is clearly getting closer and closer. The final section passes through a forest of deciduous trees and fir. As soon as you emerge from the forest, the summit of the Vosges rises majestically. All that's left to do is climb it and enjoy the incomparable panorama.

Please note: The distance and altitude difference take into account the route which follows the GR5 between the Hohneck and the Col du Herrenberg.

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