Walking to La Grotte aux Fées and Bisons

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It’s good to browse Komoot because sometimes you find nice hikes to enjoy. Today I drove towards Vallorbe and specifically Juraparc. Juraparc is a park with bisons, wolves, alpacas, goats and bears. I saw the goats, the alpacas, the bison and deer. I didn’t look for the bears and wolves.

The hike itself is quite short but it starts with an “alpine” section that almost a scramble. It may feel dangerous to proceed beyond this point but in reality the more challenging part is quite short. Walking sticks and surefootedness are useful for that section.

After this you walk along a wider path, until you get to a trail, and then it becomes more technical again. The route takes you by clearings where it can be swampy at times. At other times the route takes you by a dried up river or stream. I did have to hop across three stepping stones at one point, to cross a stream. I considered wading through before I spotted the stepping stones.

Some Road Walking

There are two or three bits where you have to walk along the road for a bit. You eventually get to the hydroeletric power station and then you head towards the Grotte de Vallorbe, before crossing the river Orbe, and then heading to the Grotte aux Fées. The Grotte aux Fées is nice and wide, and it can be explored in more depth by cavers with experience. For this walk I did not go into the cave. I stayed in the cavern part.

After this you have a steep winding climb until you get to the main road, and you walk along it for a few hundred meters before heading back down along the forest paths. You will cross two roads before eventually getting back to Juraparc.

Bison Variety

The restaurant beside Juraparc serves bison in a number of manners, from emincé, to steak, to entrecote, depending on your preference. they also have normal beef hamburgers and other choices.

I am undecided about whether it is better to do this walk clockwise or anti-clockwise. I suppose it depends on whether you want to snack in the cave, near the end of the walk, or you want to go straight to the cave, and then take the long way back.

If you come by car you can park by Juraparc, if you want to finish the walk by eating in the restaurant. The other option is to park in the grotte parkings at the bottom of the valley.

The final option is to take the train to Vallorbe and do the walk from the train station.

And Finally

This walk provides nice landscapes along the way, and an opportunity to see interesting cave formations. It also gives you a chance to do a short, pleasant walk, rather than a long arduous one. This is a loop walk with three or four points where you can park. It also has train access. It would take one hour and 13 minutes to one hour and 36 minutes, depending on the route and time you choose.

The start is slightly alpine, and the walk up to the caves and beyond is quite steep, so it’s worth double checking the topography, as well as taking hiking sticks for additional support.