Account: snowshoe hike to Lake Lou

© Saint-Martin-de-Belleville

Lake Lou is the largest natural lake in the Vallée des Belleville. Nestling in the wilderness of a small, preserved valley, a refuge beckons to walkers and mountain lovers, in both summer and winter.

An introduction to snowshoeing

We meet at Les Bruyères Lake at 11am. It’s a lovely day with a few clouds in the sky, but we can feel the warmth of the sun on our bodies and in our hearts. The easy Lake Lou snowshoe trail is accessible even to beginners. Perfect, as we haven’t been snowshoeing for quite a few years.

© Les Menuires

We take our poles from the boot of the car and fix our snowshoes to our feet. Off we go for a walk of about 1½ hours to reach the top.

The first part is fairly easy. We walk around the lake to join the snowshoe trail on the other side. Then the trail heads gently up to the Lou Valley. The snow that has fallen during the night is still fresh and light. To our delight it crunches beneath our feet.

© Les Menuires

After a last, slightly steeper section, the lake appears. The silent, superb sight makes us feel good.

A gourmet break at the top

© Les Menuires

After that energetic walk, it’s time for a well-deserved rest. We find a nice spot with a view over the lake, and stop to picnic. When the refuge is open, it’s possible to eat there. Just for the pleasure, we of course order a hot chocolate with Chantilly cream at the refuge.

© Les Menuires

And now it’s time to go back down. Because it’s easier than the walk up, we appreciate the scenery even more on the descent. It’s been truly an excellent day and we’ll make sure we come back in the summer.

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