The Little and Grand Montrond
“The military saw the col de la Faucille as a strategic challenge, whilst European artists passing through the Jura felt great emotion. How will you react?” Marc Forestier (“Que faire dans le Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura”, What to do in the High-Jura Regional Natural Park, Dakota Edition)
5 points of interest
- Pastoralism and agriculture
The Patou dog
From birth, the Patou dog lives alongside sheep in the sheep-pen, which allows it to build a strong relationship with the herd. The Patou’s role is not to shepherd the herd, but rather to protect it from predator attacks (wild animals, stray dogs, etc.). Its presence and its large size prevent many attacks. The dog’s first reaction is to bark and to place itself between the intruder or intruders and the herd. If the intruders do not heed this warning, the dog may then launch a physical attack.
When you come across a protection dog, be calm and adopt a passive attitude. Do not shout, do not run, and do not threaten the dog with a stick, it could interpret this behaviour as an attack. Reassure the animal by placing your coat or your backpack between the dog and yourself. If you have a dog, keep it on-lead.Head around the herd, the dog will sniff you and peacefully accompany you on your way to be sure of your intentions before returning to the herd.
- History & Heritage
Petit Montrond, a television relay
From the 1950s, touristic and sporting facilities became the features of a new landscape. Telecommunication relays, ski lifts, cable car “stations”, lodgings/restaurants built at the top of ski slopes transformed the mountain into a leisure area.
The northern wheatear
A visitor during the summer season, the northern wheatear settles in the Jura’s highest lawns. Visibly perched on a stone, dipping its tail, you will be able to best make out its white rump on one of its short flights. An insectivore, it hunts small insects to feed its chicks in a nest that it makes up on the ground.
The chamois does not occupy the same territory in summer as in winter. In the summer, this animal heads up to the high mountain summits and hides in the cliffs and screes. In the winter, bad climate conditions and the lack of food force it down to lower altitudes or ridge areas where snow is blown away by the wind.
- History & Heritage
The Crozat chalet
Before the Second World War, and during high levels of Swiss and Italian migration, many pastures served to accommodate cattle from neighbouring countries. Herds of sheep, of which there were many between the two wars, and part of which were intended for sale in Geneva butcher shops, mainly grazed on the mountains south of the Crozet Pass. Today, sheep farmers are still active in the Jura mountains, like here, in the pastures of the Crozat chalet, where close to 600 animals graze during the summer.
On the corner of the summer toboggan lift, the trail takes a stony road for 200 m (white and red waymarking).
Leave the Grande Randonnée trail (white and red waymarking) and take a new trail to your left with level ground that runs along the Gentianes ski lift. This trail includes many stairs to help you continue your ascent, and winds through the undergrowth and ski pistes before reaching the PETIT MONTROND summit (observation post)
Head under the arrival terminal for cable cars from the Grand Montrond (yellow waymarking). At times stony and muddy, this trail often follows the ridge line along the National Natural Reserve of the High Jura. After a first well-marked dip (power line), return to the ridge. Cross a second valley, the col du Crozat (cistern, remnants of old chalets). A steep path climbs up the north side of the Grand Montrond.
> Summit of the GRAND MONTROND a few tens of meters uphill.
From the summit, head back down westwards (white and red waymarking) via a grassy trail that turns rocky towards the Crozat chalet. Head past the chalet. The white path snakes flatly through the alpine pasture and comes to a ski lift at la Gélinotte.
Turn left on a forest trail and join up with a forest road (high forest with humid undergrowth where you may come across the Alps lettuce, butterbur, adenostyles alpina, etc.). The trail turns to the right again, and returns to the road and the Col de la Faucille.
- Departure : Col de la Faucille, at the foot of the ski lifts
- Arrival : Col de la Faucille, at the foot of the ski lifts
- Towns crossed : Mijoux
- Impacted practices:
- , Land-based
- Sensitivity periods:
- Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura
29 Le Village
03 84 34 12 30
Be careful on the edges of the cliffs and ridges from the Little Montrand to the Grand Montrond. Know when to turn back during foggy and stormy weather.
This trail passes through pastures in which sheep regularly graze, guarded against dogs and other predators by “Patou” dogs. When there is a herd of sheep on the trail, go around them. If Patou approach, remain calm and unthreatening. Do not run, this tends to excite the dogs. When cycling, descend from your bike. Avoid bringing your dog if you have one.
To respect the owners and farmers granting you passage, and for the security of livestock and wild fauna, we ask that you remain on the waymarked paths. Use the adapted passageways to get across fencing and be sure to close gateways behind you.
Wild flowers are beautiful, they may be rare and protected and often wilt quickly. Do not pick them! They will delight the next hikers.
In case of forest works (felling, skidding, etc.), for your safety, know when to stop and turn around.
To visit and get about in the High-Jura, visit www.reshaut-jura.fr, the eco-mobility portal listing all means of transport within the Park.
Access and parking
12 km west of Gex and 18 km south of Rousses, via the N 5.
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