Lac de Derborence

Lac de Derborence: The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Lac de Derborence is a high mountain lake at an elevation of 1.465m (4,806ft) above the sea level, located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It’s a narrow road with a long stretch of continuous hand crafted tunnels and windows with hairy 300m drop offs.

Can you drive to Lac de Derborence?

Set high in the Lizerne valley, the road to the lake is totally paved but pretty narrow running along the Lizerne gorges. It is called Route de Derborence. Starting from Conthey, in the district of Conthey, the road to the lake is 18.2km (11.30 miles) long. The road ends at a parking lot near the lake. The lake inspired the Vaudois author Charles Ferdinand Ramuz to write a novel of the same name. Two huge landslides on 24 September 1714 and 23 June 1749 led to the formation of the lake, when an estimated 50 million m3 of rocks blocked the course of the Derbonne river. The area is known for its ecological diversity and plays host to some rare aquatic flora and fauna.

Is the road to Lac de Derborence challenging?

The jaw-dropping road is very narrow and challenging. It’s closed to vehicles higher than 3.4m. The astonishing cliff road winds its way into the valley, passing through exhilarating unlit tunnels with windows in the rock. There are two tunnel stretches; one of them is very long. But there are frequent openings with cliff views so it is never too dark. This is a truly stunning road, worth every hairpin corner and hairy 300m drop offs off the side of the spectacular road to get to.

Is the road to Lac de Derborence steep?

The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 15% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Conthey, the elevation gain is 1.133 meters. The average gradient is 6.22%. To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 30 and 45 minutes.

Is the road to Lac de Derborence open?

Located in the south side of the Bernese Alps, the narrow twisting road blasted out of a rock-face to the Switzerland’s youngest natural lake is usually impassable from May to October or November.