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Hiking trail: the Colomby de Gex from the Pailly

· 1 review · Hiking Route · Pays de Gex and its Monts Jura resort · Open
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Jura Mountains & The French side of Geneva Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • parking du Pailly (vu dans le sens Gex - Col de la Faucille)  sur la gauche en montant.
    parking du Pailly (vu dans le sens Gex - Col de la Faucille) sur la gauche en montant.
    Photo: Anne-Marie Barbe, Jura Mountains & The French side of Geneva
m 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Musée des pierres et du lapidaire Mijoux: La Faucille Le Colomby de Gex Réserve Naturelle … Jura Maison de … Jura
Built in Paris and then moved to Gex, the pylon of the Colomby de Gex, was assembled and erected for the 1907 Ain Mutuality Congress held in Gex.

Initially, it was topped by a dome and the plaque recalled the event.

It is actually located in Echenevex.

Distance 14.7 km
6:00 h
890 m
890 m
1,686 m
1,146 m
From the Pailly parking (A), take the small concrete road on 100m, then go up right on path named ‘’ La Vie de Chaux (closed from 01 December to 15 May and take carefully when late winter).  The path ends at the fork (B), on the Crozat alpine pasture, take a left then.   Catch up to Crozat chalet (C) then follow the white and red GR marking to Grand Montrond (D) then to Colomby de Gex (E).  Leave the GR then go down left at an alpine pasture to Branveau chalet (F) following the yellow landmarks.  Take above the chalet towards a little col (G), at the foot of the Echine.  Back down towards the ‘’ Chemin Neuf’’ (H), turn left then immediately right to Platiere chalet (I).  End the loop first following a wide path, then a fork (J) a path to Guible chalet the reach the Pailly.

A unique panorama of Lake Geneva and the Alps from the ridges. The entry in the cirque of Branveau reveals bucolic landscapes! The return to the alpine pastures "les Platières", in a forest environment, offers a luxuriant vegetation. Look out ... the chamois are never far away!

( A little physical for some people due to the succession of ascents and descents)

Note that this hike, is only accessible from 16 May to 30 November, due to a municipal decree prohibiting access to the Vie de Chaux and the presence of a wildlife tranquility zone.

The trail is in the National Nature Reserve of the Haute Chaîne du Jura, please respect the specific regulations for this area, which can be consulted via the link No dogs allowed, even on a leash!

Author’s recommendation

Careful, this trek, from a municipal-by-law forbidding the Vie de Chaux access and the presence of quiet wild fauna zone, is passable only from 16 May to 30 November.

This loop should not be done in the other direction as some sections are more challenging and difficult to pass.

This itinerary is part of the "Ain Outdoor" selection.

Profile picture of Anne-Marie Barbe
Anne-Marie Barbe 
Update: October 26, 2022
Highest point
1,686 m
Lowest point
1,146 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 3.37%Dirt road 26.48%Forested/wild trail 8.11%Path 61.38%Unknown 0.63%
0.5 km
Dirt road
3.9 km
Forested/wild trail
1.2 km
9 km
0.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Restaurant - Bar La Petite Chaumière
La table gourmande
La table de la Mainaz

Safety information

Before leaving :

Check the weather forecast and local weather conditions, and make sure there is no precipitationInform yourself about the access walk, the height of the itinerary, the time it takes, the possible retreats (IGN map, GPS, topo-guide, etc...)Assess the possible risks by asking mountain professionals, refuges and gîtesKeep someone close to you informed of your objective and contact them in case of change: departure and return times, number of participants with everyone's telephone number, vehicle(s), parkingAvoid going alone, use suitable gear for the activity, properly set up and in good condition, headlamp, complete first aid kit, survival blanket, etc.Call 112 (European emergency number) in case of a problem.

Tips and hints

Visit our website to find out more about our destination.

Note that this trail is in the Haute Chaîne du Jura National Nature Reserve. Therefore, respect its regulations:

No dogs allowed.


Pailly car park at 1175 m altitude, Route de La Faucille; 2 km from the Col de La Faucille on the Gex side. (1,205 m)
46.358878, 6.025920
46°21'32.0"N 6°01'33.3"E
32T 271208 5138221
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The Pailly car park at 1175 m altitude

Turn-by-turn directions

From the Pailly car park (A), follow the small tarmac road for 100m, then go up to the right along a path called "La Vie de Chaux" (closed from 1 December to 15 May and use with caution in case of late winter).

The path leads to a crow's foot (B) (with a ridge path). Follow the direction "Grand Montrond/Colomby". The path leads to the Crozat mountain pasture.

Reach the Crozat chalet (C) and turn left and follow the white and red markings of the GR towards Grand Montrond (D) then Colomby de Gex (E).

Leave the GR and go down to the left, through a mountain pasture towards the chalet de Branveau (F) following the yellow markers on the ground.

A turnstile marks the entrance to the Branveau hollow. Climb above the chalet to a small pass (G), at the foot of the Pas de l'Echine.

Switch to the other side (Creux de l'Envers forest), by a descent, which in the undergrowth becomes more technical.

At the crossroads of the "Chemin Neuf" (H), turn left towards the chalet des Platières (I).

Finish the loop by first following a wide path, then at a crow's foot (J) a path to the chalet de la Quible (k) then reach the Pailly.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Getting there




46.358878, 6.025920
46°21'32.0"N 6°01'33.3"E
32T 271208 5138221
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

IGN map 3328 OT Crêt de la Neige/Oyonnax/Lélex

Book recommendations for this region:

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Appropriate clothing for the season and conditions (cold, hot, wet...)

Suitable hiking shoes adapted to the ground (even for children!)

Hiking poles ( for stability and to take the strain off the joints)

Cell phone and spare battery

Questions and answers

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September 18, 2022 · Community
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When did you do this route? September 18, 2022

Photos from others

14.7 km
6:00 h
890 m
890 m
Highest point
1,686 m
Lowest point
1,146 m
Circular route Scenic Geological highlights Botanical highlights Summit route Healthy climate


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