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Vieux-Emosson footprint layer

The footprints discovered in 1976 at Vieux Emosson date back more than 240 million years.

On 23 August 1976, the French geologist Georges Bronner discovered a palaeontological site at Vieux-Emosson (2400m), which was revealed as a result of a particularly hot summer. Studies of further finds made in 2008 have identified the species that made these footprints and developed new theories as to when they were made. The rock formations belong to a period before the true dinosaurs developed; the prints match those of primitive reptiles belonging to the group known as Archosaurs, which includes the ancestors of dinosaurs and crocodiles.

The area was declared a protected site by the government of the Valais canton on 9 November 1983. Damaging the footprints, taking rock samples and dumping rubbish are strictly prohibited.

The footprints are usually visible from mid-July (before then, they are covered by snow).

 

Access

only on foot - From Emosson - total ascent of 600 metres

Through the Veudale gorge - 4 hours round trip

From Emosson, follow the signs, going through the Veudale gorge. Mountain footpath.

Via the Vieux-Emosson mountain hut, mountain footpath - between 4.5 and 5 hours

A circular walk is possible, going via the Vieux-Emosson mountain hut. That is the Vieux-Emosson geological trail.

Via the Vieux-Emosson mountain hut, asphalt road and then mountain footpath - between 4.5 and 5 hours

This trail runs alongside Emosson Lake and the Vieux-Emosson lake.

 

Guided tours of the footprints site each summer

From Monday 24th of July to Monday 21th of August 2017 and Saturday and Sunday 9-10 of September 2017, a guide is on the site and give you explanation. 

Download the flyer 

 

Brochures to download

 

 

 

Empreinte © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève. 2011
Empreintes fossilisées dans une dalle de grès © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Empreintes fossilisées dans une dalle de grès © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Empreintes fossilisées dans une dalle de grès © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Explications des géologues
Explications géologiques pour les randonneurs © P. Wagneur, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Interprétation d'une empreinte © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève. 2011
Le lac du Vieux-Emosson © P. Wagneur, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Moulage d'une piste d'Isochirotherium découverte en 2008 © P. Wagneur, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Traces et rides de vages © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève. 2011
Une petite empreinte d'Isochirotherium découverte en 2008 © P. Wagneur, Muséum de la Ville de Genève
Vue générale de la dalle aux empreintes du Vieux-Emosson © L. Cavin, Muséum de la Ville de Genève. 2
Vue générale de la dalle aux empreintes du Vieux-Emosson © P. Wagneur, Muséum de la Ville de Genève