Gorges du Pont du Diable

Useful Information

Open: MAY to SEP daily 9-18/19 (depends on light conditions).
Fee: .
Classification: ExplainGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided, D=45min
Address: Société des Gorges du Pont du Diable, Le Jotty, 74200 La Vernaz, Tel: 0450-721039, Fax: 0450-721189. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1893 opened to the public.


The Gorges du Pont du Diable (Devil's Bridge Gorge) is one of numerous gorges along the Dranse de Morzine river. The local rocks are Jurassic limestone (actually grey marble) covered by much softer Cretaceous marls. During the orogeny of the Alps the horizontal layeres were pressed into one kilometer wide fold. So the rocks continually change between hard limestones and soft marls. With the soft marls the valey becomes wide, as erosion is easy. The hard limestones provided far mor resistance and the water was busy cutting a narrow gorge through the rock. There is a sequence of narrow parts, and the Gorges du Pont du Diable are the most impressive one.

The gorge was made accessible in 1892 by the work of a local carpenter. While his contemproaries thought he was crazy, the technical possibilities seemed insufficient for the dangerous task, he has proven them wrong. Much of his installations remains until the 1950s, when the trail was modernized, and the gorge is visited until today. So his work survived its creator.

This gorge is actually a roofless cave. Once the river Dranse formed an underground river cave, which became bigger and bigger. Finally the roof became too this and started to collapse. Today most of the roof has vanished, except for a small rest which forms a natural bridge called Pont du Diable (Devil's Bridge), namesake to the gorge.