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Old 21.05.2010, 19:35
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Do you know Creux du van?

Hi - I was looking for new places to go in Switzerland and came across this place for the first time. The pictures seem amazing but I was surprised that noone has ever mentioned this to me nor have I come aross the name till now.

Has anyone been there? Do you recommend a visit and what's the best plan if I want to do some hiking - can it be train/hike/eat/hike/train?

Thanks for your input.
A
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Old 21.05.2010, 19:39
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

Take the train to Noirague / Champ-du-Moulin and start walking, the trails are well marked. There is a place to eat at the top, about a hundred meters from the edge of creux du van. Another place to eat is Ferme Roberts, on the trail from Champ du Moulin.
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Old 21.05.2010, 19:43
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

Thanks - is it as good as the pictures show?
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Old 21.05.2010, 20:42
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

It's even better than the pics! I recommend going to the tourist office in neuchatel and getting the hiking pamphlet in English. All the trails are well marked as noted above, but the pamphlet makes it easy to see how trails connect. If you get an early morning start, you can hook up with La Gorge de l'Areuse which is the best hike I have *ever* been on. I'm from Oregon so that is saying a LOT! Hooking those two hikes together you'll be awestruck. I can't say enough wonderful things about that area, the beauty, the wonder. It's my favorite. Feel free to pm me for more info!!
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Old 21.05.2010, 21:11
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

I can thoroughly recommend going. It is very near to me and I go via Maubourget - Couvet road. There is a great rustic farm restaurant there. The scenery is amazing - just don't go near the edge - it is very exposed in places
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Old 22.05.2010, 08:36
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

It's definitely one of the moat dramatic locations to go hiking in the Jura mountains, you won't be disappointed. If it is a clear day then as well as the stunning cliff faces and region, there will be great views across a large part of western Switzerland and the Alps behind.
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Old 09.04.2012, 12:45
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

Can anyone recommend going at this time of year? Or is it still pretty snowy there?
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Old 09.04.2012, 13:30
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

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Can anyone recommend going at this time of year? Or is it still pretty snowy there?
Take a look here http://www.yeticam.ch/
We have had snow-rain here at 900mtr the whole morning.
On the north side there is more snow than the south.
Hope this helps.

Salut Zämma
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Old 09.04.2012, 13:43
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

That's a really useful link - thanks v much!
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Old 09.04.2012, 17:57
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

Jamu I've been hiking in the Creux-du-Van since I was a little girl, and we live very close by. It is a stunning spot, and if you do come over, get in touch and I'll show you around. Too early now, still quite a bit of snow around. The best wild flowers are in late May/June.

A lot of discussion at present about limiting access as it has become so popular that a lot of damage and erosion is taking place, especially with mountain bikes. Make sure you have good shoes as it can be very slippery on the limestone pavement when wet- and it is a VERY long drop down! I took one lady with a fear of heights there last year (she knows who she is, lol) and she was quite nervous, but with a bit of guidance did extremely well. The Soillat farm restaurant just below is great fun for fondues and hearty 'peasant' meals, with a great terrasse in good weather. If you go down from the Eastern end along the winding path to the Ferme Robert- another great spot for lunch, + a museum upstairs on the fauna and flora, including lynx, marmots, badgers, Ibex (like big Horn sheep), peregrines and wall creepers. Make sure that on your return around the circle, you leave the inner wall area to walk up to the top of the hill viewing area (on BigMara's picture) to see the amazing view of the Romandie plain and the Alps if you are lucky. From the circle you can see a long long way across the Jura, and the heart shaped Bienne/Biel lake.

Another wonderful walk in the area is the Gorges de la Poetta Raisse in Motiers, very wild and stunning - make sure you include a visit to one of the many absinthe producers. Willy Bovet for instance is just metres away from the train station, with the great restaurant Auberge des Six Communes next door, and Mauler Champagne on the other side. Up the road is a great Museum in the house where Rousseau, the French philosopher lived for a while, with a watch-maker's workshop and a room dedicated to Absinthe making and history, and opposite, a very interesting Museum about ... aborigines art.

Will organise a couple of EF meet/walks later on to both places.

Last edited by Odile; 09.04.2012 at 19:14.
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Old 09.04.2012, 18:14
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

I was there last summer and I can state that it is a nice place. As said, there is a part which is a bit slippery, but nothing very important. It's a nice walk, you go for a while into the forest, then up there you are outdoors and can see some farms and great views, then there is a beautiful way down.

No clue how it is right now, but in summer weather was nice.
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Old 09.04.2012, 21:23
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

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...
A lot of discussion at present about limiting access as it has become so popular that a lot of damage and erosion is taking place, especially with mountain bikes. ....

Hm.
I love it (not) when all this finger pointing starts against MTBs.
What about horses, then? And what about pedestrian activitiy, then? (not to speak of cows, sheep, goats etc).
I assume you have been, if only once in your lifetime, on the leaning tower in Pisa, or maybe the belltower in Piazza del Campo in Siena, or other century old buildings.... Have you ever noticed how human passage has worn down the stone steps?

I've been riding my MTB, following some of the secondary footpaths in the woods. You'd be surprised as to how easy it is to see the signs of human passage: feet shuffle the leaves, mark the soil, even if the frequency of the transits is quite low. Where the terrain is steeper it just takes someone to slip and move a bigger stone - water will eventually enlarge the hole and "damage" (i.e transform) whatever was there....It takes very little to start the erosion process - it takes place all the time.

Erosion has also accellerated because of the impact of severe weather - those crazy storms that pour huge quantities of rainwater in a very short timespan.

The solution isn't really to prohibit MTBs, maybe the best approach is to have some areas (with various degrees of challenge) reserved to the bikes, and others reserved for pedestrians, and so on. The local Gemeinde should have the bikers pay some kind of access fee to cover the costs of upkeep / grooming the biking trails.

Peace

Paul
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Old 09.04.2012, 21:35
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Re: Do you know Creux du van?

Hi Paul - have you ever been there? The limestone circle is totally enclosed by a stone wall, and parts of the footpath around (on the inside of the wall)are only about 1m wide with a 200m+ sheer drop. No cows or sheep there, I can tell you. It is also the only place in the Jura where Ibex can breed, so walkers do disturb but just not in the same way as groups of mountain bikers. So yes, a great shame, but some sites are so rare and precious, that they have to be protected. Several times I've also seen groups of remote control fanatics with lots of planes going round and round the circle - with the breeding pairs of peregrines falcons and wonderful blue-pink wall creepers terrorised out of their wit and unable to feed young. Another problem being the local flying clubs that enjoy coming down very very low with small planes over the circle.
Hence the reasons for measures being taken to re-route bikes outside the wall (difficult though as it is farmland with cows in Summer) and to bring in wardens to stop abuse. Same in some woods around here where the extremely rare and threatened with extinction capercaillie. Plenty of space for all, with a bit of care, understanding and respect. I am certainly NOT against MTBs at all, but some places are just not suitable, and this is one.

Last edited by Odile; 09.04.2012 at 22:03.
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