Bench on top of Le Môle

A Guide to Hiking Le Môle – Stunning Panoramic Views of the Alps Close to Geneva

A detailed guide to hiking Le Môle a day trip from Geneva with stunning panoramic views

Even when there is low visibility you can see the impressive curved peak of Le Môle from Geneva. The peak stands boldly in front of Mont Blanc, like a little brother admiring his older sibling. But, Le Môle is a mountain to behold in its own right.

With stunning 360° panoramic views of the Alps, Geneva and the Jura mountains from the summit it really is a spectacle. You’ll be blown away as you gaze at the snow topped peaks and valleys beneath you, we certainly were. This 9 km hike is an easy journey from Geneva with a moderate incline throughout, making it a very accessible and easy trail with a huge reward at the top!

 

Hike details

Hiking distance: 9.2 km round trip 

Hiking duration: 2 hour accent. 1 hour descent.

Altitude: 1,863 m

Elevation gain: 800 meters

Difficulty: Easy

Suitable for: All ages and levels of fitness if you take it slow. Caution for children towards the top as there are some sharp drops. 

 

View on top of le Môle
Views at the very peak of Le Môle of the surrounding mountains

 

Why hike Le Môle

Because you get world-class mountain views of the Alps whilst only needing to hike for a few hours – you get a lot of bang for your buck!

It’s actually nicknamed “The American’s Mont Blanc” because when it’s too cloudy to see the Alps tourists mistake Le Môle for Mont Blanc and are equally impressed.

Along the hike you begin the first sections following a clearly marked path, winding through forests along the mountainside. The forest is home to lots of wildlife, it’s a great place to spot birds and we had deer darting across the hiking path.  

Gradually you reach the smaller summit of Petit Mole: a perfectly domed peak covered in beautiful mountain grass. Here you have magnificent views of the surrounding Bornes and Giffre mountain regions, it’s also a great spot for a quick snack to get you to the top!

As you reach the final summit along the trail, at an altitude of 1,863m, to one side you have pristine views of the Alps with Mont Blanc standing proud, on the other you can see all the way to the Jura Mountains with Lake Geneva and Jet d’Eau projecting into the skyline. 

Sounds amazing right? That’s why we’ve put together this guide on hiking Le Môle, including;

  • Le Môle hiking trail
  • How to get there
  • When to go
  • Local amenities 
  • What to take

If there’s anything else you want to know tell us in the comments or send us a message. We’re more than happy to answer any questions and would love to know what you think of the hike! 

 

Cross at the top of Le Môle
Cross at the top of the peak

 

Le Môle hiking trail

Ascent: From the car park take the path into the forest and follow it to the left along the mountainside. The trail gently rises on a clearly marked path and in about an hour you will reach Petit Môle. From here there are stunning views and as it gets steeper afterwards it’s a good spot for a rest if you’re tired.

From Petite Môle continue to follow the path up the slope, zigzagging through patches of trees and the rocky outcrops. The route gently rises at the start becoming steeper quickly towards the summit.

A few kilometres after Petite Môle you’ll start to see a large wooden become visible on the further side of the peak. Follow the route to the ridge-top path and you’ll find the highest point to the left, with a convenient bench for you to sit and admire the surroundings. 

From here you can walk the ridge-top path to the other side of the mountain where the wooden cross is positioned. It’s here you’ll get the best views of the Alps, Mont Blanc and the surrounding massifs – enjoy!

 

Beginning of Le Môle hike
The beginning of the hike through the woodland

 

Descent: There are two options for descending the peak. You can either retrace your footsteps or follow the ridge trail from the wooden cross in order to make a loop. You’ll go through some undergrowth before joining back close to the trail at Petit Môle. The ridge path is steep and slippery in places so caution is advised.

 

Approaching Petit Môle
Approaching the perfectly round peak of Petit Môle

 

How to get there

Whether you’re arriving by car or bicycle go to St-Jean de Tholomé and continue in the direction of Bovère. From here cross the villages of Chez Baron, Vers Chateau and Chez Folliex until you reach the end of the road where there is a bar: Chez Béroud. There is a car park and although there is no bike park there are plenty of places you can lock you bicycle.

If arriving by bicycle be warned there is harsh incline and depending on where you’re starting this may dominate much of the route. St-Jean de Tholomé is close to the trail start but the elevation gain is 373m and can make the short hike up Le Môle much harder. 

We started cycling from Annemasse and had a nearly 1,000m climb, meaning we were cream-crakered by the time we reached the trail. Not ideal in 33° heat!

You can travel via bus from Geneva to St-Jean de Tholomé from Geneva but from here you will still be 5.5km from the start of the hike. From here you can either hitch hike the popularity of the route means cars passing are often heading to the hike. Or begin your hike from St-Jean de Tholomé which will make the hike significantly longer. 

 

Views whilst reaching the summit of Le Môle
Stunning views of the surrounding valleys whilst reaching the summit of Le Môle

 

When to go

The recommended period to hike is between 15/05 to 01/11 however it is possible to hike year-round. If you do wish to hike outside of this window enquire with tourist information about the conditions of the trail as rainy and snowy periods can make the route inaccessible. 

 

Local Amenities

There aren’t any shops or cafes in the immediate vicinity so make sure you pick up any liquids or foods beforehand. They are currently in the process of developing a restaurant and cafe at the trail head but this wasn’t complete at the time of writing. 

 

Views on top of Le Môle
Incredible views of the Alps from the peak

 

views of Mont Blanc from Le Môle
Front row seats for a view of Mont Blanc

 

What to take

If you’re hiking in warmer months you will need;

  • Comfortable and breathable hiking shoes
  • Hiking shorts
  • Breathable top that protects you from the sun
  • A sunhat
  • Light rucksack for snacks and liquids
  • Sunglasses
  • A layer to put on when you reach the summit – even on the warmest days you can feel the chill from the breeze at the top.
  • Sun cream

If you’re hiking in colder months you will need:

  • Comfortable hiking boots, ideally waterproof and well-fitted warm socks
  • Waterproof hiking trousers
  • Base layer
  • A fast-wicking top
  • A fleece – depending on when you’re hiking you go you may need more than one
  • Waterproof coat
  • Warm hat or beanie
  • Gloves – waterproof if possible
  • Neck warmer
  • Rucksack
  • Depending on what time of year you go it may be advisable to also wear thermals if it’s cold enough. They work wonders when there’s a chill if you buy decent ones!

 

At any time of year we always have;

 

Le Mole Pin
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A Guide to Hiking Le Môle – Stunning Panoramic Views of the Alps Close to Geneva

The hike is very straight-forward and a great one to summit if you haven’t got a whole day to spend hiking but want to be surrounded by epic views. We highly recommend hiking on a clear day when you can make the most of the panoramic views and the beauty of the neighbouring peaks.  

If you have any questions or want some more information on the hike then like I said drop us a comment or send us a message. If you’ve done the hike we’d love to know what you think!

 

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