Time : 10 min
Difference in altitude: +20m
A geological curiosity, the "chapeau de Gendarme" (Gendarme hat) appears at the bend in the "lacets de Septmoncel". This rocky fold owes its name to its distinctive shape, reminiscent of the "bicorne" hat worn by Napoleon's gendarmes. It is made up of a series of thin layers of limestone that broke away from the rest of the mountain and were compacted at the base when the Alps were formed.
ACCESS: Leave Saint-Claude and take the D436 road (towards Geneva). Go through the Roche Percée tunnel, and 1 km further on, you'll find the Saut du
Chien (on the right). From here, you can go to the Moulin d'Aval waterfall: follow the road uphill for 50 m. Take the path on the right down to the waterfall. For the Chapeau de Gendarme: go back up to the intersection with the road, cross over and take the path that climbs up through the woods. At the end of the path, cross the road again. Follow the yellow markings and when you come out of the road at the top, leave the markings and go right along the road to the car park. Walk in single file on a busy road, so take care!
GPS coordinates latitude N 46.356825 / longitude E 5.902423