Nature hiking

The best must-do hikes in the Jura Mountains

For a challenging hike or a family walk, the Jura Mountains invite you to make your hiking dreams come true amid their beautifully varied landscapes! The highest summits of Jura, the iconic steephead valley of Baume-les-Messieurs, the 4 Lakes and the famous Hérisson waterfalls to name but are few... Here's our selection!

Elisa Detrez et Max Coquard - Bestjobers - BFC Tourisme
1 Crêt de la Neige and Reculet

The most physically challenging

To reach the highest summits of the Jura Mountains, the Reculet (1,718m) and its close neighbour, the Crêt de la Neige (1,720m), you'll have to be prepared to tackle an elevation gain of 950 metres.

The reward once you reach the top is worth every effort. Find a spot to sit down, catch your breath, and gaze at the jagged peaks of the Alps and the legendary Mont Blanc.

This hike in the heart of a nature reserve also comes with the possible surprise of encountering a herd of chamois.

Note that you can also take the gondola lift to substantially reduce your uphill effort, which makes this hike accessible to just about anyone.                         

  • Duration: approximately 6hrs 50mns
  • Distance: 15km
  • Type: loop itinerary

Practical info

Maud Humbert - CRT Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Couple au sommet du Crêt de Chalam
2 Crêt Chalam

The most educational

Your must-do hike begins with a history lesson in the form of a discreet, yet listed border stone, the "borne aux lions" which was installed in 1613 to mark the boundary between the Kingdom of France and Spanish Burgundy.

Once at the top, it's time for a 360° geography lesson. The Jura Mountains unfurl In the foreground against the backdrop of the Alps and the Mont-Blanc. Perfect for revising the names of the summits of Jura and the Alps.

  • Duration: approximately 6hrs 50mns
  • Distance: 15km
  • Type: loop itinerary

Discover the Crêt de Chalam

Michel JOLY Bourgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme
3 Hérisson waterfalls

The most refreshing

This is a spectacular hike to do in spring when the rain and melting snow swells the 31 waterfalls that you'll admire along the way.

Besides the breathtaking sights, you'll enjoy the revitalising energy boost provided by the giant mister that you'll be hiking through!                                                                        

3 variants to match every level and preference:

  • Classic route: 7.4km there and back – duration 3hrs
  • Loop trail: 11km – 250m elevation range
  • Easy loop: 1.5km there and back

Practical info

Michel JOLY Bourgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme
4 4 Lakes panoramic viewpoint 

The most aquatic

This hike between lakes and forests is your chance to admire from every angle an ice-age legacy, 4 lakes that have the colours of lagoons.

You'll be able to gaze down at the tones of blue and green from 3 panoramic viewpoints and, at the bottom, walk along the Petit Maclu and Grand Maclu lakesides. Sublime scenery and unspoilt nature, far from civilisation... you don't need to travel to the ends of the earth to enjoy a change of scene.                                              

  • Duration: 3hrs
  • Distance: 9.9km
  • Type: loop itinerary

Practical info

Michel JOLY Bourgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme
5 Baume-les-Messieurs

The most picturesque

Hiking in Baume-les-Messieurs feels like walking across a life-sized picture postcard from Jura. Listed village, waterfall, spectacular views of the steephead valley and its rocky corrie, a typical feature of Jura... You'll get plenty of that Wow effect during this walk full of surprises.

When you reach the village (which, incidentally, is listed among the "most beautiful villages in France"), stop for a drink on a café terrace, a welcome end to this lovely half-day hiking getaway.   

  • Duration: approximately 4hrs
  • Distance: 11km
  • Type: loop itinerary

Practical info 

World Else / Montagnes du Jura
6 Mont d'Or summit

The most panoramic

The highest point in the department of Doubs (1, 463m) offers a panoramic view of some impressive cliffs and more than 300 Alpine summits including the Mont-Blanc, the Aiguille du Midi and the Jungfrau.

There are a number of ways to reach the plateau and ridge. Families can take the Morond chairlift, or go by car. For the full-on sporting challenge, allow 6 hours and prepare to climb.                                


Practical info

Benjamin Becker / BFC Tourisme
7 For all tastes

Fancy more hiking?

If you're still raring to go, here you'll find other hiking suggestions and itineraries in the Jura Mountains. From strenuous climbs to family walks, you're sure to find just the route to set you off on the right foot!

All hiking itineraries

En résumé