Near the Trient Valley is a path that descends into the mysterious gorges of Tête-Noire: Les Gorges Mystérieuses de la Tête-Noire was “discovered” in 1884, when it became a popular Swiss tourist destination. In the 19th century, a hotel was built at Tête-Noire to cater for people travelling between Martigny and Chamonix. In 1883 the hotel owner (Valentin Gay-Crosier) invited guests to visit the gorge and its secret waterfalls, which was right next to the hotel. While the hotel burnt down in the 1970 – no traces remain – the hiking path into the gorge is still maintained.
The path descends quite steeply, with some of the steeper sections involving timber stairs, as it heads to the bottom ofthe gorge.
As the path nears the bottom, a timber walkway clings to the side of the narrow gorge.
The walkway continues into the Trient Gorge, just above the river.
As the walkway goes deeper into the gorge, there are multiple cascades along the Trient River.
At the bottom of the gorge, a fina lset of timber steps leads to the Grotte aux Nymphes (also called the Nymphes Cave or fairy grotto). It’s a natural cathedral hidden beneath under large slabs of rock, with the river forming a turquoise-coloured pool.
It’s possible to do a longer loop, which involves a short section walking along the road; we returned the same way, walking back up the steep path to the Tête-Noire carpark at the top.