I have been watching the National Geographic series, "Europe's Great Wilderness" and have become enthralled by their description of the Alpine Ibex. This magnificent animal appears to defy gravity in its cavorting about the alpine mountainsides.

In winter

Attribution info: [By Devil Dancer - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7046055](By Devil Dancer - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7046055)

I would love to see these animals in the wild and take some videos to prove I did it. There are commercial treks into the Swiss highlands for this purpose that someone can join, but I currently have have some mobility issues that prevent my signing up for such a tour (the walking tours entail arduous activities and hence are for the hale and hardy; I, on the other hand, had to get some strapping lads, mosque attendants to be exact, to carry me to the top of the grand mosque in Samarkand last month). Owing to the altitude the need for immediate access to medical appliances in my car obviate the possibilities for public transportation. So I'll have to use my car to get as close as possible and leg it from there. I should be good for about 200 yards.

I have researched the routes taken by these tours and have learned that many of them approach or encircle the Lac de Louvie. This mountain lake is fairly near the Euro E62 and the satellite view appears to show a path or sunken road leading there, but it's too indistinct to tell for sure. The lake itself is directly zoomable by name in Google Maps, the routing from the village of Riddes says there's 58 minutes of walking time involved (which is not feasible in my case given the altitude).

Question: how close to the shore of Lac de Louvie can a private car lawfully and reasonably approach given that it's a standard urban passenger car? We should assume that the time of year for this is high summer.

Secondary: I would love to go there in December and see the males lock horns during their courtship displays. So if there actually is a way in, is the road maintained during the winter?


3 Answers 3


I recommend going to Creux du Van, Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland. It is not in the Alps, but in Jura. Tt is very close to 100% sure you see an Ibex there. They normally don't flee there, cause you are standing above them on the cliff and they are at least 15 meter below you. And they know you cannot get there

And the best: you can drive by car to the restaurant "Le Soliat" (click for map). 150 m from the rim. But for the Ibex you may have to go some 100m or more further.

Probably the road is closed in winter when there is snow, I don't know.

If you are able to take a cable car, then Niederhorn (Hotel on top) would be a good option. Sights are very common (friends were there with large telephotolenses - and the Ibex were too close for them).

Another tip: Stay in a mountain hotel for the night, there are many accessible by car. In the morning and evening chances are best to see wildlife.


If you were reasonably mobile (on foot) I would recommend the Bordier Hut at the Ried Glacier: http://bordierhuette.ch/ Ibexes get as close as a few feet to the hut each evening. They are basically at arms reach. I once even saw a female with her young there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoniggi/28928387366/in/album-72157671483723432/ (taken by me in August 2016)


If you cannot walk, you will not be able to get there; the lac is in the middle of the mountains.

The closest you can get by car would be Verbier, it is a ski town, and get as high as possible with a ski lift (chairlift or cabin) and see if you can walk around a "little bit".

As to seeing the animals, good luck, I imagine that even for experienced trekkers and photographers, it is hard, and you would probably need a long zoom (400mm or better) to get a nice picture of them.

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