Hike and picnic at sunset in Petit Ballon

Updated on 2024-04-23

Here is an idea for a very nice outing with friends: a short walk to do at the end of the day in summer in order to go picnic and watch the sun set since the Small Balloon (actually, you can also do it at another time if you want, eh! But there is something magical about the setting sun). I love this concept: there's nothing like taking advantage of the evening to get some fresh air (after a day of work, for example), and the fact of having a picnic at sunset from a Vosges summit is just wonderful...

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

The Petit Ballon is a summit of the Vosges Massif which culminates at 1 272m. Of course, to reach it by leaving at the end of the afternoon, you have to start from quite high up: so we left from the place called Hilsen (at 900m of altitude), in the municipality of Linthal, by parking close to the Ferme-Auberge du Hilsen.

The way is very beautiful to go up to the Petit Ballon since we are essentially in the open: we can thus enjoy the view all along, it is magnificent! It takes about 1h/1h15 from Hilsen to reach the Petit Ballon, which is an ideal spot to stop for a picnic and watch the sun gradually set.

For the return, we take another way to make a loop. Of course, you must not have forgotten your headlamp and be careful where you step. It takes again 1h/1h15 to Hilsen. In total, if we count 1 hour of picnic, it makes a 3h/3h30 outing. In summer, it’s perfect for a party! For example, we left at 6pm and were back at 9:15pm.

  • Short but beautiful walk
  • See the sun set from the Petit Ballon
  • Going in with the front door
  • Nothing!

My photos of the Hilsen hike at the Petit Ballon