Are you looking for a beautiful hike in the Vosges with magnificent panoramic views? I’ve got just the thing for you with this loop hike in the Bruche Valley, which is undoubtedly one of my favorite hikes in Alsace! This fairly strenuous hike (16km and approx. 800 metres ascent) starts in Lutzelhouse and takes you to the Mutzig rockfrom where you’ll have an incredible view of the Vosges Massif, via the Porte de Pierre, a beautiful geological curiosity. What’s more, you can do this hike without a car, since you can get to the start by train (adding a few kilometers and a climb)! A flawless performance, in fact 🙂
Access to the trailhead
There are two starting points: either from the village of Luzelhouse (below) or from the Place des Musiciens in the forest (above!). If you arrive by train at Lutzelhouse station, you’ll have to travel 3km and climb 150m to reach Place des Musiciens (6km round trip). Yes, you’ll feel right at home if you start climbing straight away, but the hike is well worth it! If you come by car, you can choose to park in the village of Lutzelhouse or directly on the Place des Musiciens in the forest.
The majestic giant Sequoia
From the Place des Musiciens, the hike follows an ascending profile to the Porte de Pierre and then the Rocher de Mutzig… Yes, but a beautiful panorama has to be earned, doesn’t it? It’s a pleasant climb, however, through the Vosges forest, offering particularly pleasant shade on a hot summer’s day, and providing lovely views in the gaps. We soon arrive at the Giant Sequoia of Kappelbronn, planted in 1896 by a forest ranger in memory of his son, who died of diphtheria at the age of four… It’s a sad story for a majestic tree that stands 56 metres tall!
The mysterious Fairy Garden
The path then winds through the forest, and you really need to pay attention to the markings or have downloaded the GPX route on your GPS application (such as Visorando) or watch. That’s what I did, but it didn’t stop me from missing a few intersections at times, as I was too busy looking around rather than following the signs… It happens to me all the time, I admit, but at least now I realize it quickly 😉 After a good climb (we’re already over 800 metres above sea level), we arrive at the Jardin des Fées. A pretty name for a group of megaliths and cup stones that are quite mysterious, since we don’t know whether they were carved by natural erosion or by man… The view is already pretty nice!
The astonishing Stone Gate
A short descent allows you to regain your strength before starting to climb again towards Porte de Pierre. Suddenly, she appears, imposing and astonishing. It’s a pink sandstone monolith with three pillars and a lintel, forming a doorway… At 5 metres high and 7 metres wide, it’s impressive to say the least! I love this place, which I find fascinating: to imagine that this whole was formed by erosion is crazy, I think!
If you’d like to make the hike a little longer, you can start at the Porte de Pierre and make a round trip to the ruins of the little Katzenberg (1km and 50 meters of ascent on the outward journey): here you’ll find the ruins of a castle and, above all, a lovely viewpoint.
The Rocher de Mutzig and its panoramic view
Then it’s just 2km to the Rocher de Mutzig, at an altitude of 1,010 metres. The effort of the climb will soon be forgotten as you discover the magnificent panorama of the Bruche Valley and surrounding Vosges peaks such as the Donon, Schneeberg and Champ du Feu. Just magical!
I have a special relationship with the Rocher de Mutzig: I still remember the first time I discovered it! I’d heard about it and decided to go for my very first trail outing. Despite the rather poor weather that day and a very partially unobstructed view, I came back delighted! Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of trail running, often come to the area for a run and have fallen in love with the Bruche Valley: I now have my own little gîte in Grendelbruch!
The Rocher de Mutzig is the perfect spot for a picnic break: you can sit comfortably on the large, flat rocks and enjoy the panoramic view. There’s no hurry to set off again either: the rest of the hike is easy, with a downhill profile to the end of the loop. So you can really take the time to enjoy it…
Descent and return to starting point
The descent is then easy, first on narrow paths and then on wide forest roads. We go through the Narion pass and the Jewish hutThis shelter takes its name from the Jewish cattle merchants who once shuttled between the Bruche valley and Lorraine, spending the night with their animals in a stone enclosure that can still be seen today.
- Wonderful hike
- View from the Rocher de Mutzig
- Amazing Stone Gate
- Sports hikes
- Accessible by train
I liked a little less
My photos of the hike to Rocher de Mutzig and Porte de Pierre
Departure and arrival
Lutzelhouse (train station or Place des Musiciens, see explanations at beginning of article)
- Distance: about 16km (22km from the station)
- Ascent: approx. 800m (950m from the station)
- Duration: approx. 5h30 (7h from the station)
Lutzelhouse is located in:
- 40km from Strasbourg (about 30 minutes)
- 70km from Colmar (about 55 minutes)
- 110km from Mulhouse (approx. 1h20)
By public transport
The station is Lutzelhouse – Muhlbach sur Bruche. You can calculate your route on Fluo Grand Est.