Randonneurs sur le Grand ColombierRandonneurs sur le Grand Colombier
©Randonneurs sur le Grand Colombier|Laurent Madelon


From the waterfalls to the panoramas of the Alps, many hiking trails allow you to discover the South Bugey and its unusual places at your own pace near Lyon and Macon.

Our little tips!

Let us guide you

Promotional hiking map in Bugey

Download our map and discover 34 of the most beautiful hiking trails in the region.
Several maps are on sale at the Tourist Office.


the application for your outdoor sports outings

Download the free Ain-Outdoor app on your smartphone and discover the most beautiful hikes in the area and the Ain department. Suitable for all levels, the proposed hikes are downloadable on the app, you will then just have to let yourself be guided by following the chosen trail.
Find the hiking, trail and cycling trails and routes on the app and the website ain-outdoor.com.

Before you leave

La foret de Rothonne avec le parcours ludique et le parcours du Poilu - 20.05.2018La foret de Rothonne avec le parcours ludique et le parcours du Poilu - 20.05.2018
©La foret de Rothonne avec le parcours ludique et le parcours du Poilu - 20.05.2018
  • What are the best hikes to stay cool during hot weather?

    We recommend all the hikes with a start at altitude on the Grand Colombier massif or on the Plateau de Retord (Circuit des Scioux, Ronde des Plans, Crêtes de Sur Lyand, etc).
    You will not only enjoy the freshness of the forest, the mountain air and a much more bearable temperature since it drops by about 1°C each time you rise 150 meters.

  • How to react when facing a herding dog?

    Avoid all threatening signs towards the dog, do not pet it, do not try to feed it, go around the herd, keep your dog on a leash at all times in the pastures.

  • Are the hikes marked?

    Daily hikes: hiking trails of less than a day’s duration are marked in yellow.

    GR®: the long-distance hiking trails, in line or loop approved by the Hiking French Federation are composed of a number and usually a name. It is marked in white and red.

    GR® de Pays: taking a few days, these trails remain within the same geographical entity and is marked in yellow and red.

  • Is it possible to camp on the Plateau de Retord and the Grand Colombier ?

    Wild camping is not allowed in the Plateau de Retord and Grand Colombier mountain pastures.

    The natural camping area of Les Plans d’Hotonnes welcomes hikers and mountain bikers on their way throughout the summer season. At the foot of the Grand Colombier, the Colombier campsite has many pitches for itinerant travelers.

  • Which app can I use for hiking?

    The Ainoutdoor app is free and has a large number of hikes throughout the Ain department.
    Ainoutdoor not only allows you to visualize the different existing routes but also to use real-time guidance on several types of maps.

    Many other app exist with a significant amount of hikes advised by other users. We draw the attention of hikers to the fact that these GPX tracks do not always respect private properties, municipal by-laws, agricultural land (hay meadows, mountain pastures, sensitive natural areas, etc.) or can also be dangerous. This is why we ask hikers to stay on the many trails marked by the departmental committee of the French Hiking Federation.

  • What kind of walk can be done at the top of the Grand Colombier?

    From the parking lot at the top, it is possible to make a round trip of about twenty minutes to the orientation table located at the foot of the Grand Colombier Cross to enjoy a 360 degree panorama. Several hikes of a few hours are also possible on the crests of the Grand Colombier.

  • Where to stay on the GTJ (Grande Traversée du Jura) trail?

    Whether it’s the GTJ by mountain bike or on foot, several accommodations offer overnight stays on a half-board basis along the routes: in Les Plans d’Hotonnes, the Berthet Hotel-Restaurant, La Ferme des Bergonnes, the Chalet Jean Macé, or the Chalet d’Arvières just a few kilometers from the Grand Colombier.
    A natural camping area is also accessible in Les Plans d’Hotonnes. At the arrival of the GTJ, the Colombier campsite in Culoz also has many sites and tents ready to camp.

  • Is it possible to get hiking maps/guides on site?

    Yes, you can find in the different offices of the Tourist Office Bugey Sud:

    • 11 individual hiking sheets in the Bugey Sud (French only).
    • A guidebook Hiking in Bugey: 71 hikes, from 1h45 to 10h of walking, throughout the Bugey (14 €) Edited by the Departmental Hiking Committee of Ain. (French only).
    • 2 custom-made IGN maps at 1: 25,000 on the Plateau de Retord and the Grand Colombier (15 €)
    • A guidebook Balades en Bugey: 25 circuits from 1h to 3h30 to discover the natural and heritage wealth of the villages of Bugey. (12 €) (French only).
  • Are there any protected areas in the South Bugey ?

    Yes, Labeled Sensitive Natural Area, Massif du Grand Colombier, Arvière, Gorges de Thurignin, Cerveyrieu waterfall, Glandieu waterfall, Fierloz massif represent important biodiversity issues. Grand Colombier and Plateau de Retord are also Natura 2000 sites.
    We thank you for enjoying the beauty and respecting the natural wealth of the Bugey.