Cascade Cirque de Saint Même
(Cascade Isolee, Grande Cascade, Cascade des Sources)
The Cascade Cirque de Saint-Même are actually 3 waterfalls in the same river Source Guiers Vif east of Les Echelles (Chartreuse). From top to bottom the waterfalls are called: Cascade des Sources – Grande Cascade – Cascade Isolee. The river descends over 500 meters creating these three magnificent waterfalls.
Cirque de Saint-Même is located on the border of the regions Isere and Savoie near Saint-Même d’en haut in France. From Les Echelles drive east over road D520C>D45C to Saint-Même d’en haut. When the road ends there is a free parking (gps 45.401031, 5.890601) from where a trail starts into Cirque de Saint-Même.
After 5-10 minutes you reach the restaurant with a big meadow and a nice river in front. The perfect spot for a picnic or just to enjoy. A lot of people where sitting on the grass when we visited Cirque de Saint-Même May 2022. I think this was the highlight of our vacation and also one of the most beautiful spots in France where I ever have been.
I decided first to walk to the most upper waterfall, the Grande cascade. At the restaurant you have to take the path to the right that goes up. A nice trail with some medium steep parts. Not that difficult because I saw people walking on their flip flops….. After 35 minutes I reached the gorgeous grande cascade with the pedestrian bridge in front (perfect picture). I stayed there a long time, slowly walking towards the bridge in front of the Grande cascade, but the best view is a little back.
It is difficult to estimate how high the Grande cascade is but with a single drop of 30 meters and a total drop of 100 meters, the biggest waterfall in Cirque de Saint-Même.
Now I walked my way down until I saw a yellow sign (a path going right) “Pont Drugey. I wasn’t sure if this path lead to cascade Isolee but it did. After 5 minutes, from the crossing, the first view on cascade Isolee shows up. Wow, this was an even more powerful and beautiful waterfall than I had expected. The river Guiers thunders down over appr. 30 meter with great power. I walked to the base of the waterfall taking a lot of pictures and video’s.
For the las waterfall you have to walk back to the restaurant and there follow the signs for “sentier des cascades”. After 5-10 minutes you reach the powerful Pisse du Guiers, a 30 meter high waterfall, again very photogenic. Walk a little further from the first viewpoint to get closer.
In total we spend 2 hours at Cirque de Saint-Même, including a break at the meadow near the restaurant. I really wanted to stay longer, for me this is paradise! Maybe also because the weather was perfect, not to warm and the sun was shining.