Cascade Cirque de Saint Même

(Cascade Isolee, Grande Cascade, Cascade des Sources)

Grande cascade Cirque de Saint-MêmeThe 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. 

Cascade Isolée - Cirque de Saint-MêmeIt 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.

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About Cascade Cirque de Saint Même

RegionRhone Alpes/Savoie Isere
LocationSt Pierre de Chartreuse
RiverSource Guiers Vif
Height30-110m +50m
Best visitSpring, early summer

Most nearby waterfalls

WaterfallDistance (linear)Rating
Cascade de l'Oule 10 km
Cascade de Couz 16 km
Cascade de la Pisserotte 24 km
Cascade du Pissou 25 km
Cascade l'Oursiere 27 km