Montagnayes Natural Reserve

The comba of Montagnayes in the town of Bionaz, extends from the 1573m of the valley bottom to the 3321m of Becca-des-Arbyères. Located to the left of the Buthier River, the large valley offers typical mountain landscapes with sub-alpine and alpine horizons and forests of European spruce and larches that thin out as the climb goes on towards the summits, leaving open spaces with small shrubs, alpine pastures and meadows and rare alpine and regional flower species.

Chamois, foxes, badgers, martens, weasels, golden eagles, pygmy owls, choughs, amphibians, reptiles and a myriad of daytime butterflies populate this rich natural and still uncontaminated part of this region.


  • Hiking

Discover the site

The best time to appreciate the reserve is during the summer months, especially July and August, when you can enjoy the beautiful blooms surrounded by the peace of a wild environment far from any human activity. In the autumn, especially in September and October when the fir and larch woods take on the colours of autumn, an excursion into the Combe of Montagnayes offers breath-taking views.
During the winter, finally, the thick blanket of snow and the avalanche danger make it an inaccessible area and its use is not recommended.

Behavioural conduct rules

We remind you that you can contribute to the preservation of these sites by following these simple rules:

visit the natural reserve on foot, avoid using motorized vehicles; mountain bikes and horseback riding are permitted only in specific authorized areas (external to the site): please respect hikers;

please stay within the marked trails, as trampling can ruin the fragile grass and undergrowth areas;

please observe wild animals from a distance, do not capture them, do not disturb them nor feed them, and do not photograph occupied nests;

keep your dog on a leash and on the marked trails;

do not pick minerals or flowers;

do not make fires;

please bring your garbage, where you will find many recyclable waste-collection points.

How to get there

By car

From Aosta, following the SS. 27 of the Great St. Bernard up to the junction of Variney and then following the regional road 28, you reach the turnoff to the town of Bionaz. From here you go towards the Lac de Places Moulin up to Area Ferrère where you leave your car.

Accessibility codification of sites

VIVA has chosen to supply everyone – youngsters, adults, the elderly and the disabled – with all the sites’ information so as to allow the visitor to choose a destination in an autonomous way.
An “Accessibility Codification”has thus been defined.

 Montagnayes Natural Reserve

Information to reach the site 0
Accessibility from main roads 1
Parking for the disabled 0
Accessible restrooms 0
Information panels 2
Slopes (max 8%) 0
Trail width (min 90cm) 0
Road surface 0
Resting areas approx every 10 m 0
Safety and protection of trails 0
Periodic maintenance 0

0 corresponds to ABSENCE of the indicated parameter;
3 corresponds to the PRESENCE of the indicated parameter, in optimal condition; 
1 – 2 are INTERMEDIATE VALUES: in general, they indicate the presence of the parameter which must however be improved (1 = sufficient, 2 = close to optimal)


More paths :

VIVA suggests:

Short path


Short path that winds from the buildings of Ferrère, where you may leave your car, up to the Arp-Damon alpine pasture. After leaving the woody area you will reach the ledge of Comba des Montagnayes studded with old pastures and dominated by the Becca du Merlo.

  • Elevation gain : 314 m
  • Travel time: 1h 30 min
  • Signposting: 15

What to see:

    Coniferous forest, alpine meadows, Gentian acaulis, ungulates, marmots, view of the Becca du Merlo


summer, autumn

Average path

Bivacco Chentre-Bionaz

Medium difficulty route referred to as hiking path. Departure from the buildings of Ferrère, where you may leave your car. The route takes you through the typical environments of medium and high mountain, from coniferous forests to alpine meadows, where in the month of July you can enjoy the red blooms of rhododendrons. Once at the camp as well as the breath-taking views of the Becca (mountain) of Luseney, you can appreciate the works by the Dutch artist Arjen Bakermans both on the facade of the refuge and inside.

  • Elevation gain : 992 m
  • Travel time: 3 h
  • Signposting: 14

What to see:

    Coniferous forest, alpine meadows, Gentian acaulis, Turk's cap lily, ungulates, marmots, view of the Becca of  Luseney



Easy trails: routes that present no major technical difficulties or too challenging slopes. They can be covered in full or in small sections, allowing in both cases to come into contact with unspoilt nature, discovering its pace and balance …

Medium difficult trails: routes that can be covered in a day, varying considerably in terms of height differences and technical difficulty; the benefit is in being able to reach wildlife destinations of great impact.

Long trails: excursions lasting several days which provide for stopover places and catering along the route.

cartina  Montagnayes Natural Reserve


Municipality: Bionaz

Surface: 1.170 ha

Altitude: 1.505 ÷ 3321 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


Agricoltura di montagna

Agricoltura di montagna
Full immersion in azienda agricola

Con gli asinelli alla scoperta del territorio

Con gli asinelli alla scoperta del territorio

Passeggiate in compagnia degli asinelli alla scoperta di  luoghi sconosciuti, mestieri e tradizioni di montagna

Montagnayes: una riserva da scoprire

Montagnayes:  una riserva da scoprire
Passeggiata naturalistica alla scoperta degli angoli più suggestivi della Riserva Naturale Montagnayes

Ammirando Montagnayes

Ammirando Montagnayes

Cicloescursione alla Diga di Place Moulin

VIVA recommends the premises belonging to the network “Saveurs du Val d’Aoste

Saveurs du Val d'Aoste