Photo: Meadows on Mont Raimeux
Up to the highest point in Canton Jura. Mont Raimeux is not exactly Alpine at 1302m, nor very prominent on what is basically a slightly higher part of a plateau, but this was a good hike in a fairly typical Jura landscape (forested hills, nice if not astounding views, steep hillsides, and layers of ridges).
If nothing else this is one one of the easier highest cantonal points to tick off the list.
Route: Crémines – Raimeux de Crémines – Sur le Golat – Raimeux Sommet – Raimeux de Grandval – Moutier.
Length: 13.75km, +723m, -822m.
For more hikes in Switzerland see my list of hikes.
Season: Spring – Autumn. This (or a similar route) could also be done with snow shoes in winter (if it actually snows).
Arrival/Departure: Train to Crémines / Train from Moutier.
Supplies: There were a surprising lack of places to eat for the region. Normally you constantly come across farm-house restaurants (Métairie in Swiss-French) in the Jura. There are a few restaurants along the route, otherwise shops and restaurants at Moutier.
Alternate routes/shortcuts: Returning to Crémines or another station in the valley would be a shorter route, but the views over the gorge on the descent to Moutier are worth the extra distance.
Notes along the route
The initial climb up from Crémines was mostly in the shade and being on a gravel road the gradient wasn’t steep. Despite being mid-September the temperature was in the high 20s, that combined with the at times rocky landscape and lack of rain recently made it feel almost more like Spain or Italy in sections.
At the end of the climb entered the hamlet of Raimeux de Crémines and the landscape changed to meadows and gentle plateau. The views opened up, including the Alps in the distance.
Following the signs for Raimeux Sommet going north led through meadows and forest to Sur La Golat where you join the ridgeline and get views down towards France in the north.
The summit of Mont Raimeux itself isn’t much of a summit, more of a gentle lump. There is a little tower that offers a slightly more extensive view. It isn’t very high, but it does require a climb up a steep ladder and then squeezing through quite a small gap. There were views down to Delemont and over the last rolling bits of the Jura into France and the distant Vosges and the Black Forest in Germany.
Following signs for Moutier. At the Raimeux SAC Hütte there is a choice of two ways. The time given is identical, the route that is also marked for Belprahon is abit gentler and more exposed. I had meant to take that but taking the route that is only marked for Moutier instead which is more in the trees with a short steep section.
The final descent to Moutier was a seemingly endless but gentle series of switch-backs in the forest. The highlight was the lookout point that offered a fantastic view into Moutier gorge. The lower part sadly came with the traffic noise from the main road.
For some reason when you enter Moutier itself the official footpath wants you to go to the east side of the tracks to get to the station. This is longer and more exposed, plus the shorter west route has a fountain.
Moutier sits in a beautiful location tucked away in an almost hidden valley that is accessed by lonely passes or narrow gorges. Sadly Moutier itself is a rather charmless industrial town. There is a slightly nicer part in the centre with some attractive buildings, but it really isn’t worth going out of your way for.