Getting prepared

1Latest info

The new issue of our GTJ hiking route topoguide is available in our shop!

In order to constantly improve your hiking experience, we adapt the GTJs year in year out, so you might find differences between the issue of the topoguide you have and the actual route. Therefore, we recommend that you follow the marking on site.

This page lists the changes found between the different issues. The numbers appearing after the page numbers refer to the marks in the description.


Due to a landslide, the path between the Grand Colombier and Culoz is closed until the site is safe again. An alternate route is suggested below:

GTJ hiking route Gd Colombier diversion



The section between Les Moussières and L’Embossieux (p. 90 – 155 and 157) is diverted to the west. Keep going straight through the plains toward the L’Embouteilleux lake instead of going through Grande Molune. The diversion is marked on site.

Update on the description of the main GTJ route and its variants in issues 2 and 3 – 2012 and 2014.

Main route of the Grande Traversée du Jura

– From Hôpitaux-Neufs to the bend in Gros-Morond (p. 67 – 90): At the intersection “Le Pouillet”, do not cross the field on your right. Instead, keep going on the dirt road a bit and wait until you get to the beginning of the forest to turn right. Then continue on this path between the two forests until you reach the road leading to Morond.


The marking of the GTJ hiking route complies with the National Marking Charter set forth by the Fédération Française de Randonnée (French Hiking Federation). The GTJ is thus marked in the same way as an official GR (Grande Randonnée) trail: with red and white marks. Those are the marks you should follow along the route.


Signposts with direction vectors are being installed at major intersections. They may include both the GR marks and the GTJ hiking pictographs.

Grande Randonnée trails are blazed and maintained by the departmental committees of the French Hiking Federation. These committees usually entrust the marking to local hiking organisations or, in a number of cases, to the trail maintenance units of the communes, communautés de communes (commune associations), or tourist offices.

In case you should find non-compliant or misleading marks, please let us know by e-mail or via Suricate (a national platform designed to report problems in outdoor sports areas):

3Guides, maps and GPS

Before venturing on the Grande Traversée du Jura’s hiking route, we recommend that you take the topoguide titled “La GTJ à Pied”. This guide contains all the practical information that will enable you to prepare for your hike.

In addition, below is a list of the Top25 maps where the route is marked:

  • Between Mandeure and Pontarlier:
    • 3622 OT
    • 3623 OT
    • 3524 OT
    • 3425 OT
  • Between Pontarlier and Les Rousses:
    • 3425 OT
    • 3426 OT
    • 3326 OT
    • 3327 OT
  • Between Les Rousses and Culoz:
    • 3327 OT
    • 3328 OT
    • 3330 OT
    • 3331 OT

All these maps are available in our online shop.

If you have a GPS, you can download the route free of charge from this link:

GPS: La GTJ à Pied

4Difficulty level

The route is marked north to south with GTJ pictographs, in addition to the famous GR© marks. It is recommended, however, to be familiar with basic orientation techniques (reading maps, using a compass), or to take a GPS along.

The route regularly goes through villages where you can make purchases, which provides you with many opportunities to stock up on food and water. Thanks to our extensive network of lodging providers, you can plan to hike short distances.

As a rule of thumb when planning your hikes, an average hiker’s speed is 4 km/hr on flat ground, 300 m/hr uphill, and 500 m/hr downhill on sharply inclined ground. Day hikes may include increases in altitude of up to 1,000 m.

If you’re hiking as a group, remember to always adapt the hiking distance and walking speed to the level of the weakest participant.


I will be hiking for a few days. What do I need in my bag? Taking lots of stuff along will provide plenty of comfort, but your bag will be heavy; on the contrary, if you take very little stuff, you might be living in spartan conditions. Opting for a compromise between these two extremes is usually a good trade-off. The choice is yours!

As you may already know, a multiple-day hike still requires appropriate equipment and good organisation (it begins with packing your bag!). Below is a non-exhaustive list of what you should take along:

What you can’t do without:

  • Shoes: Your shoes must be comfortable and broken in;
  • Clothing: Make sure you take clothes appropriate for both rainy and sunny weather, hot and cold weather (it can get cold even at the height of summer); This implies multiple layers of clothing, along with a breathable (Gore-Tex type) rain coat;
  • A rucksack (with rain protection);
  • Accessories: sunglasses; cap; sunscreen lotion; flashlight; knife; identity documents; survival blanket; maps and compass; lighter and whistle;
  • Food: Make sure you take enough food for the day and a sweet snack in case you need an energy boost;
  • At least 1.5 litre of water per person per day;
  • First aid kit (containing gauze, disinfectant, physiological salt solution, elastic band, bandages, second-skin bandages, tick tweezers, a needle, paracetamol);
  • Mobile phone with charger.

What can come in handy:

  • GPS
  • Hiking sticks;
  • Sleeping bag (if you’re planning on staying overnight in shelters);
  • Minimum toiletry items;
  • A complete set of dry clothes and a pair of trainers or flip flops for evenings;
  • A pair of binoculars and/or a camera;
  • A pair of gaiters;
  • A spare pair of shoe laces (those whose shoe laces have broken will understand me…).

6Protected areas

The GTJ hiking route goes through several protected areas between La-Chapelle-des-Bois and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. The so-called “arrêté préfectoral de protection de biotope” is a local government order issued to protect the most sensitive species found in a given habitat. All other species therefore benefit from this protection! In our case, the protected species is the Caipercaillie. The regulation applied is mainly based on the notion of disturbance to:

  • the animal’s winter living conditions: the birds live on their reserves and frequent disturbances lead to exhaustion and potentially to death.
  • the animal’s reproduction conditions: even a slight disturbance prevents the birds from mating.

Therefore, access to hiking trails is regulated in certain periods in the areas concerned. Here are the detailed maps:  GTJ à pied – Zones protégées