For hikers, Ru Courtod is certainly one of the best places in Val d’Ayas. It is possible to enjoy splendid yet easy walks along the channel, following the ancient “Mountain Canal” route. There is very little rise in altitude making it ideal for families or for those just out for a walk before a picnic or lunch in one of the excellent local restaurants.
Two distinct routes wind their way for several kilometres along the orographical right-hand side of the valley, often following the flow of the ancient water channel. This is the ideal place for those wanting to take some exercise while enjoying a nature walk.
The first stretch of Ru Courtod which lies entirely within the commune of Ayas and is practicable from the end of spring until late autumn, starts from the pastureland bearing this name and winds its way below Monte Rosa following the side of the mountain through larch woods and open pastureland rich in flowers as far as the “great waterfall”. Along many stretches of the ancient route, the Ru is open to the air and the pathway running beside it is a memorable sight.
The second stretch starts from Col de Joux within the commune of Brusson and flows into a mixed conifer wood through which you catch the occasional glimpse of numerous villages around Brusson and, on the valley bottom, Palasinaz basin and Tre Dame di Challant mountain.
It is a good idea to have a nature guide accompany you along your walk as you will then see the walk through different eyes: a few hints about how to recognise the features and peculiarities of mountain flowers, “secrets” about the wild animals you catch sight of on your walk, historical information, legends and much else.
A last piece of advice: respecting nature also means leaving it untouched. Therefore, take your packed lunch rubbish away with you, do not indiscriminately pick flowers which, once torn from the ground, quickly wilt and die.