Tour du Mont Blanc: Bellevue to Contamines Mont Joie

Arve Valley

Chamonix

Les Houches

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

Day 2: An excellent day taking in a huge variety of views, from alpine meadows to hanging glaciers and rocky ridges.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
11 km
Ascent
640 m
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
18˚
VIEW ON MAP
Tour du Mont Blanc: Bellevue to Contamines Mont Joie Map

Description

The day begins in the village of Les Houches, at the southwest end of the Chamonix valley. The first job is to reach the bottom of the Bellevue cable car, which lies at the western end of the Rue de Bellevue in Les Houches. From here, take the cable car up and from the top hike 50 metres south to cross over the tracks of the Tramway du Mont Blanc - the old fashioned mountain train which serves as the starting point for the normal route to Mont Blanc's summit. On the far side of the tracks is a jeep track which leads southeast and downhill for half an hour to reach the picturesque Chalets de l'Are. These sit in a lovely series of meadows and are usually surrounded by grazing cows. From the chalets, follow the path southwest, signposted for the Col de Tricot. This is flat for 5 minutes and then descends to a dramatic but short suspension bridge across a river which is fed by the Glacier de Bionnassay. Cross the bridge and then make the long, gentle climb up to the Col de Tricot (2120 metres) over the course of 1.5 hours. Descend from the Col on a steep, zig zag path for 600 vertical metres down to the Chalets de Miage. These sell the most wonderful blueberry tart, which is expensive at €6.00 but well worth the money. A short but sharp half hour climb from the chalets takes you up to the Chalets de Truc, and then a long, winding jeep track takes you down (in 1.5 hours) to the village of Les Contamines.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area