Tour du Mont Blanc: Merlet to Bellevue

Chamonix

Les Houches

Le Tourchet

Saint-Gervais-les-Bains

While one of the less interesting sections of the TMB, this stretch still offers a few hidden trail gems.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
13 km
Ascent
1 km
Descent
722 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
985 m
High Point
1.8 km
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
Tour du Mont Blanc: Merlet to Bellevue Map

Description

This section of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc route runs from the popular tourist destination of the Merlet animal park to the top of the TPH de Bellevue lift. While there are some sections of singletrack along this route, there’s a relatively high percentage of road walking. While some people choose to bypass this section using a taxi and the lift system, there are still a few gems worth experiencing!

From Merlet, this route traverses the mountainside on dark, loamy trails hidden deep in the forest. After spending so much time in the alpine, walking beneath the towering canopy of the forest is an incredible change of pace and a beautiful zone that shouldn’t be overlooked!

After crossing the road, you’ll reach the Christ-Roi statue and a stunning view over the valley and of the Mont Blanc. Then, you’ll drop down a series of steep switchbacks to reach the valley floor.

Once on the valley floor, prepare yourself for some road walking. You’ll pass through Les Houches and then begin climbing toward the top of the next mountain ridge. Most of this climb takes place on dirt roads, with a few stretches of singletrack mixed in. While the climb is steep, it’s short in comparison to other nearby ridges that soar high above treeline. Even though you don’t pass treeline before you reach the top of the Bellevue lift, meadows on top of the mountain offer vantages of the glaciated peaks nearby.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Historical
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area