Argentiere to Chamonix PBS
Elevation + / -
201m / 415m
Point to point
When to go
Start Apr - Mid Nov
2.0 - 3.0 Hours
1043m / 1281m
Very Easy (1/5)
1.0 - 1.5 Hours
7+ Years old
Only in main towns
This route stays very close to the valley floor and takes you from Argentiere to Chamonix via the Petite Balcon Sud (PBS). The petite balcons, which run on both sides of the valley, are a very popular route for those who want to stay close to the valley floor yet be in a very natural surrounding. The trail takes you mostly through forested areas with the occasional opening that gives a nice view of the valley and the mountains across the valley. The petite balcons are also an excellent way of exploring the many towns and hamlets in the Chamonix valley. In the case of the petite balcon sud the trail passes by the hamlet of La Joux and Les Tines and a small de tour would allow a visit to Les Praz. It is also very easy to combine the petite balcons nord and sud to make a loop walk exploring both sides of the valley. Between the two petite balcons I feel that the Petit Balcon Nord has more offer in terms of scenery and diversity. The petite balcon sud is still definitely worthwhile though.
Photos of this Trail
We have a large library of pictures from in and around the Chamonix Valley. All pictures are categorized and geo location tagged. These are the pictures we have for this trail. Click on any picture to view it's details and location.
Trail Directions & Safety Considerations
7+ Years old
We recommend to keep your dog on a leash
When to Go
Start Apr - Mid Nov
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This route reaches a maximum altitude of 1281m and should be generall snow free from April to November. Even with snow cover these trails will still be frequently used. Check the conditions ahead of time if you want to be sure. The Petite Balcon Sud is very well marked and the trail markers along the way will have a rectangular sign mounted on top indicating that you are on the Petite Balcon Sud. The trails itself is very easy with a few occasional steeper spots between La Joux and Les Tines opposite from Le Lavancher.
Trail Starting Point
You can start the trail at the Argentiere Train station. There is a bus stop nearby too. In reality you can start and stop the Petit Balcon Sud on many locations along its path.
From the Argentiere Trainstation you need to cross the main road and enter the Chemin de la Corne a Bouc. This turns into a trail and the start of the petite balcon sud. From there on its just a matter of following the Petite Balcon Sud signs all the way in the same direction until you reach Chamonix. You will go down to the river level at the valley floor at Les Tines. Just pay attention that you will need to take a small fairly steep trail on your right side to go back up above the valley floor to where a new section of the PBS will start. Even if you do miss this junction, there will be many other entry points to get back onto the PBS.
Points of Interest for this Trail
We have a large database of all of the points of interests in and around Chamonix. These are the points of interest you will find along this trail:
3D Map & GPS
Trail Route Map & GPS
You can download the GPX file and load this route into your own GPS enabled device or application. If you are on Strava, then you can open this route in Strava and save it to your account.
3D Map of this Trail
FATMAP in an incredible website and mobile application that you can use to view the trail in full 3D, do a fly over of the route and get a detailed vertical profile. You can view the FATMAP of this trail below and use the 'View larger map' link to visit the trail on the FATMAP website.