Chamonix to Brevent via Bellachat
Elevation + / -
1551m / 1551m
When to go
Start Jul - Mid Oct
6.0 - 9.0 Hours
1089m / 2525m
Very Nice (4/5)
3.0 - 5.0 Hours
15+ Years old
1 Refuge, 1 Restaurant
The Brevent is the iconic peak high above the town of Chamonix on the northern flank of the valley. It's location right across from the Mont Blanc massif give it some of the best views of the Mont Blanc summit. Brevent is easy to reach using the Planpraz gondola and Brevent cable car which depart a little north from the center of Chamonix. If you are up for it you can also do the entire thing by foot.
Our recommended way of reaching Brevent from Chamonix is to start from the Planpraz gondola station. From there we use the Route du Moussoux and climb to the Plan Lachat and then keep climbing until we reach the Refuge de Bellachat. This refuge doubles as a snack bar and is open roughly from mid June to mid September. It would make a great spot for a snack and a break. We then suggest you take a slight detour to visit the Lac du Brevent before making the final climb to the Brevent. The summit itself has a lot to offer with a panoramic restaurant, a snack bar, an orientation table and a nice viewing deck. We then descend to Planpraz via the Col du Brevent and then go all the way back down to the valley floor.
The Planpraz gondola and Brevent cable car are only operational in winter during the ski season and in summer from roughly mid June to mid September. This trail enables you to visit the highlights around Brevent without the lifts and without the crowds. If the lifts are open then you could easily shorten this by skipping the downhill from Planpraz to Chamonix. It is not overly pretty and you are not missing much when compared to the spectacular stuff you already visited around Brevent. You could also opt to even stop earlier and make your way down all the way from Brevent.
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
15+ Years old
Natural Reserve. No dogs allowed.
When to Go
Start Jul - Mid Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This trail reaches an altitude of 2525 meters at the Brevent summit. There will be likely be a few snow patches around Brevent until the start or even middle of July. The accessibility at the end of summer is hard to predict. Last time we did it was mid October and it was still snow free. It will all depend on how early the snow starts. Check with the mountain information office ahead of time or turn back if come across too much snow cover. This trail would be dangerous the moment you cannot make out the trail.
The trail is not hard to navigate with trail markers at nearly all junctions. The only hard part is finding the trail from the Col de Bellachat to Lac du Brevent. We have a picture on this page showcasing this little trail. The trails around Lac du Brevent can be hard to follow. Pay attention and try to find yellow painted dots on rocks to indicate where the path is.
The terrain is rocky but not overly technical.
Trail Starting Point
We start the trail at the Planpraz ground station, a little north and above Chamonix. We dont actually go up to the lift station but instead stay on the Route du Moussoux and follow this road in a western direction. If you are coming by car then you can park at the Planpraz lift station parking if it is open. If it is not open, then park at any of the parking lots in the center of Chamonix and walk up to the Planpraz lift station.
From the Planpraz ground station head south-west on the paved road Route des Moussoux. Keep following this road until it turns into a trail and becomes the Promenade de Bois Prin. Follow the trail markers for Bel-Lachat via Plan Lachat. At Plan Lachat follow the trail marker for Brevent and Bel-Lachat. Climb all the way to the Refuge Bellachat. In front of the refuge there is a trail marker. Follow the direction of Brevent and Lac du Brevent. Pay attention: at the cairn with trail markers you want to head west in the direction of Aiguillette des Houches. If you are not interested in visiting Lac du Brevent then you could turn east instead and follow the trail for Brevent. Next you will notice a large cairn in front of a small swampy lake with a nice view of Mont Blanc behind it. This cairn signifies you have arrived at the Col de Bellachat. The trail you need to take is not marked and quite small. It turns north-east heading roughly in the direction that you came from but heads north. We have a picture of this little trail so go ahead and look that up. Follow this trail until you reach Lac du Brevent. We wil loop around the southern side of the lake and then head east back to the main trail going up to Brevent. At times it can be hard to find this trail. Look for yellow paint marks on rocks and use your GPS device or app to make sure you are heading east from the eastern side of the lake. Once you reach the junction with the main trail heading to Brevent, head north-east and keep following this trail all the way to the Brevent summit. Once you are done exploring Brevent, head back down a bit and you will see the trail marker you passed on your way up. Head in the direction of Col du Brevent and follow the next trail marker for Col du Brevent until you reach the Col. Follow the trail from the Col down to Planpraz. On the way down to Planpraz you will see a trail marker for Chamonix - Sentier en lacets. You can use this trail to make your down. At the next junction follow the direction of Chamonix. At the Plan des Chablettes trail marker follow the direction of Chamonix. At the next junction with the trail marker and a bench take the trail going down and south. Keep following this trail and it will meet with the 4x4 track which in winter forms the Brevent ski area home run. The trail will turn into a paved road and lead you back to the Planpraz ground station where you started.
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.