Flegere to Planpraz Grand Balcon Sud
Elevation + / -
314m / 191m
When to go
Mid Jun - Start Oct
1.5 - 2.0 Hours
1816m / 2078m
45 - 75 Mins
7+ Years old
The traverse between the Flegere and Planpraz lift stations is one of the most popular trails in Chamonix. It is family friendly trail with only a relatively small amount of elevation gain and loss as you traverse the plateau on the Aiguilles Rouges massif. This trail is part of the Grand Balcon Sud and right across the valley is the Mont Blanc Massif with the even more popular Grand Balcon Nord between Montenvers and Plan de l'Aiguille. The views on this trail are stunning and will be some of the best views you can get from Mont Blanc. The terrain is quite rocky which is what you can generally expect from the trails around Chamonix that are around 2000 meters in altitude. Its nothing too crazy though and kids should not have too much trouble here.
You can do the trail in either direction but we prefer to take it from Flegere to Planpraz so that you are always facing Mont Blanc and the Glacier des Bossons. Doing the trail in the other direction does reduce the vertical gain a bit. The trail can be easily combined with a visit to the Brevent Summit using the Brevent Cable Car which departs from Planpraz.
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
Mid Jun - Start Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
The trail reaches an altitude of 2078 meters and should be generally snow free from mid June to early October. The Flegere and Planpraz gondolas run from mid June to mid September so that would be excellent time to go. After about two-thirds of the way, you will pass below the Sources chairlift and you can choose to take the higher path which is what our GPX file and trail map are based on, or if it looks like there is too much snow, then you can opt to stay on the 4x4 track and move down before climbing up to Planpraz. If there is snow, it will usually be on the higher sections of the GR Tour du Mont Blanc trail closer to Planpraz and the lower, straight route to Planpraz over the ski slopes will have a lot more sun exposure and be snow free.
The trails themselves are rocky in many sections and there is a small steep section with metal handrails and supports. Its nothing too crazy though and kids should be fine as long as you supervise them. There are also some sections with steep drops on the valley side and you will want to supervise your kids there too.
Navigating the trail is easy. From the Flegere gondola walk towards the Index chair lift and you will already come across the first trail marker for Planpraz. Its an easy traverse and on every junction there will be trail markers for Planpraz.
Trail Starting Point
The trail starts at the Flegere Gondola ground station near the town of Les Praz. There is a large parking at the lift station. You can also take the Bus which has a stop at the lift station or take the train and get out at the Les Praz train station and walk to lift station.
Exit the Flegere Gondola mountain station and turn to your left towards the Index Chair Lift. You will see a trail marker indicating Planpraz which will take you passed the lift station and onto a 4x4 track. From there you will soon take a right onto the foot trail that starts the traverse towards Planpraz. There aren't many junctions and you will generally just traverse in a south-western direction.
After about two-thirds of the way you will pass below the Sources chairlift. You can either stay on the 4x4 track and go straight down and up to Planpraz or you can stay on the GR Tour du Mont Blanc and take the upper trail which will pass by the Altitude 2000 mountain restaurant before looping back to Planpraz.
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.