top of page

Lavancher to Chalets de la Pendant Loop


Overall rating

Above Average

Trail Length



Trail Elevation

Elevation + / -

806m / 806m

Trail Type

Trail type


When to go on this trail

When to go

Start Jun - Mid Oct

Hiking duration for this trail

Hike duration

3.0 - 5.0 Hours

Altitude range for this trail

Altitude Range

1207m / 1844m

Technical difficulty level for this trail

Technical level

Difficult (4/5)

Natural beauty rating for this trail

Natural beauty

Nice (3/5)

Run duration for this trail

Run duration

1.5 - 2.0 Hours

Kids age requirement for this trail


12+ Years old

Are dogs allowed on this trail


Dogs Allowed

Are there provision sources on this trail

Provision Sources

1 Snack Bar


This trail is a nice discovery route for the Montagne de la Pendant. It starts of at Le Lavancher from where we use the Petit Balcon Nord and then at les Chosalets we start the climb up to the open pastures of the Chalets de la Pendant below the Montagne de la Pendant. From there we move to the Tete des Prapators and reach a nice cliff view point of the Mer de Glace before our steep decent to the Buvette de Chapeau and the Cascade du Chapeau before completing our loop and returning to Le Lavancher. 

This trail easily be done in the opposite direction by going counter clockwise and starting of towards Le Chapeau. The steepest climb and most technical terrain is between Chapeau and the Tete des Prapators . You might prefer chosing this for the uphill. We prefer going clockwise for the better views.

Video of this Trail

We have made a video presentation for this trail. Please visit our channel on  YouTube and like the video and subscribe to our channel. Putting together these videos is quite a bit of work.

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

Age requirement for kids on this trail


12+ Years old

Dog rules on this trail


Some pretty technical bits on the climb up from Chapeau. The Chalets de la Pendant often have sheep dog guarding the flock. Just be aware of these things if you bring your dog.

Best time to go on this trail

When to Go

Start Jun - Mid Oct

Risk considerations for this trail

Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment

This trail reaches an altitude of 1844 meters at the Tete des Prapators. It should be snow free from early June to mid October but check local conditions ahead of time. The part between Le Chapeau and the Tete des Prapators is very steep with some ladders and hand supports and should not be tried in snow cover. The rest of the trail is not difficult. The trail is very easy to navigate with clear trail markers for each junction.

Starting point for this trail

Trail Starting Point

The trail starts at Le Lavancher, a small hamlet about 5km north east from Chamonix. There is a large car park at the top of the hamlet near the Chalets de Philippe. There is a bus stop at the bottom of the Le Lavancher along the D1506 main road. This would require an easy walk up to the Petit Balcon Nord from where you can continue the trail as we describe it here. The nearest train station is at Les Tines from where a fairly steep path can take you up to the top of Le Lavancher.

Step by step trail directions

Trail Directions

We start at the hamlet of Le Lavancher from where we move in northern direction on the Petit Balcon Nord in the direction of Argentiere. At the top of the small climb at Les Chosalets you will see a trail marker indicating the Croix de Lognan. Cross the little stream and take this path which will zigzag steadily up the mountain. At the next trail marker take the trail in the direction of the Alpage de la Pendant. You will pass by the Chalets de la Pendant and re-enter the forest where you will see a junction. Take the trail that says Prapator and Le Chapeau. You will soon reach the Tete des Prapators which has its own marker. This is where the steep descend towards Le Chapeau begins. You will up with the little trail that leads to the view point of the Mer de Glace a little east from Le Chapeau. The views you just had from the top are better so we recommend you skip the view point and go straight for the Buvette du Chapeau. From there its an easy walk and clearly marked back to Le Lavancher.

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:

Buvette du Chapeau


Our Rating


Snack Bar

Beautiful buvette near Chamonix with a big wooden terrace and with great views all around

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town


Altitude of this point of interest



View on Map
Le Lavancher


Our Rating



Beautifully situated hamlet on a plateau north from Chamonix

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town


Altitude of this point of interest



View on Map
Cascade du Chapeau


Our Rating



Waterfall next to the Chapeau buvette at the foot of the Mer de Glace

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town


Altitude of this point of interest



View on Map

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.

Open this trail in Strava

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.

bottom of page