Le Tour to Chamonix PBN
Elevation + / -
226m / 683m
Point to Point
When to go
Mid Apr - End Oct
2.5 - 4.0 Hours
1044m / 1527m
Very Easy (1/5)
1.5 - 2.5 Hours
7+ Years old
Restaurants in Lavancher
This route takes you from the town of Le Tour to Chamonix using the low altitude and easy trails of the Petit Balcon Nord (PBN). It passes by the hamlet of Le Planet, the town of Argentiere and the hamlet of Le Lavancher. It may not have the big views of the high altitude trails but it is still a very nice route with a nice mix of forest trails, open pastures and little hamlets. This walk can be done in many variations. This is the version with the least elevation gain. If you do it in the opposite direction and travel from Chamonix to Le Tour then you are looking at roughly 3x the vertical meters up. Our suggestion is to take the Petit Balcon Nord in a southern direction for slightly better views.
There are many variations you can make on this walk and the bus and train system in Chamonix will allow you to easily make your own version using different starting and/or ending points. In my opinion the nice parts of the Petit Balcon Nord are from Le Tour to Le Lavancher. You could shorten the route by stopping at the Lavancher and taking the trail to the main road and from there take the bus back to Chamonix. There are no snack bars directly on this trail but Le Lavancher has two restaurants which will require a booking: Le Rosebud and Les Chalets de Philippe. Both quite high end but a very nice bonus to add to this route.
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 Apr - End Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This is one of the easiest trails in the Chamonix Valley. It reaches an altitude of 1527 and should be snow free from mid April to the end of October. It is all low altitude and made to be family friendly. Beyond tree roots and a few rare steeper sections the trail is as easy as they come for the Chamonix Valley. Navigating this trail is easy. Just be aware that you are taking the Petit Balcon Nord and you should see that name on the trail markers you will be passing.
Trail Starting Point
You can start at Le Tour and make your way south west through the village to start the trail. There are many alternative starting points and the Petit Balcon Nord runs all the way through the valley from Le Tour to Chamonix. So you could get on at any point along the way.
From the big parking in Le Tour there are two town roads that lead south west and merge at the Chemin de Rocher Nay which turns into a trail and the start of the Petit Balcon Nord (PBN). Follow the trail and the signs for Le Planet which will be the first hamlet that you will pass through. There is a short cut that by passes the hamlet but I think its worth passing through. After Le Planet follow the trail down towards Argentiere. You are not going to the town of Argentiere so the moment you make your way down to the valley floor follow the signs for Les Chosalets. If you do want to visit Argentiere then this is a very small detour to add on. Follow the signs for Petit Balcon Nord and you will climb up at La Rosiere. From there its a straight path to the hamlet of Le Lavancher. Use the footpath through the town to make your way up. On the right side you will see a sign for Chamonix. Take this path which will you down to the level of the valley floor again. Once you arrive in Les Bois there will be many paths you can take to go to Chamonix. You cannot go wrong from here.
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.