Miage to Tricot and Plan de Glacier
Elevation + / -
1181m / 1181m
When to go
Mid Jun - End Sep
4.0 - 6.0 Hours
1565m / 2680m
Very Difficult (5/5)
Very Nice (4/5)
2.5 - 3.5 Hours
15+ Years old
This trail takes you to the high altitude Refuge de Plan de Glacier perched on a rockface on the side of the Glacier de Miage. There is only one trail that you can take to reach this Refuge and it runs between the Refuge de Miage and the Col de Tricot. You can either take this trail as a loop from Refuge Miage or make it a detour on your way to Miage from the Col de Tricot. I personally did this as a run from Chamonix passing by Bellevue and then the Col de Tricot and then I added this detour before reaching Miage.
The trail itself is not easy. The path up to Col de Tricot is quite steep and rocky and the "Smugglers Path" between de Col and Refuge de Plan de Glacier is quite technical too. It will be slow going or at least that is how I experienced it. The descend back into Refuge de Miage is no cake walk either. All in all its a pretty rough route without any sections that are easier on the knees. What you get in return though is definitely worth it. You will have great views pretty much all the way and the Refuge de Plan de Glacier is something you need to see to believe. Its small and charming and feels to be built in the middle of nowhere.
Photos of this Trail
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Trail Directions & Safety Considerations
15+ Years old
Too technical in our opinion to comfortably do with a dog.
When to Go
Mid Jun - End Sep
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This route reaches an altitude of 2680 meters at the Refuge de Plan de Glacier. It will most likely be snow free from the middle to end of June to the end of September. To be sure I would check with the Refuge itself. If they are open then they will know the conditions. The entire trail is very rocky, steep and will have a lot sections with lose scree. It is also very remote and I would not undertake this unless the season and weather are right for it. The trail is easy to navigate seeing how there are no splits in the road and you making a basic loop around the Miage Valley. You will be able to see the Refuge de Miage for the vast majority of the route. The final section of the Smugglers Path going to the Plan de Glacier is pretty much all rocks and I constantly had the feeling that I should have been there by now. Keep at it and you will reach the Refuge. The trail itself is steep and technical all throughout. Lots of big steps, lots of rock, lots of lose scree.
Trail Starting Point
You can start the trail at the Refuge de Miage or the Col de Tricot if you are making a detour on your way to Miage. There are no real public transport options for reaching the Refuge de Miage.
From the Refuge de Miage head up towards de Col de Tricot. You cannot miss it and you will be able to see the Col from your departure point. Its a steep climb. From the Col de Tricot you will be turning to your right. There is a trail marker that will indicate the Plan de Glacier. You will be passing though a very nice stone arch on the so-called Smugglers Path. At the end of this path you will see the intersection with the trail going back down to the Refuge de Miage. Instead keep going south east towards the Refuge de Plan de Glacier. You take a rest at the Refuge and if its open you can enjoy a snack here. After that you will head back to the junction and take the trail down to the Refuge de Miage. The final section will be the easiest on your knees as you walk out through the alpine pastures on the valley floor and back to the Refuge.
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
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3D Map of this Trail
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