Montenvers to Plan Aiguille with Lac Bleu
Elevation + / -
471m / 103m
When to go
Mid Jun - End Sep
2.0 - 4.0 Hours
1911m / 2318m
1.0 - 1.5 Hours
7+ Years old
2 Refuges, 2 Snack Bars
This route single handedly combines some of the major attractions of Chamonix in a single trail. It begins with the Montenvers mountain train which takes you from the center of Chamonix to the Montenvers mountain station. There you will be able to visit the Grotte de la Mer de Glace, a spectacular ice cave carved out in the Mer de Glace glacier. An unforgetable experience. Also at Montenvers you can visit the Galerie des Cristeaux which shows some of the crystals found around the Mont Blanc mountain range. There is also a snack bar a restaurant and the Montenvers Hotel with its own bar and restaurant.
Once you finally start your hike you will be following the Grand Balcon Nord and traverse your way south west. The path is easy to follow, not too difficult and has spectacular views of the entire Massif du Mont Blanc and across the valley towards the Aiguilles Rouges. You will start seeing the Plan de l'Aiguille lift station coming closer and closer. You could go straight for the lift station but there are two side trips that we recommend you add on. First is a visit to the nearby Refuge du Plan de l'Aiguille where you can have another break and enjoy a snack or a drink. After that you will walk up to the lift station but before moving on we recommend you take a short side trip to visit the Lac Bleu. This is a beautifully situated little lake with very nice views over the Aiguille du Midi. After your visit to the lake you can walk back to the Plan de l'Aiguille lift station and make your way down to Chamonix.
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
Dogs are not allowed on the Plan de l'Aiguille and Aiguille du Midi cable cars. You can bring your dog if you walk down or head back to Montenvers and take the train down.
When to Go
Mid Jun - End Sep
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This is one of the most popular trails in the Chamonix Valley and you are very unlikely to be navigating it alone. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. Right after leaving Montenvers you will reach a rocky part where you will have to be a bit careful and mind your children. The rest of the trails are very easy. The trails reaches an altitude of 2318 meters and it will not be completely snow free till early June at best. Check ahead of time with the tourist office or the guides office to make sure that the conditions are good.
Trail Starting Point
Take the Montenvers train from the Montenvers train station in the center of Chamonix to the mountain station. This trail can easily be done in the opposite direction but then you will be walking away from the Mont Blanc and the nicest views instead of walking towards them. Doing the trail in the opposite direction does mean less vertical gain. If you want to make this trail longer then you can use the trail from Chamonix to Montenvers and skip the train all together.
You will start the trail at the Montenvers mountain train station. You can first look around or visit the Grotte du Mer de Glace (Ice Cave) or any of the restaurants or snack bars around Montenvers. The start of the trail is well marked and you can find it near the Montenvers Hotel. From there it is single track where you cannot go wrong. Your end destination, which is the Plan de l'Aiguille lift station will be in sight and the path leading towards it will be easy to follow. As you get nearer to the lift station there will be a number of paths you can take. The path towards the Refuge de Plan de l'Aiguille is well marked and we suggest you visit the refuge for snack or a drink and great view into the Chamonix Valley. If you dont feel like making this detour then you could simply follow the signs that point you straight to the lift station. Once you are at the lift station we suggest you make a small detour and visit the Lac Bleu. This is a beautifully situated little lake and it not a big effort to add it to your day. After visiting the lake simply walk back to the lift station and take the lift down back to Chamonix town center.
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.