Refuge Doran and Refuge Tornieux
Elevation + / -
886m / 886m
When to go
Start Jun - Mid Oct
3.0 - 5.0 Hours
968m / 1837m
Very Nice (4/5)
1.5 - 2.5 Hours
9+ Years old
This wonderful loop trail explores the valley at the foot of the Chaine des Aravis and the Arete des Saix. There are two popular refuges that you will visit along the way: the Refuge de Doran and the Refuge du Tornieux. Both great refuges that offer both accommodation and nice meals.
The easiest way to access the trail is to park your car at Burzier above Sallanches. From there you walk up to the Refuge de Doran which is located in a beautiful pastural valley at the foot of the Chaine des Aravis. From there you climb up to the Arete des Saix which will provide a nice view over the Sallanches valley to the Mont Blanc. You then descend into the valley below and visit the Refuge de Tornieux. In my opinion its definitley worth having a meal here and either trying their signature cheese fondue or their deep fried potato specialty "bougnettes du Tornieux". After your visit to the refuge you go back to your starting point at Burzier.
Photos of this Trail
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Trail Directions & Safety Considerations
9+ Years old
We recommend to keep your dog on a leash
When to Go
Start Jun - Mid Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This trail reaches a height of 1837m at the Arete des Saix. You can expect the trail to be mostly snow free from early June to the middle of October but you need to check conditions ahead of time. If you are planning to stay or eat at either Refuge de Doran or Refuge du Tornieux then you need to check their websites and perhaps call to make sure they are open. Navigating this trail is not difficult and all major waypoints are well marked. The major waypoints are Refuge de Doran, Mayeres, Refuge du Tornieux and Burzier. The trails themselves are of moderate difficulty with some steeper sections as you ascend and descend from the Arete des Saix. Many parts of the trail are 4x4 tracks and are very easy.
Trail Starting Point
The trail starts at the Burzier Parking above Sallanches. In theory you can park further down the road at Les Planes but I think a 4x4 jeep would be needed for this. I am not sure about public transport options for reaching this or any other practical starting point.
From the Burzier Parking follow the signs for Doran and keep following the signs till you reach the Refuge de Doran. You cannot miss this. At one point you will have a choice of following the 4x4 road that supplies the Refuge or taking a trail on the right. Both will take you to the Refuge. From Refuge de Doran move westward into the valley and you will come across a sign where you need to follow the trail for Mayeres. This will take you over the Arete des Saix which is the crest located on the left side of the Refuge if you are facing in the direction of the valley after the Refuge. From there you will descend and reach the Refuge de Mayeres. From there follow the signs for Tornieux. After visiting Tornieux you can take the 4x4 track to Les Planes and then back to Burzier but we recommend taking the GR Tour du Pays du Mont Blanc to Deramey and then take the trail north back to Burzier.
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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