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Refuge Doran and Refuge Tornieux


Overall rating


Trail Length



Trail Elevation

Elevation + / -

886m / 886m

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

968m / 1837m

Technical difficulty level for this trail

Technical level

Moderate (3/5)

Natural beauty rating for this trail

Natural beauty

Very Nice (4/5)

Run duration for this trail

Run duration

1.5 - 2.5 Hours

Kids age requirement for this trail


9+ Years old

Are dogs allowed on this trail


Dogs Allowed

Are there provision sources on this trail

Provision Sources

3 Refuges


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.

Video of this Trail

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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


9+ Years old

Dog rules on this trail


We recommend to keep your dog on a leash

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 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.

Starting point for this trail

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.

Step by step trail directions

Trail Directions

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:

Chapelle Notre Dame de la Paix


Our Rating

Above Average


Sizeable Chapel near the Chalets de Doran above Sallanches

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town


Altitude of this point of interest



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Refuge du Tornieux


Our Rating



Very nice refuge and restaurant located above Sallanches below the Chaine des Aravis

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town


Altitude of this point of interest



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Refuge de Doran


Our Rating

Very Good


Refuge situated above Sallanches and below the Pointe Percee along the Chaine des Aravis

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.

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