Saint-Gervais to Les Contamines
Elevation + / -
554m / 197m
Point to point
When to go
Start Apr - End Oct
3.0 - 4.0 Hours
803m / 1161m
Very Easy (1/5)
1.5 - 2.0 Hours
7+ Years old
Only in main towns
This trail runs through a large part of the Montjoie Valley starting at the town center of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. You can have a quick look at the main church, the Eglise Saint-Gervais et Saint-Protais before setting of on the trail southwards. The trail largely follows the Bonnant River as it snakes its way to through the Montjoie Valley. On the way you will be passing multiple little hamlets and farm houses. Occassionally you wil venture a bit more inland away from the river with a few steeper climbs. These are quickly rewarded with nice elevated trails that look out over the valley and the mountains across. Roughly halfway, you will come by the Lac Vivier fishing lake right across from the hamlet of Bionnay. There are some picnic benches there which make for a good halfway rest point. There is even a barbeque pit. From there you will pass by the hamlets of Le Quy and Les Hoches before finally arriving at Les Contamintes-Montjoie. Once there you can visit the Eglise de la Sainte-Trinite church and have a meal or a drink at one of the many bistros and restaurants in Les Contamines. All in all, a nice valley trail which is both children and dog friendly.
The D902 main road which runs through the entire valley is never very far from the trail and there are multiple bus stops along this road which will enable you to shorten the trail at will. This bus is also our recommended way of getting back to your starting point. The trail can be done in the oppossite direction of course which will mean significantly less vertical gain but the views will be less nice in our opinion. Lastly, you will be happy to know that the UTMB 170 kilometer trail race follows this trail as part of the race.
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
Start Apr - End Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This route reaches an altitude of 1161m at Les Contamines and should be snow free from early April to the end of October at least. Furthermore we can assume that many of these trails are still used in winter. The trails are very easy and there are no real technical bits. Navigating the trail is very easy with trail markers present at every junction and clearly indicating your main destination of Les Contamines.
Trail Starting Point
The trail starts at the city center of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. There is a very large multi-level public parking right across of the town square. There are multiple bus stops in Saint-Gervais with connections to Le Fayet where the main train station is located.
The trail starts at the city center of Les Contamines. There are multiple ways of making your way down south with the end goal of reaching the Impasse de la Cascade which is a side road of the main road the Avenue du Mont Arbois. This side road is located on the left of the Jerome Leseve bakery before the big bridge with all the flags. Make your way through the big public parking space and the natural trails will begin. From here, it is honestly just a matter of following the trail markers for Les Contamines. You just need to pay close attention because sometimes, counter intuitively, you will be forced to take a sharp turn in the opposite direction which then quickly after, swings back in a southern direction towards Les Contamines. A good example of this is when you arrive at the hamlet of La Quy. We were not paying attention and just walked southwards down the hill before we realized we had to back track and swing around the main road to follow the proper trail.
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.