Ultimate Multi-Day TMB Hike

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Last updated Jan 8, 2023

During Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) hike you will enjoy some of the most breathtaking views, pass by many glaciers, walk over an endless number of streams, see hundreds of different waterfalls, walk through wildflower fields, come across glacial lakes and rivers, walk across suspension bridges and bridges of questionable integrity, and if lucky see ibex and marmots. “Three countries, one identity, 10,000 meters (about the height of Mount Everest) in altitude and about 60 hours of walking, 170 km of discovery for a total of 10 days of satisfaction.” is the official TMB statement and who wouldn’t be intrigued?! Or intimidated?! 

The TMB hike encompasses the entire Mont Blanc Massif with amazing views. This hike goes through France, Italy, and Switzerland as a loop. It can begin at any point and go either clockwise or counterclockwise. Most hikers do the hike in the counterclockwise direction and the official starting point is Les Houches, France.

We witnessed all age groups and fitness levels when we were on the trail which is what makes this hike so unique. Whatever fitness level you may have there is a way to make this hike easier or harder, longer or shorter.

Accommodations during the Tour du Mont Blanc are easily accessible, and you have a variety to pick from camping, mountain huts (refuges), or hotels. Which allows you to enjoy the scenery and the hike with only a light day pack.

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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TMB HIKE

LANGUAGE – As you are hiking through three different countries, different languages are spoken, Italian in Italy and French in France and Switzerland. However, most people can communicate in English.

CURRENCY – EURO (€) in France and Italy and Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland. Most campsites and refuges only accept cash. Major credit cards are usually acceptable for hotels and restaurants.

WATER SOURCE – Water is readily available during the hike. Usually, drinkable water is marked for hikers to fill up. We used 3L hydro pack and never ran out of water.

ACCOMMODATIONS – Hotels, mountain huts, and campsites. For a more detailed list check out our post Detailed TMB List of Accommodations.

LUGGAGE TRANSFER – This is the best way to move your luggage from accommodation to accommodation and only hike with daypacks. It is available for most accommodations with reception service (hotels, mountain huts, and campsites). In our post How Much Does Hiking the TMB Cost, we list all luggage transfer companies you can use.

WEATHER – Completely unpredictable. Prepare for sun, rain, wind, hail, and snow. During our hike we have been hot and sweaty, applying and reapplying sunscreen, almost blown off the side of the mountain by the wind, completely soaked by rain and hail. The only weather condition we did not experience was snow.

BEST TIME TO DO THE HIKE – Between mid-June and mid-September, the mountain huts and hotels start closing after mid-September. We did our hike in September of 2021 and for the most part, the weather was great.

WHAT TO PACK – Layers, quick-drying clothes, and waterproof jacket, pants, and shoes. And don’t forget the handy hiking poles. For the full packing list, you can check out our post How to Pack for TMB.

HOW TO TRAIN – The main thing to remember when training for the TMB is that you need to train for the elevation change more than distance. Descents and ascents are brutal and getting your knees strong is a priority.

COST – To better understand the breakdown of the TMB cost check out our post How Much Does Hiking the TMB Cost.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS: France – 112; Italy – 118 and Switzerland – 144.

TMB ONLINEwww.autourdumontblanc.com/en is a great resource for figuring out accommodations and other TMB related topics. Another great resource is Facebook group – Tour Du Mont Blanc. It is especially great during the time of COVID as you can ask questions and get a quick response from the group members that stay on top of everything.

FORMALITIES – Carry your passport with you during the hike. You will not be crossing any official borders and it is very unlikely that you will need it, but you never know. Pack it in a zip lock bag and carry it with you.

HELPFUL BOOKS – Cicerone’s Tour Du Mont Blanc, this book has a complete hiking guide going clockwise or counterclockwise and a map. Another option is Andrew Mc Cluggage’s Tour Du Mont Blanc. Cicerone’s version was more helpful to us.



TMB HIKE DETAILS

Distance: 170 km (105 miles)

Elevation Gain: 10,000 meters (32,808 ft.)

Length: 10 days

Food and Water: Available on the trail

Lodging: Campsites, Mountain Huts (Refuges), and Hotels

Starting Point: Les Houches, France – the official starting point. However, it is a loop, and you can start at any stage and walk in either direction (clockwise or counterclockwise).

HOW DID WE PICK OUR TMB HIKE ROUTE

Sometimes having so many different options makes it harder to plan the trip as you are always thinking maybe there is a better/cheaper/shorter option. Some things we took into consideration to make our final choice are:

  • Convenient airport to fly into from the USA.
  • Start in a town/village that has convenient transfer from the airport. Flying into Geneva and taking a shuttle to Chamonix was very easy and convenient.
  • Start in a place where we can spend the first couple of days acclimating to the altitude, supply on snacks and possibly buy some hiking gear in case we have forgotten something.
  • Since we were staying in Europe for some time after the hike, a town that has a place to rent a car for the remainder of our trip.
  • And due to COVID-19, a town that is big enough to have a pharmacy in case any additional testing is needed.

With all those things taken into consideration Chamonix, France was the place we decided to start from. 

The itinerary below is based on hiking the TMB in the traditional counter-clockwise direction in 10-days starting in Les Houches.



The tmb route

STAGE 1: LES HOUCHES TO LES CONTAMINES
STAGE 2: LES CONTAMINES TO REFUGE DES MOTTETS
STAGE 3: REFUGE DES MOTTETS TO COURMAYEUR
STAGE 4: COURMAYEUR TO RIFUGIO BONATTI
STAGE 5: RIFUGIO BONATTI TO LA FOULY
STAGE 6: LA FOULY TO CHAMPEX
STAGE 7: CHAMPEX TO TRIENT
STAGE 8: TRIENT TO ARGENTIÈRE
STAGE 9: ARGENTIÈRE TO CHAMONIX
STAGE 10: CHAMONIX TO LES HOUCHES

STAGE 1: LES HOUCHES TO LES CONTAMINES

TRAIL: Les Houches Prarion cable car – Col de Voza – Col de Tricot – Refuge Miage – Auberge du Truc – Les Contamines

Les Houches is the official starting point of the TMB hike. However, the ascent from Les Houches to Col de Voza is brutal, especially if you want to do the variant through Col de Tricot as we did, and can be avoided by using either Bellevue or Prarion cable car. The Bellevue cable car is more conveniently located but was closed for the season first week of September however, Prarion was still running.

Once off the cable car, you are at the top of Col de Voza and will start a short descent to cross the railway (tracks for The Tramway du Mont Blanc that takes you up the Bionnassay glacier). Shortly after crossing the railway, you will turn left, walking alongside train tracks to the abandoned Hotel Bellevue. This will be the last viewpoint of the Chamonix Valley, to your left, until you cross Col de Balme during STAGE 8.

Walking through meadows and wooded hillsides with Glacier de Bionnassay splendidly presenting itself at all times, you will come to a famous TMB suspension bridge across a glacial torrent. After the bridge prepare for the climb to Col de Tricot.

Glacier Bionnassay

Col de Tricot is a great spot to take a break and reflect on the views of Glacier de Bionnassay and catch a glimpse of Glacier de Miage. From here the zigzag descent down to Chalets de Miage can be damaging to the knees so use caution and hiking poles if you have them. This knee-jerking descent makes a lunch break at the Refuge de Miage that much more enjoyable.

Glacier Miage

Refuge de Miage is a great place to grab some food, beer, get some rest, use a restroom and fill up the water before making another ascent to Auberge du Truc. From here follow the signs to Contamines and descent into the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie

STAGE 1 STATISTICS:
8.9 miles, 2450 ft. ascent, 4725 ft. descent.
Refuges to stop at for refreshments: Refuge Miage and Auberge du Truc
Accommodations – Chalet-Hotel Gai Soleil – breakfast (€14/person) and dinner (€25/person) were additional cost

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Les Houches – Col De Voza – Chalet-Refuge du Fioux – Bionnassay – Les Contamines. This route is a little longer (another mile) but much easier on the knees as the ascent is only 500 ft. and descent 2300 ft. if using a cable car.



STAGE 2: LES CONTAMINES TO REFUGE DES MOTTETS

TRAIL: Les Contamines – Col du Bonhomme – Col de la Croix du Bonhomme – Col des Fours – Refuge des Mottets

Notre Dame Gorge

This stage is one of the hardest. Starting from Les Contamines it starts as a nice walk through the park to the Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel, which warms you up for the brutal ascent to come. There is a restroom in the parking lot before the chapel, the last public one until Refuge de la Blame.

From here, the TMB trail now rises steeply on Roman-laid slabs with a river flowing next to the trail. Keep an eye for the lookout platform on the left for the beautiful canyon the river has carved in the rock.

You will have an opportunity to stop for refreshments, restroom, and water at Refugio Nant Borrant at the approximately 3.7-mile mark and at Refugio de la Balme at the 5.0-mile marker.

Just after La Balme, the switchbacks become very steep over rough ground with a lot of rocks, and it leads to a meadow with wildflowers and at times a lot of sheep grazing. This is where the junction is if you are interested in hiking to the Lac Jovet, which you will be able to get a glance of from Col du Bonhomme.

Lac Jovet

Further up the trail, you will come across a pile of rocks Plan des Dames in dedication to an English woman who perished in a storm. As you continue to the Col du Bonhomme it is not unusual to see large patches of snow still on the ground. The view from Col du Bonhomme left us speechless. We had a mostly clear day up to this point, but here the wind picked up and more clouds started rolling in.

Continue to climb up to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, it is only about a mile-long hike but in good conditions, you may stop every other minute to enjoy the view.

Col du Bonhomme

At the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme is where you make a decision if you would like to continue to Refuge des Mottets, via the Col des Fours, or stay on the normal route to Les Chapieux. If the weather conditions are not favorable, I would suggest skipping Refuge des Mottets, but if the weather conditions are good do not miss it!

About 5 minutes downhill from Col de la Croix du Bonhomme is a refuge with the same name if you would like to stop for some refreshments, water, or a restroom before continuing on. We were worried about the weather turning on us and instead continued with our ascend to Col des Fours standing high at elevation 8,745 ft. Depending on how you’ve planned the rest of your TMB hike this may be the highest elevation of the loop.



One thing that so vividly stood out to us at Col de la Fours is that on one side the color of the rock was black/gray and on the opposite side the color of the rocks was orange/yellow with the pass in between. Just an amazing contrast of colors. If the weather holds and you have the energy you can continue a little further to Tete Nord des Fours from where you can get a 360-degree panoramic view.

Col des Fours

The descent to Mottets is brutal, very steep switchbacks with slick small rocks are the main reason why this variant should not be attempted during inclement weather. However, on a clear day, you are rewarded with stunning views of Aiguille de Glaciers as you descent into the valley of the glacier for a great dinner and friendly atmosphere at Refuge des Mottets.

Refuge des Mottets

STAGE 2 STATISTICS:
14 miles, 5300 ft. ascent, 3114 ft. descent.
Refuges to stop by for refreshments: Refuge Nant Borrant, Refuge de la Balme, Refuge de la Coix du Bonhomme
Accommodations – Refuge des Mottets – half-board includes breakfast and dinner, and they can pack a lunch for you for the next day.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Les Contamines – Col du Bonhomme – Col de la Croix du Bonhomme – Les Chapieux – this is considered a normal/regular route and is strongly advised if the weather conditions are not favorable. Taking this route saves on distance and elevation change for STAGE 2 but will make for a very long STAGE 3 unless you stop short of Courmayeur.



STAGE 3: REFUGE DES MOTTETS TO COURMAYEUR

TRAIL: Refuge des Mottets – Col de la Seigne – Rifugio Elisabetta – Val Veny – Courmayeur

The weather that we were worried about in STAGE 2 has caught up with us this morning. We woke up to a cold, cloudy, and very windy morning. Starting from Mottets the rapid climb starts with intense switchbacks.

Valley of the Glaciers

The wind was so brutal it took all the strength just to stay on the path and visibility was non-existent when we crossed over into Italy. Usually, it is a magnificent view in all directions where you can look back to France and forward to Italy.



Shortly after you start the descent from Col de la Seigne you will come across a former customs house, Le Casermett. It is a museum and information center now where you can take a short break. As we descended into Val Vani, the clouds started clearing up for a little bit.

Rifugio Elisabetta

We passed Rifugio Elisabetta on our left and continued to Lac Combal and stopped for lunch at Cabane du Combal.

Since the weather was very cloudy and windy, we took Val Veny all the way to Courmayeur. The last 5.5-miles of the trail is a paved road with a bus service that you can utilize during inclement weather.

Courmayeur

STAGE 3 STATISTICS:
15.1 miles, 2350 ft. ascent, 4475 ft. descent.
Refuges to stop by for refreshments: Rifugio Elisabetta, Cabane du Combal
Accommodations – Grand Hotel Courmayeur Mont Blanc

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Rifugio Elisabetta – Lac Combal – Col Checrouit – Dolonne – Courmayeur – or better known as a high route to Courmayeur is a wonderful way to enjoy the views on a clear day, but the descent can be brutal on the knees. During the high season, cable cars may be running and you can take advantage of that. Once close to the city make sure you stroll through the sleepy little village of Dolonne.

Courmayeur is a great place to take a rest day.



STAGE 4: Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

TRAIL: Courmayeur – Rifugio Bertone – Rifugio Bonatti

This is a short but very steep hike. Most of the ascent is right at the beginning, the first 2.5-miles. However, on a clear day, it is one of the highlights of the TMB. We planned to stay in Courmayeur for 2 days since we could not get a private room at Bonatti earlier, and it turned out to be a good thing since the weather was cloudy and rainy for those two days and cleared up on the day when we started the hike back up. Pure luck!

Courmayeur

This ascent was particularly hard since we were carrying more weight with us than normal (the luggage transfer service does not deliver to Bonatti, so we had to carry extra stuff for the next two days) but the view from below Rifugio Bertone was just stunning and made this effort worthwhile. If the timing works out for you stopping at Bertone for lunch is advisable.

Above the Rifugio Bertone is a knoll at a junction with a path coming from Val Ferret to the left. This is the official TMB path with magnificent views of Aiguille Noire, Mont Blanc and the Grandes Jorasses with ragged rock walls and glaciers.

Mont Blanc
Val Ferret

From this point on the hike is fairly easy through some wooded areas and cow pastures, crossing over a few streams and the intensity of the climb picks up right before the rifugio. It is more than likely that you will arrive at Bonatti with plenty of time to spare, enjoy the view and some refreshments before check-in and dinner.

Grandes Jorasses

TIP: Bonatti receives its supplies by helicopter and during inclement weather they may run out of supplies. They are very strict about social distancing and mealtimes. If you arrive outside of the allocated mealtime, they may not have anything to serve you. They were out of beer when we were there and only food available, after lunch hours and before dinner, were ham and cheese sandwiches.



STAGE 4 STATISTICS:
7.5-miles, 3300 ft. ascent, 935 ft. descent.
Refuges to stop by for refreshment: Rifugio Bertone.
Accommodations: Rifugio Bonatti – half-board includes breakfast and dinner, and they can pack a lunch for you for the next day.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Courmayeur – Rifugio Bertone – Mont de la Saxe – Rifugio Bonatti. Mont de la Saxe ridge trail adds another 1300 ft. to the elevation gain. Another option for this STAGE is to continue past Bonatti and spend the night at Chalet Val Ferret. As beautiful as the views are from Bonatti, there were just too many rules you had to follow, where Chalet Val Ferret seemed more laid back and definitely had a beer. This will add 3.5-miles to STAGE 4 but will shave that amount from the STAGE 5 hike the next day, which is very intense.

Rifugio Bonatti

STAGE 5: Rifugio Bonatti to La Fouly

TRAIL: Rifugio Bonatti – Chalet Val Ferret – Rifugio Elena – Grand Col Ferret – Alpage de la Peule – Ferret – La Fouly

Even though on paper this day was not supposed to be an exhausting day, it turned out to be very much that way to us. Maybe it was just us, but the ascent to Grand Col Ferret (the pass into Switzerland) felt very tasking.

Rifugio Bonatti

The morning at Rifugio Bonatti was breathtaking with a combination of clouds and sunlight lighting up the rocks of Grandes Jorasses. From the rifugio, the hike is mostly on a flat surface until the descent into Val Ferret. You will cross a series of streams, see some waterfalls, wildflowers, ruins that used to be buildings, and possibly marmots and ibex. At the bottom of the descent is Chalet Val Ferret, a great place to stop for coffee, tea, or pastries in the morning.

Val Ferret

Everything from this point until the Col Ferret is going to be uphill. Rifugio Elena, with an amazing view of Glacier Pré de Bar that seems within hands reach, is a beautiful place to stop for lunch. The hot lunch does not start until 12:30 pm, but they always have sandwiches and beverages.

Val Ferret

As you continue to steeply climb up do not forget to look back and enjoy the view of Val Ferret, Val Veni, and very distant Col de la Seigne. The views on the other side of the pass (Swiss side) are completely different. The terrain turns into broad open slopes with short grass that leads you to Alpage de la Peule, another option for food and refreshments.

From La Peule, follow the farm road down to La Fouly.

La Fouly

STAGE 5 STATISTICS:
12.9-miles, 2990 ft. ascent, 4290 ft. descent
Refuges to stop by for refreshments: Chalet Val Ferret, Rifugio Elena, Alpage de la Peule
Accommodations: L’Edelweiss – breakfast was included in the price of the room, dinner was additional €24 per person. This hotel has an amazing view of the Glacier de l’A Neuve.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: It is possible to turn left at La Peule and enjoy tremendous views of Mont Dolent and Tour Noire and descent down to Gîte de la Léchère before connecting back with the normal route and making it to La Fouly.



STAGE 6: La Fouly to Champex

TRAIL: La Fouly – Prez de Fort – Issert – Champex

As this part of the loop is considered boring and too easy by many hikers, it is often skipped however, we found it to be a great hike. The thing we liked the most about it was that it was not a busy hike at all. Other than the STAGE 2 portion to Mottets, this is the first time where we hiked for an extended period of time all by ourselves in complete serenity.

La Fouly

Since this is a relatively easy hike, in comparison, we decided to take a short detour off the main trail to these waterfalls. They are visible from the main trail we just wanted to get closer.

La Fouly Waterfalls

Starting from La Fouly all the way to Issert it is mostly a downhill hike. Walking through beautiful green cow pastures, some wooded areas, and tiny Swiss villages with houses decorated with beautiful flowers and some with gnome statues.

Issert

From Issert, the climb to Champex comes as a little bit of a surprise. The route is well marked and along the way, there are benches, picnic tables, and water refill stations if needed. This trail is called Sentier des Champignons (Trail of Mushrooms) and is decorated with a number of wood-carved figurines. Unfortunately, the only ibex we saw was the wood-carved one.

Once in Champex, most hikers seek the lake to dip their tired toes in and relax in the shade.

Champex Lac

STAGE 6 STATISTICS:
9.4-miles, 1860 ascent, 2310 descent
Refuges to stop by for refreshments: because you will be walking through multiple different villages there are plenty of small restaurants to stop at for lunch.
Accommodations: Splendid Hotel – breakfast was included in the price of the room; dinner was an additional €38 per person or €24 per person for fondue. The hotel offers stunning views of Grand Combin and the valley.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Bus from La Fouly to Champex.



STAGE 7: Champex to Trient

TRAIL: Champex – Fenêtre d’Arpette – Trient

THIS ROUTE SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED OTHER THAN IN GOOD WEATHER CONDITIONS. YOU ALSO NEED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH NAVIGATING OVER MASSIVE BOULDERS AND STEEP SLOPES.

Champex

From Champex follow the signpost in the direction of Fenêtre d’Arpette. You can either hike up through a forest of spruce and fir until the connection to Fenêtre d’Arpette footpath. Or, if still in service, you can take a cable car up and hike down to this connection. The cable car option saves 1300 ft. of ascent but adds approximately 1.0-miles of distance and 1100 ft. of descent and it costs €14 a person.

Fenetre d'Arpette

As the warning above mentions, this is a grueling hike, the steep slopes are completely unforgiving on both sides of the pass. The path climbs steeply from the beginning, when you get close to the boulders the only trail signs are painted rocks (white-red-white markings) and as you look up the lowest cut in the skyline crest is the window (as the name implies) that you will be passing through.

Fenetre d'Arpette

Great care needs to be taken when walking over the boulders as some of them are unstable. Scrambling over them took a lot of effort for us and I found myself on all fours in a few instances trying to get from point A to point B.

The frustrating thing is, after all that effort you still have a significant climb ahead of you before you get to the window. During this climb is when we ran into a group that had one person injured in their group who had to be helicopter rescued. This was a brutal reminder of how quickly something can go wrong.

Once at the window peek to the other side and let the closeness and majestic beauty of the Trient glacier soak in. All the pain and suffering ultimately becomes a thing of the past the moment you see Trient Glacier.

At this point, you are standing at the same elevation as Col des Fours from STAGE 2. The descent into Trient is not any easier than the ascent to the window. The steepness is brutal on the knees and hiking poles are highly recommended.

Trient Glacier

It was a relief when we settled outside our hostel/hotel to enjoy the view with an adult beverage.

STAGE 7 STATISTICS:
10.3-miles, 3840 ft. ascent, 4550 ft. descent
Refuges to stop by for refreshments: There are not any convenient ones until almost in Trient.
Accommodations: La Grande Ourse – we had a private room and bathroom with breakfast and dinner included.

Trient Glacier

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Champex – Champex d’en Haut – Alp Bovine – Col de la Forclaz – Trient – this is a more moderate option to the Fenêtre d’Arpette, distance wise about the same but elevation change is not as brutal. I strongly recommended this route if the weather conditions are not favorable.



STAGE 8: Trient to Argenitière

TRAIL: Trient – Le Peuty – Refuge du Col de Balme – La Tour – Argenitière

Once past the Le Peuty the trail quickly becomes steep and switchbacks pretty much take you all the way to Col de Balme. It rained on us the majority of the time during this stage, and thick clouds would only tease us with clearing up and then coming back with a vengeance.

Trient

However, on a clear sunny day, the views from Refuge du Col de Balme are rewarding to the tired hikers and a perfect place to stop for refreshments (they take both Euros and Swiss Franc at the refuge). This is also the first time you are seeing the Chamonix Valley since STAGE 2.

Col de Balm

From here you can continue to the right on a clear day across Aiguillette de Posettes or to the left if the weather is not favorable down to La Tour and then Argenitière. La Tour is the highest elevation village in Chamonix and a good spot to stop for a break if you are soaking wet like we were.

If you were taking an alternate route and didn’t want to come down to Argenitière you can stay in one of the refuges in Tré-Le-Champ. Both Gîte Le Moulin or Gîte Boerne are an option. This will save you on the ascent next day.

STAGE STATISTICS:
8.7-miles, 2930 ft. ascent, 3110 ft. descent
Refuges to stop at for refreshments: Refuge du Col de Balme.
Accommodations: Hotel de la Couronne – breakfast was included with room price, they did not offer dinner at the hotel.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Trient – Le Peuty – Refuge du Col de Balme – Aiguillette des Posettes – Argenitière this is a more scenic route and our preferred option however, we encountered inclement weather during this stage, and it is not advisable to hike this way during such conditions.



STAGE 9: Argenitière – Chamonix

TRAIL: Argenitière – Tre-Le-Champ – Tête aux Vents – Lac Blanc – La Flégère – Chamonix

Ladders, ladders, ladders! That is all anyone ever talks about when it comes to this stage. If ladders are not your thing or the weather is not cooperating there is an alternate route via Col Des Montets. You can either walk or take a bus to Tre-Le-Champ from where the trail climbs via Aiguillette de Argenitière to the Grand Balcon Sud of the Aiguilles Rouges. To navigate past steep rock walls this is where ladders have been installed. Be aware that hikers going in the opposite direction may be coming down the ladder as you are trying to go up.

Lac Blanc is another 820 ft. above Tête aux Vents. From here some of the finest views will take your breathe away. Add about 2.5 hrs. to you estimated time if you choose to visit Lac Blanc.

Once back on the main TMB trail it is an easy descent to La Flégère over the meadows and hillsides with panoramic views across the valley. Continue traversing across the mountain with the views of Mont Blanc and Glacier Bossons until at Brevent.

Chamonix

From here you can either take the cable car into Chamonix to save the knees or walk into the valley down the steep switchbacks. If this is your last stage and you would like to walk down that’s fine, but if you are continuing to Les Houches the next day and you don’t want to use the cable car up or down I would recommend staying at Refuge de La Flégère.

Bossons Glacier

STAGE 9 STATISTICS:
10.1-miles, 3550 ft. ascent, 4250 ft. descent
Refuges to stop at for refreshments: Refuge Lac Blanc and Refuge La Flégère
Accommodations: Heliopic Hotel & Spa – breakfast was included with the room price. Some rooms offer great views of Mont Blanc.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: Argenitière – Tre-Le-Champ – Col des Montets – La Flégère – Chamonix – this is a route to avoid the ladders. Another option for both routes if the Brevent cable car is closed for the season is to stay at the refuge in La Flégère to set you up for the next stage to Les Houches.

Aiguille du Midi



STAGE 10: Chamonix to Les Houches

TRAIL: Chamonix – Refuge de Bellachat – Gîte le Méndres – Les Houches

Chamonix

Take the cable car to Brevent and start knee-wrenching descent into Les Houches. The hike is not long, but the downhill switchbacks are tiring. You will be walking through patches of forests across the streams with stairs and handrails to help you cross over as you leave the views of Mont Blanc and glacier Bossons behind you.

Brevent Cable Car

STAGE STATISTICS:
6.2-miles, 4800 ft. ascent if not using a cable car, 4900 ft. descent
Refuges to stop at for refreshments: Refuge de Bellachat and Gîte le Méndres.
Accommodations: Chalet-Hotel du Bois

You have completed the Tour du Mont Blanc! Congratulations!!! It’s time for a celebratory drink after 110-miles of walking.

This is a hike that will leave a life-lasting impression on you. The beauty, the sweat, the people you meet are all part of an unforgettable experience.

Other helpful posts…
How Much Does TMB Hike Cost
Tips for Renting a Car in Europe
Detailed List of TMB Accommodations
Ultimate TMB Packing List

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