Hiking Project Logo

Grand Balcon Nord: Plan de l’Aiguille to Montenvers

Intermediate
 4.7 (3)

A spectacular high traverse right under the Aiguille du Midi.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.8

KM

Point to Point

7,511' 2,289 m

High

6,310' 1,923 m

Low

242' 74 m

Up

1,432' 436 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Lift rides, trains, glacier tours, and an easy walk make this perfect for families.

Description

Take the lift up to the Plan de l’Aiguille and head downhill on eroded switchbacks to a cute restaurant a couple hundred yards below. The scenery is already stunning in all directions.

Follow signs for Montenvers and traverse across towards the Mer de Glace glacier. It rolls a bit but is never taxing. You start just above treeline, but near the end you'll get into more vegetation and a prettier section of trail, if that's possible.

When you get to the trail junction with the Signal Forbes Trail, go left for an easier and faster route to Montenvers, or head up the Signal Forbes Trail for even more stunning scenery and MUCH better views of the Mer de Glace.

Once at Montenvers, take the tiny tram down to the glacier and explore around. The well-documented glacier retreat is terribly sad. Find the sign that indicates where it was when you were born, and you'll realize just how fast the glacier (and world) is changing.

You can either hike back to Chamonix or take the train, like most folks.

This trail is immensely popular, so it's a bit rough and crowded, but well worth that small price.

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5567

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#11

in France

#5,567

Overall
145 Views Last Month
6,641 Since Jul 4, 2016
Intermediate

0%
33%
67%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

The Aiguille du Midi looming HIGH above.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
The views never end on the Grand Balcon Nord!
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
Heading out of the Buvette du Plan de l'Auguille.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
Above the lovely little cafe with surprising good and cheap food... and views.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
Leaving Plan de l'Aiguille for the vertical kilometre to the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix Valley, France.
Aug 9, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
One of the many stream crossings.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR

0 Comments

Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 17 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 28, 2019
Pradeep Swamy
Aug 16, 2018
Christel Lak-Heeffer