We notice you're blocking ads.

We carefully manage all our local “ads”, to be relevant to Chamonix and your trip here. We fund our site by featuring these offers, many of which you might like. Please "whitelist" us - thank you for supporting our work!

Belvedere du Chapeau from Lavancher

A forest trail leading towards the Mer de Glace

Featured in:


Belvedere du Chapeau from Lavancher

Situated 150m above the bottom of the Mer de Glace the Refuge du Chapeau has been a classic stop for tourists for over a century. 

Perched above the deep rocky ravine that now exists at the base of the Mer de Glace the refuge du Chapeau has been used since the beginning of tourism in Chamonix. Once a stop on the famous Vallee Blanche, the retreating glacier has meant that the ice now falls far short of this picturesque refuge. The views it offers are still out standing. Overlooking the whole Chamonix Valley you can enjoy local cuisine and other refreshments. 

Who should go

This walk is suitable for the whole family. With its mellow ascent of 360m and short distance of 2km on well maintained trails.

What to bring

 IGN3630 map is recommended

What to see

Look out for little signposts near the chalet that tell you what the local plants and herbs are called - you'll find some of them on the menu!

Book Sightseeing

Where to lunch

Being a short walk, a packed lunch is not essential. The Refuge du Chapeau is open during the summer months and serves snacks and refreshments.

Book a Restaurant

Getting Here


Leaving the small village of Le Lavancher continue up the only road in the village until you reach a small car park.

From here the paved road ends and the trail begins. Continue up the wide trail for 2km following signs for the Refuge du Chapeau. 

From the refuge it is also possible to continue up the Couloir du Chapeau and finish at Lognon at the Grand Montets ski area. This is a much longer and harder variation that can take the whole day.


  • Route
  • Descent: 360m
  • Distance: 2km
  • Highest Point: 1600m
  • Vertical Gain: 360m