Skirting along the north side of the valley, both the access and departure points of this walk are served by the lift system, making it one of the most accessible high altitude hikes.
This hike starts with a ride on the world-famous Aiguille du Midi cable car. You only need to go to the mid-station but we recommend going all the way to the top first and then coming back to the Plan de l'Aiguille.
Step outside the cable car station at Plan de l'Aiguille and follow the hiking signs for Montenvers. Dropping down past the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, the path then veers off horizontally to the right to La Tapia (not to Chamonix via Plan du Trois or Pre du Rocher). Once on this path, you can pretty much always see the route ahead meaning minimal opportunity to take a wrong turn. Look out for donkeys beside the refuge, they can often be found grazing here and are quite friendly!
Don’t forget to take a break to admire the views of the Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc which will always be behind you in this direction. Having passed the sign to the Chalets du Blaitière (and continued straight on), the next junction you come to will give you a choice of route.
To the left is a shorter but very narrow path that leads to Montenvers across steep gullies which can be dangerous if snow covered. This route is not recommended if you have young children with you or if you are unsure of heights as the path drops away sharply in places.
The better route to take (and the most scenic!) is the path that climbs up to the right to the Signal Forbes (2198m). The additional effort is repaid in amazing views of Les Drus and the Mer de Glace that the other route does not offer. Once at the top, the path continues down to the Montenvers view point and the railway station.
- Distance: 7.5km
- Highest Point: 2325m
- Vertical Gain: 194m