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River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Fans of hanging bridges, summer chairlift rides and glaciers will especially enjoy this route. The Houches area is popular for mountain biking, but hikers will enjoy fewer crowds here and alternate vistas than the traditional Mt Blanc massif views.
Need to Know
Check the operating hours for both chairlifts so you don't get stranded!
Take the Bellevue cable car up (sometimes runs only every 1/2 hour) to the top. From the cable car station, head south on dirt service roads passing a small snack shop on the left. Continue slightly down hill and under a ski lift. Follow signposts to the train station - a stop on the Tramway du Mont Blanc tourist train. Continue around the left side of the train station, cross the tracks and continue downhill on a narrow steep trail. At the T-intersection with a wide dirt track, turn left to the SE.
Some mostly level walking to contour around the hillside at first, then the trail narrows and becomes more rolling. Approach a huge open meadow with glacier views and read the signs warning of very steep terrain ahead. Thankfully, our route takes a turn to avoid that! Pass a few dilapidated buildings and turn south west. Cross a small footbridge and follow signs to the suspension bridge. Enter a more wooded area and descend steeply over embedded boulders. A few more switchbacks brings you to the hanging bridge over the rushing Bionnassay Glacier outflow river. This impressive span is narrow but not scary to cross.
Alternate routes continue from here, but as mapped in this description - the bridge is the turn around point. Retrace your steps back to the Bellevue lift's train station area. Instead of going back uphill to the actual train station itself, stay on the wide dirt track and travel parallel the the tracks until reaching the Col de Voza via a steep descent. The Col de Voza area includes a large restarant building, tennis courts, train station, and chairlifts. Continue ascending on dirt service roads following signs for the Prarion gondola. Switchback uphill through the ski area, crossing several mountain bike tracks. Descend the Prarion gondola back down to the Houches town.
Shared By: Megan W