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Vallorcine to Chalet Col du Balme Hut Loop

Intermediate
 3.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Relish vast wildflower meadows a spectacular views of Mt Blanc on this trail, including parts of the French/Swiss border


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Map Key

4.0

Miles

6.5

KM

72%

Runnable

7,597' 2,316 m

High

6,370' 1,942 m

Low

1,250' 381 m

Up

1,233' 376 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This excursion circles through the Le Tour ski area, visiting a cute alpine hut that serves refreshments. The wildflowers on these slopes are abundant and tempt visitors to nap, picnic or photo-document. Besides the great views of Mt Blanc from a very unique vantage point, you also get to run on the border between France and Switzerland!

Need to Know

Keep an eye on chairlift operating times so you don't get stranded!

Runner Notes

The trail from the Chalet du Col de Balme hut up to the Tete de Balme is very faint and somewhat eroded in places.

Description

Take the Vallorcine chair lift up out of the main valley. Hop off the lift and begin ascending a wide dirt road heading south. Upon reaching the Col des Posettes saddle, take the lower service road to traverse the ski area, following signposts for the Chalet du Col de Balme. From the top of the valley here you'll enjoy great views of the entire Mont-Blanc range as well as the Le Tour and Argentiere glaciers. Although the first part of this route is on unaesthetic dirt road, don't be discouraged, it will improve. Leave the dirt road and follow a steeper singletrack path north, towards the hut you can see on the ridge.

This Chalet du Col de Balme hut serves food and drink and is situated in a lovely saddle with great views. After a break here, head north towards the summit (Tete de Balme). The trail from the Chalet du Col de Balme hut up to the Tete de Balme is very faint and somewhat eroded in places. Keep an eye out for worn parts of the grass, gravel patches and watch your live location on the map to stay on course. Pass over some wildflower meadows, a little pond and and steep hillside. Before long you reach the summit and the actual border between France and Switzerland. You'll see several old stone markers on the hilltops marking the boundary line.

Meander down the ridgeline to the west and towards the tops of charilifts ascending from the other side. The sometimes eroded trail twists and turns down this hillside, passing by more skiing infrastructure. Follow signs for Col des Posettes which you can see below you. Upon reaching the saddle, consider taking an easy detour across to the Alpage de Balme hut for their inviting patio and refreshments. Or head down the dirt road back towards the Vallorcine chairlift to complete this route.

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#4945

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#35

in France

#4,945

Overall
4 Views Last Month
24 Since Jun 26, 2022
Intermediate

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Photos

Chalet du Col de Balme hut with Mt Blanc range in background.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH
Looking down over the Alpage de Balme hut and outbuildings.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH
Beautiful setting for the picturesque Chalet du Col de Balme hut.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH
Mid-June wildflowers cover the meadows in this area.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH
Old stone markers distinguish the border between France and Switzerland.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH
Looking down-valley towards Mt Blanc and Chamonix.
Jun 27, 2022 near Martign…, CH

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