Chamonix Walking - Walk 4 Grand-Prarion and Bellevue from Prarion
Le Prarion and Bellevue, above the village of Les Houches, are possibly the most picturesque mountain tops in the Chamonix valley! Grand-Prarion – also known as ‘Sommet du Prarion’ – affords the most amazing panorama over the Mont Blanc massif, whilst over the other side, in the far distance, Bellevue is surrounded by charming floral alpine meadows.
This walk is perfect for a hot, sunny day, with no great difficulty and plenty of idyllic picnic spots to stop off en route!
At Les Houches, a return cable car ticket is valid for both Prarion and Bellevue cable cars. This walk uses the Prarion cable car in ascent, continues up to Grand-Prarion, returns down to Prarion and then follows the trail across to Bellevue via Col de Voza. At Bellevue you can return to Les Houches by cable car.
From the top of the Prarion cable car station, count approx 3 hours in total for the short climb up to Grand-Prarion and then the trek back down and across to Bellevue.
From Chamonix, take the bus to Les Houches to the second cable car station of Le Prarion, and take the cable car to the top. From here, ignore the path leading left to the Prarion Hotel (restaurant, snacks and drinks) and instead take the path leading off and up to the right for ‘Le Prarion’. A pretty and easy climb along forest paths will eventually bring you out at the summit of Le Prarion – Grand-Prarion, where the views are simply exceptional: an impressive panorama starting from the west with Mont Blanc & the Bionnassay Glacier, then the Col du Bonhomme and Mont Joly, a vast view down over the valley of Sallanches, back up to the Desert de Platé, the Rochers de Fiz and the Col d’Anterne, finishing with the jagged peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges to the north.
From here retrace your steps back down to the top of Le Prarion cable car station and follow the path across to the Prarion Hotel. The path then descends directly to Col de Voza on the way to Bellevue. However, it is worthwhile taking a slight detour on a path leading off to the right, to stroll around the ‘Alpages de Charme’, beautiful meadows as charming as their name would suggest! Follow the signs for ‘Chalet de Charme’, which is a rustic hut, perched on the mountainside and surrounded by goats, where they make and sell local cheese.
The path from Chalet de Charme leads back onto the trail heading down to Col de Voza, a pretty little area nestled in the middle of the route between Le Prarion and Bellevue. It has a café, a hotel, a couple of donkeys in the fields and is also a station stop for the Tramway du Mont Blanc. Perfect for an ice-cream break!
From Col de Voza there is a straightforward picturesque path leading directly across to Bellevue.
This walk is described in full in Natalie Jennings's book, "Mont Blanc Wanderings", along with further suggestions to turn this walk into a full day's hike.
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