Gare des Glaciers

Chamonix Gare des Glaciers

A steeper trail to the Plan de l'Aiguille with more vertical and clean views of Mont Blanc

→ 16km

↑ 1700m

Δ 2589M 

♦ Medium


The Gare des Glaciers Trail is one of the steeper, longer trails to the Grand Balcon Nord Traverse Trail. Like the Grand Balcon Nord, the route is accessed from Chamonix's town center. A quick traverse south gains access to the direct line up to the old Aiguille du Midi Tram Stations. What sets this trail apart from the other trails to the Balcon Nord is both the angle and clean views of Mont Blanc and it's glaciers.

Once at the highpoint at the ruins of the old station, the route turns sharply north to head back to the Plan de L'Aiguille and the Aiguille du Midi mid-station. But first, a rock glacier crossing.

WARNING: As of June 2022, all maps still show an old trail leading to a steep drop off the moraine, where ropes lead down to the rock glacier. This is NO LONGER the route. Instead, pay attention for a trail leading left (west) and down the moraine where it crosses the rock glacier further down where the talus has settled and a trail leads through the debris.

Once off the rock glacier, climb back up to the Midi mid-station. At this point, you have numerous options. You can continue along the Grand Balcon Nord to make your day much longer, drop back to town, or have a fun lunch at the Refuge du Plan de L'Aiguille just below the tram station. The route we present takes you back to town.

Start: 45.917013, 6.871883
Town:  Chamonix
Department:  Haute-Savoie
Country:  France

  • DO NOT try to cross the rock glacier if you mistakenly follow the old trail. The proper route is all on a well marked trail with yellow signs. Do not descend the old fixed ropes!

  • The descent is long and requires focus, if you're cooked at the Midi mid-station, consider a ride down to save the legs for another day.

  • While it is a great trail, this route really is all about what you'll see, save it for the right conditions.
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A long, sustained, steep forest trail begins to open up to what you came for


Clean views to Mont Blanc


From the old Midi Tram station is a traverse to the rock glacier with pointy views


On the edge of the rock glacier


Off the rock glacier and back in green grass


What goes up a long way has to go down a long way

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