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Hiking Mont Blanc: My Affordable Adventure in the Italian Alps

There’s something magical about the Mont Blanc region, where the borders of France, Italy, and Switzerland converge in a breathtaking display of nature’s splendor. As a park ranger, I’m always on the lookout for new hiking adventures, and this 4-day journey through the heart of the Alps did not disappoint. 

From glacier traverses and alpine pass ascents to savoring local delicacies and experiencing the unique charm of Courmayeur, this trip was an unforgettable adventure. Here’s a detailed account of my Mont Blanc hike, day by day.

Day 1: Notre Dame de la Gorge to Les Contamines Montjoie, France

sedona arizona usa
  • Distance: 10 km (6.5 miles)
  • Ascent: 900 m
  • Descent: 550 m
  • Hiking: 6.5 hours

The adventure began with a transfer to the Bellevue cable car. At the top, the trailhead greeted us with stunning views at the foot of the standard route for climbing Mont Blanc. The day kicked off with a traverse to the Bionnassay Glacier, where the icy expanse stretched out majestically before us. Crossing the “Nepali hanging bridge” was an exhilarating experience, adding a touch of thrill to the hike.

We continued through picturesque alpine pastures up to Col de Tricot Pass (2120m). The panoramic views of the Contamines-Montjoie Valley from the pass were worth the climb. 

After a steep descent to the rustic chalets in Miage, we ascended again to Chalets du Truc (1750m) and contoured around Mt. Truc (1811m). The day’s journey concluded with a descent into the charming village of Contamines-Montjoie, where we spent the night.

Day 2: Les Contamines-Montjoie to Les Chapieux, France

horseshoe bend
  • Distance: 15 km (9.5 miles)
  • Ascent: 1250 m
  • Descent: 950 m
  • Hiking: 6.5 hours

The second day began with a short transfer to Notre-Dame-de-la-Gorge (1210m). The historic baroque church there marks the start of the Roman road, an ancient trade route. The steady climb to Col du Bonhomme Pass (2329m) was a highlight, with the trail offering splendid views as it wound through the southern end of the Mont Blanc Range.

Reaching Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme Pass (2433m), we were rewarded with spectacular vistas of Mt. Pourri (3779m). The descent led us through serene alpine pastures, ultimately bringing us to the quaint hamlet of Les Chapieux (1549m), where the simplicity of mountain life was on full display.

Day 3: Les Chapieux to Col Chécrouit, Italy

  • Distance: 20 km (12 miles)
  • Ascent: 1050 m
  • Descent: 950 m
  • Hiking: 6.5 hours

Starting from Ville des Glaciers (1800m), we made an important stop at a local farm to learn about the production of Beaufort cheese—a delightful cultural experience. The ascent continued through beautiful alpine pastures to Col de la Seigne Pass (2516m), where we crossed into Italy.

The view from the pass was simply breathtaking. Jagged peaks like Mont Blanc de Courmayeur and the Grandes Jorasses felt within arm’s reach. Descending through the picturesque Val Veny, we reached the tranquil Miage Glacier and its serene lake. A short transfer brought us to Courmayeur (1226m), the charming capital of the Italian Alps.

Day 4: Col Chécrouit to Chamonix, France

Our final day was a shorter hike down to Courmayeur. From there, a private taxi took us back to Chamonix, bringing our incredible journey full circle. Though the day was shorter, the beauty of the surroundings and the sense of accomplishment from the past three days made it just as memorable.

Final Word

Hiking Mont Blanc in Italy was a mesmerizing adventure filled with challenging climbs, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. From the thrilling glacier traverse and alpine passes to the delightful local cheese and the enchanting ambiance of Courmayeur, every moment was unforgettable. For anyone looking for an affordable yet epic hiking adventure in the Alps, Mont Blanc is a destination that should not be missed.

Check out the free itinerary to Mont Blanc in Italy from Bamba Travel.

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Guest post written by Gary Linedecker

Gary is a dedicated park ranger with an insatiable passion for the great outdoors. His love for nature and adventure has taken him to some of the most breathtaking landscapes around the globe.