The hike to the ☕️ Chalet du Glacier des Bossons is such a popular hike for families . . . but somehow it had eluded us until this summer!
My elder son studied glaciers last year at school and his class’ sortie fin de l’année scolaire was a hike on the other side of the Glacier des Bossons, to the ☕️ Cabane du Cerro. He returned from this school hike so enthused (especially fascinated by having seen part of the Malabar Princesse aeroplane!), so we thought it would be fun to introduce his little brother to a glacier hike! A couple of friends had also just done this hike, with a scattering of little people in tow, and had recommended it wholeheartedly!
We were under no illusions, however, about how far petit frère could walk (before demanding shoulders!), so we decided to opt for the télésiège (chairlift) for the UP part of this hike!
This is a great hike with small children as there are several great highlights:
- the excitement of a télésiège;
- ☕️ a refuge stop for drinks, snacks or lunch;
- views of a beautiful glacier;
- and informative explanation panels!
Télésiège du Glacier des Bossons
The 2-seater télésiège was most definitely a highlight for us, though there were squabbles about who would go with which parent (I, for some reason, on this occasion was not the popular choice!). DO NOTE that small children MUST be accompanied by an adult, and do be vigilant, as there is a security bar, but no extra security features like on modern ski chairlifts!
The chairlift moves at a leisurely pace and so you have plenty of time to admire the glacier in front of you and the 🌳 forest below . . .
arriving at the top of the télésiège . . .
good to know: if you have family or friends who’d like to hike to the Chalet du Glacier des Bossons, your other alternative is to park a little higher up at Le Mont; from there, the hike is a mere 40mins to the glacier! / OR, if you have any non-walkers in your group, then they can also take the chairlift back down!
🗓 opening dates of télésiège : mid-June until mid-September, 8h30 until 18h30; price of télésiège: for current prices, see Chamonix Tourisme here; 🗺 address of télésiège : route des Tissières, Les Bossons, 74400, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc; 🚙 parking: plentiful parking, and also 🚉 Les Bossons train station or 🚌 bus stop nearby!
Chalet du Glacier des Bossons (1425m)
The 🥤 Chalet du Glacier des Bossons a short 5 minutes’ walk from the arrival point of the chairlift . . . off went petit frère . . .
The path divides just before you reach the ☕️ Chalet du Glacier des Bossons, with the path veering upwards to the right heading off to the ☕️ Chalet des Pyramides and La Jonction . . .
Flowers adorn the entrance to the chalet and the pretty terrace, with its panoply of colourful sun umbrellas, has a direct view of the glacier’s terminal tongue and the ice-pinnacles of the Plateau des Pyramides. You’ll find traditional mountain fayre, drinks, ice creams and snacks here.
more information: here; tel: 33(0)4 50 53 03 89 or +33(0)6 70 21 89 75;
Glacier des Bossons & Exhibition
There is a 📷 photo exhibition, recounting the life and history of the Glacier des Bossons, that commences at the chalet and guides you a short distance up to a panoramic viewing platform of the glacier. Each panel along the path presents a particular story about the glacier: you’ll learn about the mini ice-age and the ice grotto that was carved into the glacier for tourists back in the 19th century, and plenty of other fascinating facts. And you will learn about the air crashes on Mont-Blanc decades ago (there are even parts of the 1960 Air India Malabar Princesse aeroplane which crashed into an arête of Mont Blanc – these aeroplane parts have been retrieved from the glacier over the years!).
good to know – the restaurants, hotels and crèmeries of the valley used to cut ice from this glacier for use in their establishments!
. . . and stunning views of the Glacier des Bossons . . .
Hike back down to Parking du Télésiège
The hike back down to the 🚙 Parking du Télésiège takes about an hour, and you’ll be largely shaded in the 🌳 forest. Poles are a great idea; especially if you haven’t worked your muscles heading up! You’ll have time to explore the flora . . .
Big brother was inspired by a couple of trail runners with whom we crossed paths, and disappeared at speed . . . but petit frère? . . . oh dear, poor Daddy . . .
Details of hike
distance: with télésiège 1,5km descent / or aller-retour hike 3km;
timings: descent, after télésiège UP, circa 1h / or aller-retour hike 2h30;
highest point: Chalet du Glacier des Bossons at 1425m, and a bit higher for panoramic views of glacier;
good to know: more competent hikers in your group could head to the Chalet des Pyramides (views of the glacier’s ice cascade, the ice-pinnacles and the ice pyramids) or even further to La Jonction (full day hike requiring early start) / see MBFF article for more details . . .
This hike is also lovely in the autumn, with golden light streaming through the trees in the late afternoon (though the télésiège does not function at this time) . . .
Hôtel Aiguille du Midi – a lovely stop!
As we were returning to our car, and looked back up towards the glacier . . .
. . . we decided to prolong our viewing of the glacier, with an ice-cream and soft drink stop at the Hôtel Aiguille du Midi. This historic family hotel and restaurant (111 years old!) come highly recommended by MBFF as there is a lovely shaded terrace & lounging space on the lawn and there is plenty of green space for the children (and a few toys for babies and toddlers, which I was afraid my boys would break!) . . . and such FRIENDLY service!
address: 479 chemin Napoléon, 74400, Chamonix; tel: 04 50 53 00 65; website: www.hotel-aiguilledumidi.com / FB page;