There are so many wonderful 🏔 hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc and in the Chamonix Valley and several of them are the perfect length for families with very young (or reluctant) walkers!
I have always found (actually, I still do!) that hiking to ☕️ a mountain buvette, with the reward of 🍨 an ice cream or 🍓 a slice or fruit tart, is a great incentive to hike. As are 🧗♂️ boulders on which to clamber, 🌲 a forest in which to play, 💦 a lake in which to throw stones, or 💦 a stream in which to wade . . .
A couple of weeks ago, I published some 📷 baby chamois pics taken recently in the 🦌 Parc Animalier de Merlet by Chamonix resident Jonty Keightly, and MBFF readers loved them! Jonty then asked me some questions about hiking to ☕️ La Cabane du Cerro mountain buvette with a 4 year old, and I had to admit that I had never been! My elder son went with school a couple of years ago, to study ❄️ the Glacier des Bossons, but his instructions were a little vague! And so I asked Jonty if he’d like to take some notes and photos of his adventure and let me know how it went! He researched the route so well, as he did one recce visit, and then his wife went with another parent and x4 four year olds – 4×4 (🦆🦆🦆🦆 – a gaggle of four year olds!).
Well, 🏔 the hike was a resounding success! Jonty and his wife confirm that the little ones loved it, and they would definitely recommend it for the 4 year old age group!
The hike up to La Cabane du Cerro
From 🅿️ the Parking du Cerro, by 🚇 the Mont-Blanc tunnel (you turn off just after the Douanes), you set off through some 🌲lush green forest, and then you come to a 4×4 track. There is plenty to keep little ones entertained along the 20mins uphill walk to ☕️ La Cabane du Cerro: the bridge across the 💦 Torrent du Cerro, rocks, the remains of ✈️ the Malabar Princess Air India aeroplane that crashed into 🗻 Mont-Blanc in 1950 . . .
MBFF finally went on this super little family hike ourselves in early July . . . and we rewarded with myrtilles!
. . . the 💦 river crossing . . .
🧗♂️ a rock to climb . . .
🌺 flora along the way . . .
. . . arriving at ☕️ La Cabane du Cerro . . . remains of ✈️ Air India flight, the menu and 🌺 flowers . . .
[ ⇒ for more information about the infamous ✈️ Malabar Princess (Air India Flight 245) plane crash and the 1966 Air India Flight 101 – named Kanchenjunga – crash, at almost the same location on Mont-Blanc, see here / and for more information about the 🎬 2004 film Malabar Princesse, see here )
La Cabane de Cerro
☕️ La Cabane du Cerro is a colourful buvette: a colourful terrace, with colourful chairs and colourful food! You can order omelettes made with eggs from the on-site poules! The buvette normally shuts around 18h, but if you want to book dinner for a group, give them a call!
FB page address: 410 chemin du Cerro, 74700, Chamonix / tel: 06 44 27 22 41;
There is 🍅 a vegetable garden on-site and 🥒 a serre was recently built . . . here are the gardens, growing all those lovely vegetables, which end up on your plate . . . and the 🐓 on-site chickens laying 🥚 eggs for the omelettes . . .
. . . look at this 🚾 great toilet and area 🧴 to wash hands:
. . . and 🌈 a children’s play area . . .
2021 new 🐔 chicken coop . . .
And 📷 an old photo of the original 19th century cabane:
🥤 La Cabane du Cerro in the news summer 2020 – Timothée Mottin, who has been the gardien of this buvette for five years, hit the new this summer, as he found on the glacier a stack of newspapers from the infamous 1966 ✈️ Air India crash!
The viewing platforms
A further 5 minutes on from the buvette, and you’ll arrive at the ❄️ first lookout point to see the ❄️ Glacier des Bossons. And then another 5 minutes will bring you to the ❄️ second lookout point.
Here are some of 📷 MBFF’s viewpoint pics:
The ❄️ third (and last!) lookout point is a good 30 to 40 minute walk from the second, and quite steep; sometimes you can’t even see the trail! It has been traced by the gardien of the buvette, and leads to a little glacial lake (note: coming down from the third lookout point, you have to tread carefully).
On the opposite side of ❄️ the glacier is the equally lovely ☕️ Chalet du Glacier des Bossons buvette! ( ⇒ see MBFF article about this hike). You can see it from the Cabane du Cerro!
[ good to know: Jonty and his wife recommend to have warm clothes in your bag, as there is ❄️ a chill from the glacier and it can be cooler on the viewing platforms and in the forest! Decent hiking boots or trainers are also a must! ]
Here are 📷 some photos of the ❄️ Glacier des Bossons taken by ☕️ La Cabane du Cerro :
I think that 🦆 the gaggle of 4 year olds had a great time on their descent, with some pauses for cuddles!
Here are the MBFF boys on their descent . . . we had an evening picnic next to our car on a patch of grass!
A ❄ winter snow-shoe to the Cabane du Cerro
The Cabane du Cerro is open (check opening hours!) for the winter 2021 – 2022 season. You’ll need snow-shoes to access . . .
Details of hiking route & 🗺 map
🅿️ parking: parking du Cerro (near Mont-Blanc Tunnel (🆓) – chemin du Glacier) or longer via Les Songenaz;
📌 start & finish point: parking du Cerro (just before the Mont-Blanc Tunnel (🆓) ;
⏱ duration: 1km aller-retour = 20mins up to La Cabane du Cerro and descent less (depending on number of cuddles 😉);
🏔 dénivelé: +/- 110m (🅿️ 1280m ⇒ 1360m Chalet du Cerro ⇒ 1375m first viewing platform);
🗺 map of hiking route: see Chamonix Tourisme here;
Further hikes nearby
From the 🅿️ Parking du Cerro, you can also head to 💦 the Cascade du Dard, which also has ☕️ a buvette!