A circular walk from Les Contamines Montjoie up to the Refuge de tré la Tete and views of the Tré la Tete glacier, then descending to Combe Noire to the waterfalls before returning past the pretty chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Use the car park in the village centre.
(D) From the village centre car park, walk south past the shops and church. As you leave the shops behind there will be a bridge on your right (12) continue along the road until it is possible to turn left and take a side road leading into a residential area with chalets.
(1) Turn left and follow the road past the chalets. The road curves left and up until it is possible to take a path across the grass to the edge of the woods. This is signposted.
(2) Take the well-marked and signposted path through the woods climbing in a series of zig-zags at first. These woods are a great place to pick wild bilberries in August. Eventually, you will emerge from the woods and ascend to the Refuge de tré la Tete. Refreshments are available to buy there.
(3) From the Refuge de tré la Tete, continue in a south-westerly direction on the Tour du Pays du Mont-Blanc path and descend on a broad spur over open ground and then back into woodland. This will bring you down to the Cascades de Combe Noire and a bridge crossing the Torrent de tré la Tete.
(4) From the waterfalls, take the path through pastures among the woods passing the farm at la Laya and over another bridge to the valley bottom and the broad track.
(5) Turn right on the broad track and walk to the Pont de la Tena/Pont Romain.
(6) Continue along the path and descend over some rocky slabs to a bridge on the left. This leads to the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Gorge. The baroque chapel is well worth a visit.
(7) Walk back towards the bridge and take the path beside the river before you cross it. Walk with the river on your right passing the car parks for the chapel an towards the Pontet leisure park. The path passes with the campsite on your left and the leisure park on your right. Continue to a bridge and roundabout.
(8) Turn right and cross the bridge, then take the road bending left and follow this until to a zebra crossing where the path goes into some trees.
(9) Follow the path through the trees and back to the river, walk with it on your left to another bridge.
(10) Cross the bridge and follow the riverside path again with the river on your right. This brings you to a footbridge.
(11) Cross the footbridge and take the road bridge.
(12) Follow the footpath back into the village, passing the shops and walk back to the car park (D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1161m - Car park
1 : km 0.97 - alt. 1163m
2 : km 1.48 - alt. 1205m
3 : km 5.44 - alt. 1972m - Refuge de tré la Tete
4 : km 7.38 - alt. 1474m - Cascades de Combe Noire - Cascades de Combe Noire
5 : km 8.23 - alt. 1412m
6 : km 8.34 - alt. 1390m - Pont de la Tena - Pont de la Téna (pont romain)
7 : km 9.68 - alt. 1209m - Notre-Dame de la Gorge - Notre Dame de la Gorge
8 : km 11.61 - alt. 1170m - Bridge
9 : km 11.91 - alt. 1169m
10 : km 12.15 - alt. 1160m - Bridge
11 : km 12.82 - alt. 1150m - Footbridge
12 : km 12.89 - alt. 1151m
D/A : km 13.65 - alt. 1161m - Car park
Nicely shaded from the sun whilst in the woods.
Refreshments available at the Refuge de Tre la Tete
The path is well marked and well-travelled. It is possible in light walking boots or good approach shoes.
Please note this walk can be extended with :
- Lacs Jovet out and Return
- Col de la Fenetre
- Traverse of Mont Joly and Aiguille Croche
These walks can be combined to make longer and more challenging walks. For example, from the waterfalls, you could go up to the Lacs Jovet or up and over the Col de la Fenetre.
Alternatively, you could start on one of the other walks and finish using this one in reverse, from the waterfalls.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3531ET, 3531ETR, 3531OT, 3531OTR.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Take a container to collect tour billberries, these are delicious with fromage blanc.
Take the detour to the views across the snout of the Tre la Tete glacier, keep quiet and see if you spot the marmots; you will probably hear the whistling first.
The waterfalls and roman bridge and interesting and the Chapel of Notre Dame de la Gorge. If you liked that chapel and you have time then visit the baroque church in Les Contamines as you walk back into the village.
From Les Contamines-Montjoie; an out and return walk to the Lacs Jovet, joining and following the Tour du Mont Blanc trail for most of the way. There are more challenging alternatives to this walk to make it longer, more circular or technically harder; these are described in the useful information section.
This walk starts from the top of the gondola at Le Signal. It is an interesting walk, up to and through the Col de la Fenetre. The descent takes you back down through alpine pastures and into the valley leading back to Les Contamines-Montjoie.
⚠️ Please note that you need to park at (A) and not (D) for this walk ⚠️
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.