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.
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.
Pass through Les Contamines-Montjoie to the parking place just before the Pontet Leisure Base. If you are staying in the town this is an easy walk.
(D) From the parking cross the road bridge.
(1) Immediately after crossing the bridge over the river, turn left and take the path through trees beside the river. This will lead you past the campsite on your right and to two further parking areas for the Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Gorge.
(2) After the second parking area, turn left again and take the bridge back over the river to where it joins a broad track.
(3) You have now joined the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. Follow the right track which starts to ascent at one point over some slabby rocks to the Roman Bridge, which crosses the torrent de Tre la Tete. This is the meltwater from the Tre la Tete Glacier. You can see how the force and energy of the water has eroded the rocks in the gorge below you.
(4) Continue passing a signpost and path to Cascade de Combe Noire. This makes an interesting detour on the way back. The path comes out into the open and the passes the Chalet-Refuge de Nant Borrant (possible refreshments) before crossing another bridge and heading upwards and through more open pasture to Refuge de la Balme. Above you and on your right are some lovely peaks split by a prominent col : Col de la Fenetre.
(5) The refuge is used by many on the Tour du Mont Blanc and is another place where you can buy refreshments. Continue on more rocky ground with screen from the Aiguilles de la Pennaz to a building on the left.
(6) At the building, turn left on the path to the Lacs Jovet. The path is narrower but still easy to follow uphill to the lake. There are two possible paths, either side of the stream which comes down from the lake.
(7) At the lake enjoys the views, eat your picnic and have a swim before heading back the way you came.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Parking
1 : km 0.05 - alt. km 0.05 - Bridge
2 : km 1.61 - alt. km 1.61 - Bridge
3 : km 1.69 - alt. km 1.69
4 : km 3.28 - alt. km 3.28
5 : km 6.18 - alt. km 6.18 - Refuge de la Balme - Refuge de la Balme
6 : km 7.21 - alt. km 7.21
7 : km 8.99 - alt. km 8.99 - Lac Jovet - Lac Jovet
D/A : km 18.03 - alt. km 18.03 - Parking
A well-marked track for much of the way. The path becomes narrower only on the last section up to the Lacs Jovet.
It is possible with trail shoes.
There are two refuges where you can buy refreshments and there are good facilities in the Pontet leisure park.
Pack a windproof / waterproof.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3531OTR.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The Cascade de Combe Noire are worth the detour. It is also worth visiting the Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Gorge.
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Follow the signs for the “Tour du Village".
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The walk is best done in the direction described, and best done a clear, dry day.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.