Snowshoeing beneath Les Dents du Midi, Swiss Alps
Our snowshoe hikes bring us into the most beautiful valleys between France’s Savoy region and Switzerland’s Valais region, with accommodations in delightful mountain lodges.
Photo by Nicos Caravellas
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||7 nights in lodges and chalets|
|Meals:||All meals included except 2 dinners|
|Activity:||Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures|
Moderate snowshoe hikes; no previous experience necessary—if you can hike, you can snowshoe!
- Snowshoe-hiking beneath the peaks of the Alps
- Winter mountain views from Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva
- Cozy mountain lodges, cuisine and culture of France
- Charming winter resorts of Chatel and Megeve
All I can say is 'wow.' It was the best travel experience I have ever had in my life—better than my wildest hopes! The leaders were first rate and the other group members a delight. You guys really know what you are doing!Christine A.—West Jefferson, NC
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years. Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!
Enjoy the winter glory of the French Alps by snowshoe! We provide the snowshoes, and our beloved Alps Trip Leaders provide the inspiration and fun. Snowshoe hiking into the pristine winter landscape each day (sometimes right from our hotel), we explore deep forests and snowy meadows below towering peaks where herds of chamois and ibex are often seen in winter. The architectural heritage of this pastoral part of the Alps is stunning, with centuries-old farmhouses and tiny alpine chalets looking as if they are an organic part of the landscape. Modern, lightweight snowshoes make snowshoeing a lot like hiking and give us access to spectacular off-trail mountain terrain.
Few things beat the view across snow-covered mountains on a sunny winter day, and it is exhilarating to snowshoe down the mountain, spraying clouds of powder snow, becoming a child again, making your own trail. It’s a joy to explore this immaculate white, silent landscape, with the lights of the village in the distance, knowing the warmth of a crackling fireplace and a hot drink are close by. Our lodge-based adventure takes place in France's Savoy region, where we savor the delightful cuisine and culture. No prior experience is needed; snowshoeing is just like hiking—sometimes even more exciting and off the beaten path! Join us for an unforgettable winter adventure.
Itinerary at a Glance
Châtel, France / Vallee d’Abondance
We gather in Châtel, a well-kept secret in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski circuit in the French Alps. Nestled at the top of the Vallee d’Abondance with spectacular mountain views in all directions, this picturesque village retains its old Savoyarde atmosphere. We begin our snowshoe adventure on the slopes of Mont Grange (7,976') and in the nature reserve that surrounds it, home to some 500 chamois and the highest point in the Vallee d’Abondance. In summer, the pastures above this village echo the music of hundreds of cowbells; in winter, they give shelter to ptarmigans and mountain hares. Our snowshoe hike on Day 3 brings us through forest and pastures to the summit of Autigny (5,930'), with a 360-degree view stretching from the Alps to Lake Geneva and to the Jura Mountains in the north
Megève / Col de Bassachaux / Chamonix Valley
We move our snowshoe adventure south to Megève, one of France’s first winter resorts, with its wonderful proximity to Mont Blanc. Snowshoeing through a beautiful spruce forest, we ascend through snowy meadows to the Col de Bassachaux (6,000'), then descend to Linderets, a village of goat herders and one of the most picturesque hamlets in Savoy. We also explore Le Petit Croise Bollet (6,586'), a nature reserve created for the rare black grouse that survives in the upper limits of the spruce forest. The peaks around Megève are the perfect playground in full view of the Mont Blanc range. We venture by snowshoe across Le Mont de Vorès (6,770'), where three different valleys open out between Mont Blanc and the mountains of the Beaufortain. Our adventure ends with a walk to the Aiguillette des Houches (7,495') for breathtaking views of the granite peaks and hanging glaciers of the Mont Blanc range. Depart on Day 8.
What the Trip is Like
This trip is Level 4, Moderate to Strenuous, according to our trip grading system. All trip members should have mountain hiking experience, but there is no technical climbing experience necessary. Our snowshoe routes are not on trails. Instead, we head out cross-country, climbing about 2,000 feet on any given day and covering around 4-5 miles on a typical 6-hour snowshoe hiking day. In general, we are on easy to moderate slopes of up to 30 degrees, but there will be steeper sections of switchbacks, although they won’t be too long. No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary but good physical condition and reasonable stamina are essential. Trip members are welcome to bring their own snowshoes if they wish but Wilderness Travel will provide snowshoes and walking poles. A list of clothing essential to keeping you comfortable on winter hikes will be provided in our Departure Notes.