10 Reasons to Backpack the Tour du Mont Blanc

Welcome to the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), a one-hundred-mile hiking trail around the mountain range of Europe’s tallest peak, Mt Blanc.

1. Greeting hikers from all around the world in French and Italian, including dogs and paragliders

Our camping neighbor’s deaf dog was completing the TMB like a pro and in stylish boots


Try hiking or taking the Plan Praz cable car above Chamonix to watch up-close the paragliders jump off the mountain, catch the thermals, and soar upwards

2. Sauntering through endless fields of wildflowers and butterflies like you are in the Sound of Music

3. Enjoying warm home-cooked meals after every few hours of hiking, especially in Courmayeur and Chamonix

4. Abundant accommodation options for people of all ages and capabilities ranging from refuges to camping

Prayer flags decorating the inviting Refuge La Balme

Camping has stellar views from your bedside

5. The traditional route is well-maintained with abundant signage


6. Endless awe-inspiring scenery to enliven your creative spirit

Since we opted for lighter packs by leaving our cooking equipment at home, I packed a compact watercolor kit

7. Grow your self-confidence step by step, peak by peak


8. Part of the trail and variants have incredibly steep inclines, declines, and drop offs

The descent up Fenetre D’Arpette was pure scrambling, and the descent was even more brutal going down (photo below)

The first variant, Col du Tricot, was a blast, especially the bridge over a gushing glacial river

9. No hiking permits are needed, therefore in the peak summer season, solitude can be limited

Camping in the campgrounds gets quite full but manages to stay quiet at night

10. Contemplate the meaning of existence as you feel tiny amongst towering granite peaks

View from the top of the variant of Fenetre D’Arpette

What are you waiting for? Happy Trails!

PS.. Pack Light! Do not be like this guy…

Here’s our 10 day itinerary from 2023:

Day 1 – Les Houches to Les Contamines via Col du Tricot Variant – 11.5 miles (+1,480m gain, -1,320m loss)

Day 2 – Les Contamines to Les Chapieux – 12 miles (+1,360m gain, -970m loss)

Day 3 – Les Chapieux to Elizabetta to La Sorgente Campground at Val Veni – 12.5 miles (+700m, -760m loss)

Day 4 – Zero day in Courmayeur – 2 miles

Day 5 – Courmayeur to Hotel Lavachey in Val Ferret – 9 miles (+1,000m gain, -400m loss)

Day 6 – Val Ferret to La Fouly – 12.5 miles (+980m gain, -1,410m loss)

Day 7 – La Fouly to Champex Lac – zero day in Champex Lac via bus – 3 miles

Day 8 – Champex Lac to Trient via Fenetre D’Arpette variant – 10 miles (+1,200m, -1,390m loss)

Day 9 – Trient to Tre-le-champ to Argentiere – 12.5 miles (+1,020 gain, -970m loss)

Day 10 and on – Argentiere to Chamonix via bus, many fun zero days

Don’t forget to Leave No Trace, read all regulations for the park you will be in, and check the weather forecast before setting off on your journey. Happy Trails! – Dendrophile Danielle

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Comments 1

  • Linda : Jul 30th

    Danielle, sooo magnificent! Incredible pictures accompanied with a description that makes me feel as though I’m there. The best to you as you pursue this journey. What did you do with those watercolor drawings? The view from your tent amazing! Enjoy every minute of your passion ❤️ keep sharing 😊


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