The Bossons glacier is one of the wonders of the Alps located just above the Chamonix valley.
What is the Bossons glacier?
The Bossons glacier is the largest icefall in Europe. Located in the village of Les Bossons, above the Chamonix valley, the glacier originates on the French side of Mont Blanc (around 4,810 m) and flows down its northwest side between the Roches Rouges (4,363 m) and the Dôme du Goûter (4,304 m).
This icefall flows down from an altitude of 4,810 m to 1,420 m in just 7.3 km with an average slope of 28°.
It offers a magnificent setting with its numerous seracs and crevasses.
Its snout retracts a little bit every year; in 1980, it reached an altitude of 1,200 m.
When to visit and how to get there?
Open only in summer, the Bossons glacier can be reached by a chairlift that takes you to 1,410m in 15 minutes, or on foot along a trail that takes about 50 minutes to complete. Parking is available at the start of the chairlift and the trail.
The Chalet du Glacier des Bossons is a 5-minute walk from the chairlift’s arrival. From its terrace you can admire the snout of the glacier and the bewitching seracs of the Plateau des Pyramides.
From the Chalet du Glacier, you can follow the thematic trail that tells the story of the glacier. Each panel along the trail relates to a particular theme such as the glacier’s life, the Little Ice Age, the evolution of the glacier, etc.
This chalet is also the starting point of the Bossons glacier hike, which leads to the Chalet des Pyramides.
These two chalets offer the possibility to eat, and they serve typical local cuisine in an idyllic setting.
The Bossons glacier hike
For those who have brought hiking boots and who want to get a little closer to the glacier, the Chalet du Glacier is the starting point for the famous Jonction hike, which will take you even higher up into the mountains, to the Chalet des Pyramides, at an altitude of 2,589m.
This route was taken by J. Balmat and Dr. Paccard on the very first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786.
This challenging hike offers incredible views of seracs and ice pyramids.
Timetable and prices
Generally open from mid-June to mid-September, subject to favourable weather conditions, the Bossons glacier chairlift opens at 8:30 am. The last ascent is at 5:30 pm and the last descent at 6 pm.
Here are the rates for this chairlift:
- Free for children under 5 years old
- One way for 5 – 14-year olds: €7.80
- Return ticket for 5 – 14-year olds: 10 €.
- One way for adults: 10 €.
- Return ticket for adults: €13.40
- Return trip for 65+: €8.10
- Return ticket for over 65s: €10.30
- Family package: from €35.20 to €46.60 (2 adults + 2 children = other children free of charge, up to a limit of 3 free entries)
- Free for holders of a Mont Blanc multipass (with access to the icering…)