What is the best time to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc?

by | 24 November 2022 | Tour du Mont Blanc: tips

The best time to do the Tour du Mont Blanc is not necessarily easy to find. It can vary from year to year and it depends on how you like to experience your trek.

Depending on whether you prefer solo treks and bivouacs or accompanied and animated stays, you will not have to do the Tour du Mont Blanc at the same time.

Generally, it is said that the best season to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc is summer.

But summer is long! Will you have the same experience if you leave on June 15 or September 15?

In addition, it may be possible, under certain conditions, to use the TMB trails at other times of the year.

How do you do it?

All our answers are here 🙂

 

Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc: what period?

 

1 – Spring

 

It is not recommended to trek in the Northern Alps in spring.

At this time of year, the snow is still very abundant on the mountain trails. It can continue to fall in April, May and even June.

In addition, the snowpack becomes more and more unstable as we approach summer as it begins to melt. This presents an increased risk of avalanches and accidents in the mountains that should be avoided.

Moreover, the mountain huts are still closed at this season.

However, in spring, nature slowly wakes up and the days get longer. If it is not possible to walk the high altitude trails of the TMB, you can however discover the Mont Blanc region in other ways.

For a weekend or for the Easter holidays, for example, you can :

  • make day hikes, in star formation, around your place of accommodation if the snow allows it, of course.
  • if the snow is still present, go snowshoeing around Mont Blanc, to enjoy the silence and the great immaculate spaces.
  • ski touring on the trails of the Tour du Mont Blanc or in the neighbouring valleys.
  • or go on excursions to the various villages in the area to taste the local culture and gastronomy.

You will adapt your program according to the snow conditions at that time. Either way, there are plenty of options for exploring the Mont Blanc region in the spring 🙂

 

Summer, the best time to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

 

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc during summer

 

When you ask yourself “What season should I do the Tour du Mont Blanc?“, summer is the most appropriate.

Okay, but at the beginning or the end of the summer? And in the middle?

Discover our explanations in order to choose the ideal moment of departure to live the experience of your dreams on the TMB!

 

Starting June 15

From mid-June, the accommodation and mountain huts on the Tour du Mont Blanc are open.

The duration of sunshine is maximum at this period and in the mountains. The temperatures in the mountains are mild and pleasant. Moreover, the flowering is very intense at this time of the year and the mountains are dotted with flowers of all colors.

In short: it’s a great time for trekking, hiking, bikepacking and travelling!

However, make sure you are properly informed about the state of the trails before you leave, especially at the beginning of the summer. For this, you can contact the tourist offices, the hut wardens and the PGHM.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for some passes and high altitude passages to remain encumbered late by snow, sometimes until mid-July.

In this case, you may need to consider adding crampons and an ice axe to your trekking equipment or adapting your route.

Be aware however that the Tour du Mont Blanc is a route that is generally clear very early in the season, unlike other trekking routes that are sometimes snowed in very late (the Tour des Écrins or the Tour des Glaciers de la Vanoise, for example).

Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc in June allows you to enjoy nature at its best and to walk on paths that are still little used.

 

July, August, favourite period for trekkers

From mid-July to mid-August, all the conditions are there to do the Tour du Mont Blanc:

  • The trails are clear
  • The days are quite hot
  • The huts and accommodation are open
  • The sun rises early and sets late
  • Life in the villages and huts is in full swing

Not surprisingly, it is from July 15 to August 15 that the TMB is most visited. Every year, hikers and mountain lovers from all over the world come to admire our beautiful mountains.

If you want to meet people during your trek, this is the perfect time!

And if you plan to do the Tour du Mont Blanc at this time and want to avoid the crowds, you can choose to do it the other way around. This way, you won’t follow the groups as you will only pass them.

You can also modulate your stages to spend the night in less popular accommodations than the big classics. The number of campsites, gîtes, inns, B&Bs and hotels gives you a wide choice of places to stay.

 

After August 15

From August 15th onwards, the number of people on the Tour du Mont Blanc trails decreases greatly. It is a quieter period.

And yet, until the second half of September, it is still summer! Even though the days are getting shorter, they are still sunny and long enough to offer good hiking conditions.

In addition, the vast majority of shelters are still open.

Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc in September allows you to take advantage of the mild mountain climate and uncrowded trails.

The period from August 15th to September 15th is an excellent time to do the Tour du Mont Blanc in a relaxing atmosphere.

 

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc in autumn

 

Contrary to popular belief, it is quite possible to do the Tour du Mont Blanc in the autumn.

Specifically between September and the end of October at the latest.

Then the days start to get too cold and too short without special equipment.

At this time of the year, the mountain landscapes are adorned with beautiful colours. The paths are almost deserted and the atmosphere is soft, calm, inviting to reverie.

This is a time of year that mountain hikers looking for solitude and introspection will particularly appreciate.

However, the possibility of doing the TMB in this season varies from year to year. Early snow can be enough to render the hiking trails impassable and ruin your trekking plans.

Moreover, in this season, the mountain huts are closed and you will have to bivouac. However, bivouacking in summer or winter does not require the same equipment, the same preparation nor the same tolerance to the lack of comfort!

Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc in autumn is possible and it can be a great experience but you have to know how to postpone or turn back if the weather decides to do so.

 

Doing the TMB in winter?

 

Trekking in winter

 

Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc in winter is possible.

But not for everyone.

At this time of year, snow and ice are omnipresent in the mountains and the conditions are nothing like those in which we evolve in summer.

The mountains in winter may be the same place but it’s not the same world.

To do the Tour du Mont Blanc in the middle of winter, you need to be experienced in mountaineering techniques and have a lot of experience in the mountains to evolve and evaluate the risks of the terrain.

This is no longer a trek without any particular technical difficulty as it is in summer. We are talking about a winter trek in difficult and risky conditions!

Such an adventure with an emphasis on exploration and high mountains can offer unforgettable memories in fabulous and grandiose landscapes. However, it is only for those who are experienced in mountain sports in difficult conditions.

Reaching certain passages such as the delicate Fenêtre d’Arpette (2665 m), for example, the highest point of the TMB route, is not at all the same thing in summer or in winter!

You should bear this in mind if you are planning to do the Tour du Mont Blanc in winter. We recommend that you first speak to a mountain guide to discuss your winter trekking plans.

If not, there are options tosafely hike the TMB trails during the winter 🙂

For example, you can experience ski touring for a day or a few days on the Tour du Mont Blanc route or in the neighbouring valleys.

A snowshoeing trip is also a great way to discover the Mont Blanc region under the snow.

In any case, we advise you tobe guided by a mountain leader for such excursions, as the risks in the mountains are much higher in winter than in summer, due to the presence of snow, which makes the terrain much less readable.


You now know more to answer this famous question: when to do the Tour du Mont Blanc?

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our trekking agency specialized in the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Our guides will be happy to chat with you and give you all the answers you need 🙂

See you soon!

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