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Les Contamines to Refuge des Mottets via Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and Col du Fours

· 4 reviews · Hiking trail · Rhône-Alpes
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A gentle start from Les Contamines, then  climb steadily towards the distant Col du Bonhomme, Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, and Col des Fours (2665m) before your descent to Refuge des Mottets. 

19.5 km
7:35 h
1621 m
893 m

Leaving Les Contamines the path turns upwards and climbs steadily on the Chemin Roman through the Contamines Montjoie Nature Reserve towards the distant Col du Bonhomme. A steady climb reveals increasingly rugged views of the high peaks and you quickly reach the rugged landscapes of the Col du Bonhomme (2329 m). A further hour on rough and rocky ground brings up the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme.

If you are staying at  Refuge des Mottets (check your accommodation details sheet), you have the choice of either descending to Les Chapieux, and then catching the shuttle to Les Mottets OR climbing the Col des Fours (2665m), which promises clear views of Mont Blanc before descending into the remote and beautiful Valle des Glaciers.

The Col des Fours route should NOT be attempted in poor weather or if you are staying at Refuge La Nova in Les Chapieux (alternative: see route named 'Les Contamines to Les Chapieux via Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (no Col du Fours)' User
Sarah Smith
Updated: July 25, 2018

Highest point
2667 m
Lowest point
1143 m

Safety information

Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains - always be prepared and carry appropriate clothing; warm as well as waterproof layers, hat and gloves etc. Please see your information pack for a detailed packing list.

Tips, hints and links

The walk is used on the following itineraries: WFSTMBH1, WFSTMBC1, WFSTMBC2, WFSTMBCC, WFSTMBCH, WFSTMBHC, WFSTMBR1,  WFSTMBR2


Les Contamines (1147 m)
45.819915, 6.727205
32T 323443 5076551


Refuge des Mottets

Turn-by-turn directions

These maps and routes are designed to be used in conjunction with the TMB guidebook and IGN maps. 

TMB Route: Les Contamines - Col de la Croix du Bonhomme - La Ville des Glaciers (Take this option if staying at Refuge des Mottets)

Distance: 20 km

Duration: 7.5 - 8 hrs

Ascent / Descent: 1579m / 876m


Guidebook: Page 49: STAGE 2: Les Contamines - Col de la Croix du Bonhomme – Les Chapieux

Note: Take the variant Col des Fours – Refuge des Mottets if you are staying at Les Mottets.

Transport: Optional Shuttle Bus from Les Contamines to Notre Dame de la Gorge.

A free shuttle operates between The Office de Tourisme in Les Contamines and Notre Dame de la Gorge, with several stops between including Le Lay. The summer shuttle operates approximately between the end of June and the beginning of September. In the morning, it runs about every 45 mins to 1 hour from about 09:00. Timetables are usually published just before the Summer season, check the following link for a pdf titled ‘Horaires Navette été’   or ask at your hotel.

This shuttle cuts 5km and about 1 hour of walking from the day.


Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Questions & answers

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Byron Mckinney
August 09, 2019 · Community
Thanksimnhvntjgyhk has to wr
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C.G. Moore
June 26, 2019 · Community
Col du Fours is do-able at least as of 25 June 2019. It's still covered in snow, but clear tracks throughout. Slushy. Didn't need microspikes, but had trekking poles.
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Bottom of Col des Fours
Photo: C.G. Moore, Community
Andrew Wilson
September 14, 2018 · Community
A long hard day, with a punishing descent. It took us 10 hours in good conditions. About 24km. Great vistas but demanding day.
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19.5 km
7:35 h
1621 m
893 m


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