France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Aiguilles-Rouges Reserve, France
A lovely nature reserve with fabulous views of Mont Blanc and other peaks.




The Réserve Naturelle des Aiguilles Rouges, or Red Peaks, refers to a nature reserve in the pre-Alps, just opposite Mont Blanc. The rocks in this area are metamorphic and contain a lot of iron, giving them the reddish color reflected in their name.

The Reserve includes Mont Brévent in the south and runs almost to Vallorcine in the north. Access is just north of the small town of Argientière, which is just about 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) from Chamonix. The reserve covers over 8 acres of land, with lots of hiking trails.

The Association des Réserves Naturelles des Aiguilles Rouges operates a small visitors' center and sells a guide to a short ecology trail that leaves from the center. This relatively easy walk is in the area of the Aiguilles Rouges best known for its diverse plant life. The walk is marked with 16 bornes or trail markers. You can buy a booklet (in French) that explains the various plants you are seeing.

Although the visitors' center says the trail is one kilometer, it felt closer to a mile. It is relatively level and an easy walk with lovely views of the mountains, in addition to the flora.

If you want a more ambitious hike, there are trails leading to Lac Blanc (3 hours) and La Flégère (3 and a half hours), as well as other destinations. Or you can walk to Argentière in 30 minutes. There are lots of other hiking opportunities in the area around Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. More...

Fun fact: In the James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, after Bond fakes his death we learn in his obituary that his (fictional) parents died in a climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges when James was 11. Perhaps not something the Aiguilles Rouges want to be known for...

What to See & Do in Chamonix

Chamonix Hotels

Chamonix Restaurants

Chamonix Tourist Information

About Chamonix

Transport for Chamonix



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Aiguilles Rouges, France

 Above, Hiking trail in the Aiguilles Rouges.

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