• Sport

Hiking trail: Lac des Pierres Blanches via Esselet

A beautiful forest walk to Lac de Pierres Blanches with its exceptional panoramic view

Sport Hiking trail: Lac des Pierres Blanches via Esselet Montchavin-les-Coches


Departing from Montchavin-les-Coches (73210)
Average length : 03h30
Total elevation gain : 450m
Vertical drop : 450m
Distance : 20km
Signed walking trail
Animals allowed

A lovely hike through the larch, spruce and Swiss stone pine forest. The trail follows an old canal to a pond where the forest opens up to offer beautiful views over Peisey valley and Notre Dame des Vernettes chapel in the distance. During the hike, you may hear the sound of cowbells as you walk towards Lac des Pierres Blanches where you can admire the superb views while you enjoy a picnic on the tables by the lake.

Way and back
Total elevation gain : 450m
Altitude max : 2116m
Vertical drop : 450m


The path is marked with beige signs + green writing

Further informations

Stone, Ground

    1 1

    Starting from Les Bauches
    1/ Drive to Les Bauches on the road that carries on 6km beyond Les Coches.
    2/ At Fontaine Froide (junction) keep following signs to Les Bauches.
    3/ Park in the parking area opposite the bridge. From there, walk back along the road and follow a small canal to Esselet pond (P).
    4/ Turn left up the path (sign to Esselet) through the forest to a small plateau (P).
    5/ Cross the plateau and carry on along the path which comes out onto a forest track (P).
    6/ Take it to the left and then after 200 m, take the path off to the right (P). The forest gradually becomes a sort of massive garden filled with spruce, larch and Swiss stone pine trees. The path then comes to a plateau that is almost like a clearing (P).
    7/ Turn off to the left, walk right across the plateau (about 350 m)
    8/ Climb slightly to the right, coming out in a large meadow (P).
    9/ Climb up the grassy slope (stony path) to the small road (P) and then on to the chalet that you will see. Go round to the right of the chalet and you will find the Lac des Pierres Blanches.

    P = signpost on the route

    You can either follow the same route back down, or take the small asphalt road that leads back down to the car park (1 hour).


    Free of charge.


    Open to children
    Animals allowed
    Languages spoken : English, French
    Languages of documentation : English, French
    Not adapted to strollers

    Whenever you go hiking, remember to take cereal bars, plenty of water, sunglasses, sun cream and a small first aid kit, as well as suitable clothes for your outing, according to the season and the weather forecast.

    Period of practice

    From 24/06 to 02/09/2023.

    • Pets welcome
    • Picnic area
    • Orientation board


    Les Bauches Les Bauches 1770m 73210 Montchavin-les-Coches
    Departing from : Montchavin-les-Coches (73210)
    Latitude : 45.52407 - Longitude : 6.739823

    Go to the Bauches valley and park in the small car park on your left. The trailhead is on your right.

    More informations

    Information update on 13/08/2023 by Office de Tourisme de la Grande Plagne