Start from the Gîte des Méandres
Extraordinary surroundings on a southern slope facing the Mont Blanc range. Many tougher alternatives available. The route is a loop.
Zoo with animals in semi-liberty nearby.
The path is beside the Gîte. Take the short cut to climb to where it comes out near the road and then go right towards a small building. Walk past it and turn right towards Christ Roi and the Parc de Merlet.
The path leads to the park access road and its carpark. Cross the path and continue to climb the path along which there are several successive junctions. Every one of these junctions eventually leads to your destination but the fourth on the left is the most direct access and has very beautiful views.
Walk up to the mountain pastures and the Chalets de Chailloux (1,923m - refreshment bar in summer). Easy zigzag up the final combe to the top.
Return on one of the paths you ignored on the way up.
The best are via the Plan de la Cry or the Lac Noir in its forest of spruce trees.
Take time out for a gourmet snack at the Bellachat refuge for exceptional views over the Mont Blanc range or nearer the bottom at the Parc de Merlet zoo.
“Extra” for athletes
Walk to Lake Brévent from the Col de Bellachat or follow the ridgeline from the Col to the top of the Aiguillette des Houches (somewhat exposed but not very difficult).
“Extra” for kids
Visit the Parc de Merlet (marmots, ibexes, chamois, deer and lamas in semi-liberty)
Is this route open in winter?