This ambitious and unusual trekking route is a journey into Gran Paradiso National Park, from the Ruitor range to Mount Emilius, with a small section in the Vanoise National Park. Our route mainly follows the Alta Via trail, including detours to summits offering stunning panoramic views and a great experience of the local alpine wilderness.
First classified as the “ Kingdom’s hunting Reserve” in 1856, Gran Paradiso became the first National Park in Italy in 1920. With its rich alpine flaura and fauna, we are in the home of the Ibex, saved from extermination in the Alps a few decades ago. The Park naturally selected the beautiful Lily of Paradise and the ibex as its emblem.
In order to immerse ourselves fully in this unique alpine environment, we carry our belongings for the week. We use public transportation for transfers and get food supplies from villages or from the huts.
This destination is not scheduled for this summer, however :
If you're a group of friends, you can ask for a "private formula", and have your own guide !
Advantages : Exclusive guide - Choose your departure date - Flexibility all along the trip.
For any further information, please contact Déborah.
Day 1 : LA THUILE - REFUGE DEFFEYES
We meet at Compagnie des Guides at 7am, transfer by minivan to the Mont-Blanc tunnel, Italy and the village of La Thuile. We start our hike at San Carlo mountain pass (1850m). The trail is well maintained. We hike past a couple of mountain lakes and soon reach Comba Sorda pass (2837m). During the descent the terrain is rather mineral until the end of the bowl. There we continue across the hill to get to Deffeyes mountain hut (2500m). This exceptional setting offers a magnificent view over the Ruitor Glacier.
Up : 1200 m / Down : 500 m / Hiking Time : 6 h 30
Day 2 : REFUGE DEFFEYES - REFUGE DE L'ARCHEBOC
We begin with a visit to the beautiful alpine valley of Bella Comba just below the Ruitor Glacier. We continue on and hike to Col de Tachuy (2673m), the border between Italy and France. Now in the Tarentaise region, near Sainte Foy, we follow the trail that leads to the Ruitor hut and then the windy trail to our second pass of the day, Montseti.
Up : 1000 m / Down : 1250 m / Hiking Time : 7 h 00
Day 3 : POINTE DE L'ARCHEBOC - REFUGE BEZZI
Our hike follows the trail to Mont pass until we reach a narrow trail heading to La Roche Brune and Argentière pass. This remote and deserted plateau used to be covered in ice. The glacier left behind lakes and multiple scree and boulders. Above us the Archeboc Needle (3231m) stands like an invitation for an amazing panorama. A well-deserved reward for our day’s efforts! Then we hike down to Lac Noir and the eponymous mountain pass, and soon after, we reach Bezzi mountain hut.
Up : 1200 m / Down : 600 m / Hiking Time : 7 h 00
Day 4 : COL BASSAC DÉRÉ - REFUGE BENEVOLO
As we set off for your hike, the views stretch to the glaciers of Plattes des Chamois, Vaudet and Gliarettaz. The trail takes us to Bassac Déré pass (3082m). On a beautiful day, we can hike to the peak of Bec de la Traversière (3337m) to get a great view of Gran Paradiso peak (4061m), but also mountain ranges of Vanoise, Mont-Blanc and further away the Swiss Alps and the Matterhorn. A pleasant hike down into Val di Rhêmes (2285m) facing Granda Parei peak leads to Benevolo hut.
Up : 1100 m / Down : 800 m / Hiking Time : 6 h 30
Day 5 : COL DE LA NIVOLETTA - REFUGE SAVOIA
We are on our way to Nivoletta pass. The hike enters a large, ancient glacier cirque, where the fertile alpine lawn and its multiple bright-coloured flowers contrast with the dark slate scree of the steep hillsides. Glaciers are nearby and enlighten the panorama still. The hike over the pass is superb, offering more unforgettable mountain views to our eyes … At the end of the day, we hike down to the Savoia lakes and mountain hut.
Up : 900 m / Down : 600 m / Hiking Time : 6 h 00
Day 6 : LE TAOU BLANC (3438m)
Today’s highlight is the highest point of the trek. Taou Blanc is a beautiful peak and amazing belvedere from where one can face the 4000-meter Gran Paradiso peak right into the heart of the massif. The day ends with a descent to Pont and the Tétras-Lyre hut.
Up : 1300 m / Down : 1700 m / Hiking Time : 8 h 00
Day 7 : COL LAUZON - REFUGE VITTORIO SELLA
Early in the morning we transfer to Eaux Rousses. From there the trail to the alpine plateau of Levionnaz, and Lauson pass (3296m), is well marked. It is the highest non-glacier pass in the Park. Then we hike down a steep rocky section, an ibex’s favourite environment, and reach the grassy alpine meadows, where chamois love to graze, and soon Vittorio Sella hut (2584m).
Up : 1500 m / Down : 700 m / Hiking Time : 8 h 00
Day 8 : COL GARIN - REFUGE D'ARBOLE
The day starts with a downhill section to reach the hamlet of Valnontey. Then we transfer to the village of Cogne and Gimillan. We begin our hike with a nice trail through the larch pine forest until Plan de Bessey. Garin mountain pass is very close now, and we can see Mount Emilius. A final and short descent takes us to the refuge and Lake of Alpe d’Arbole.
Up : 1300 m / Down : 1300 m / Hiking Time : 7 h 30
Day 9 : LE MONT EMILIUS (3559m)
For our last day’s hike we leave the hut with a light pack, and easily reach the Trois Capucin pass, then the wide yet impressive ridge leads to the summit of Mount Emilius, where we arrive 4 ½ hrs later. After the descent and a halt to pick up our gear left at the hut in the morning, we quickly reach the lifts of Pila resort, and ride the gondola down to Aosta. A one-hour transfer brings us back to Chamonix later in the afternoon.
Up : 1050 m / Down : 1250 m / Hiking Time : 8 h 00
For safety reasons, the guide may modify the trek itinerary due to terrain, weather or other conditions.
Download the trip description
LEVEL : Alta Via in Gran Paradiso is a strenuous and demanding trek. More than 1000m (3350ft) vertical gain and about 7 to 9 hours of hiking daily. Some days may be long and demanding, involving altitudeand high mountain passes (min.2800m). Hiking on mountain trails and terrain showing exposed and difficult sections. These trips generally require carrying a backpack with personal belongings throughout the trek. For expert hikers only. For very active, well-trained people with a solid experience in alpine trekking.
ACCOMMODATION : 8 nights in a mountain hut, in dormitory. Each hiker carries daily his personal belongings, and the picnic.
GUIDING : Maximum 10 people per guide. For maximum safety and quality guiding.
MEETING PLACE : At 7am in front of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix on Day 1. You are welcome to come and meet your guide the evening before at our office at 6 pm.
No scheduled date for this summer.
PRICE : Please contact Deborah at the Compagnie des Guides for a private departure.
Here's an example of our all-inclusive price per person :
The organization and supervision of each tour by State qualified trekking guide/s
Drinks and personal expenditure (souvenirs…)
Half-board accommodation in mountain hut (dormitory)
Repatriation insurance (mandatory)
Transfers from Chamonix and back
- ID or valid passport.
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory). Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
We provide optional insurance contracts for repatriation and trip cancellation (see booking form).
EQUIPMENT : See attached list.
Note : Due to the elevation of the trek, a good equipment is strongly advised.
INSURANCE : Our mountain leaders are self-employed professionals, and therefore covered under a liability insurance via the French Mountain Leaders Association (SNAM). As a tour operator, the Compagnie des Guides is also covered under a tour operator liability insurance contract (MMA IARD).
Repatriation and cancellation insurance are available from our office. Repatriation insurance is mandatory. We strongly recommend the purchase of cancellation insurance.
TRAINING : Good physical condition will allow you to make the most of your holiday. A month before the hike at least, we suggest you walk upstairs, rather than use the elevator. During the weekends you can run, walk or ride your bike to train for the hike. Doing a medical check-up before signing for the trip is recommended. Your guide should be informed of any medical treatment.
CLIMATE : Alpine weather can change suddenly, involving wide temperature variations. Temperatures also drop with altitude, and snow falls in summer are not rare. A high pressure moving in can also bring in cool air. You should anyhow bring warm clothes and be prepared for cold or very hot weather, while minimizing additional weight gain.
Please, feel free to contact the Compagnie des Guides for any further information.
You are a private group, you can ask for a customized trip, and have your own guide !
- Exclusive guide
A more individualized relationship between your group and the professional.
- Choose your date of departure
You can choose your date of departure within the limit of the hut availabilities.
- Flexibility all along the trip
Depending on weather conditions, your level and your expectations, the guide can suggest you some different options of itinerary.
For any further information, please contact Déborah :
Tel : +33 450 53 00 88 or E-mail : email@example.com