Pointe d’Ardens and Lac de Tavaneuse
Located in the Valley of Abondance, Pointe d’Ardens is the object of an impressive outing in a green landscape.
The itinerary I propose allows discovering a part of the Mont de Grange Nature Reserve and to reach Lake Tavaneuse by an alternative route to the hike going to Roc de Tavaneuse.
No particular difficulty is to be mentioned as the trail is always well marked.
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Altitude: 1,959 m at the Pointe d’Ardens, 1,805 m at the Lac de Tavaneuse
- Ascent: 1 hour 40 min to get to the Pointe d’Ardens, 2 hours 10 min to get to the Lac de Tavaneuse
- Descent: 1 hour 30 min from the Lac de Tavaneuse
- Elevation Gain: 840 meters to get the Lac de Tavaneuse
- Round-trip: 11.6 km
- Map: IGN 3528 ET
From Thonon-les-Bains, take the D902 and then the D22 road towards Vacheresse. Get through Vacheresse and arrive at Abondance. Continue and follow the road towards the Lac des Plagnes (small signs). At the terminus, park in the wide parking lot just after the chapel.
GPS Coordinates (WGS 84) of the Starting Point: 46.248780, 6.754325
From the car park, follow the road that leads to the Chalets d’Ardens. After about ten minutes, you reach the place called Cubourré: follow the signs to the Chalets d’Ardens.
At a junction, a sign indicates the direction of the Refuge des Tinderets on the left and the Chalets d’Ardens on the right: for those who prefer the rusticity of a pathway through the grass still wet with morning dew to a boring path that leads directly to the Chalets d’Ardens by a steep slope, I invite them to follow the direction of the refuge (traced in blue on the IGN map).
Continue towards the Refuge des Tinderets and walk until you get to a fork where you will have to turn right towards Tavaneuse and the Chalets d’Ardens.
The trail, less marked but more pleasant, gets to the track left previously.
After some rather steep switchbacks, the Chalets d’Ardens are in sight at the turning of a zigzag. A break is welcome in front of the Mont de Grange and Pointe d’Ardens.
Continue towards the Lac de Tavaneuse; A rapid ascent leads into a combe. Get through it before climbing again by a narrow footway.
The last part of the road to reach Pointe d’Ardens is not marked out; It is, therefore, necessary to locate the pathway that descends to the right in the direction of the peak, in a switchback just before the little pass towards Lake Tavaneuse (green track on the IGN map).
This badly marked trail in the first meters becomes very apparent and allows winning Pointe d’Ardens naturally.
After contemplating the beautiful panorama, turn back and retrace your steps to the main footpath.
A short climb reaches the small pass overlooking Lake Geneva and Roc de Tavaneuse. Continue and go through the Col d’Entre Deux Perthuis above the lake.
You have to switch now to the other slope and follow the narrow winding path, reaching in about fifteen minutes the shores of the lake.
Turn right and continue on the way to Cubourré: note that here a variant allows, by a small path on the left (traced in yellow on the IGN map), to reach the parking lot via Lac des Plagnes.
Photos of Pointe d’Ardens and the Lac de Tavaneuse
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