Col des Fours
Walking hike
Col des Fours

Col des Fours

Lake and glacier
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Immerse yourself in the high altitude following the traces of the ancient glaciers

Without too much effort this route allows you to immerse yourself in the high mountains, to walk on the snow and to redefine the contours of the ancient glaciers of which only the traces remain. Marvel at the arctic-alpine plants which bloom where the ice has retreated. The view of the pass is one of the most beautiful in the Vanoise National Park and the icing on the cake.


Coming from Bonneval-sur-Arc, on the D902 road, in the direction of the Col de l’Iseran, the departure point is located at the Pont de la Neige car park at 2,530 m. From there, take the only path towards the South South-West. Very quickly, 100 m further on, leave the trail that leads down to the left in the direction of Bonneval-sur-Arc and take the trail on the right which climbs into the coomb and crosses through the Illards stream. The path is well marked towards an altitude of 2,700 m. It then approaches an area corresponding to the old Jave glacier where a great névé persists into the early summer. Ÿou then have to follow the tracks in the snow until an obvious pass (not named on the IGN maps)... If you happen to be the first to pass, you will have to trace your steps taking care when moving through the snowy terrain. At the end of summer, the snow disappears leaving a path marked by cairns among the scree. From the pass you discover the Lac du Grand Fond and the path becomes visible again on the right climbing the last 50 metres of incline, up to the Col des Fours at 2,976 m in altitude. The descent follows the same route.

  • Departure : Pont de la Neige, Bonneval-sur-Arc
  • Arrival : Pont de la Neige, Bonneval-sur-Arc
  • Towns crossed : BONNEVAL-SUR-ARC

Altimetric profile


Please note that the upper section of the route can be very snowed over in the early summer. A névé can even persist
late into the season. Proper equipment is essential.
Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

La Ciamarella, 73480 Bonneval-sur-Arc

https://www.bonneval-sur-arc.cominfo@hautemaurienne.com04 79 05 99 06


Rail connection to Modane. Information:
Then transport by coach to Bonneval-sur-Arc. Information:
From the 1st July to 31st August, the n. 3 bus line will serve the Col de Iseran from Bonneval-sur-Arc.
From the Col de l´Iseran, you will walk (about 30 minutes) to the Pont de la Neige car park via the GR5.
Suggested hitchhiking organised in the Haute-Maurienne valley. Information:
Additional information:

Access and parking

From Bonneval-sur-Arc take the D902 road in the direction of the Col de l´Iseran. Before the Pass, the departure point is located at the Pont de la Neige car park at 2,530 m in altitude.

Parking :

Pont de la Neige car park



Emergency number :114

4 points of interest

  • Fauna

    Labrador tiger moth

    With luck, the attentive observer may be able to detect, in the short grasses, beyond the Pont de la Neige, a unique moth with black and white zebra stripes, known as the Labrador tiger moth (Grammia quenseli). This Arctiidae, found all over the world located around the polar circle ... and at high-altitude in the Alps, is a Boreo-Alpine species. An adult lives for only one to two weeks and has one essential mission: to reproduce. The caterpillar will take at least two years before it pupates.
  • Flora

    Androsace alpina

    When the snows are gone and sometimes late in the summer, the scree and moraines around the Lac des Fours are adorned with dense mounds of small pink or white alpine rock-jasmine flowers (Androsace alpina). These densely packed rare and protected flowers are an adaptation to the intense cold prevailing at these altitudes. Androsace alpina is endemic to the Alpine arc.
  • Lake

    Lac des Fours

    Set into the Grand Fond valley under the Col des Fours are some real gems: the Lac des Fours (not named by the IGN [French National Geographic Institute]) is a glacial lake which culminates at 2,899 metres. It is the result of the erosion created by the Fond glacier which retreated to leave a frontal moraine acting as a natural barrier and thereby creating this pretty lake often covered in snow and ice at the beginning of summer.
  • Viewpoint

    Col des Fours

    "The Col des Fours, at 2,976 m in altitude, lets visitors experience a high wire, balancing between Maurienne and Tarentaise. There, in the thin air, the view takes us south to the glaciers in close proximity to the Albaron and the Ciamarella while in the other direction are the eye-catching Mont-Pourri and the distant Mont Blanc massif. Number enthusiasts will be able to display a ""3000"" in their logbook by easily climbing the Point des Fours one cable from the eponymous pass."