From Praz Coutant to Les Chalets de Platé

From Praz Coutant to Les Chalets de Platé

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A steep trail through the Désert de Platé. On this hike, you'll discover many distinctive aspects of the local architecture, from sanatoriums to alpine chalets. But be careful! The passage through the exposed scree slopes of Platé is difficult and vertiginous.
A hike that plunges you into the mineral kingdom of the Désert de Platé, an enormous karstic formation.


  • les-chalets-de-plate-depuis-praz-coutant

    Credit: Points d'intérêts du parcours - Asters-CEN74


3 points of interest

  • Sanatoriums

    A sanatorium was a health resort facility built in the days when antibiotics had not yet been invented and tuberculosis was rampant. In the 1920s, Plateau d'Assy, with its superb location and fresh air, was chosen as the site for many of these health resorts. The most daring architects of the day were called upon to design revolutionary facilities that made use of the warm sunshine to provide essential patient care. Their reputation was renowned the world over.
  • The fibula or Roman safety pin

    As you take the path up to the Platé refuge, you'll come across a passageway that was already in use in ancient Roman times, as a way of crossing the "Fiz walls." In fact, a fibula - a type of fastener and precursor of the modern safety pin, which was used to fasten and secure garments - has been found here. It dates back to the High Roman Empire, i.e. between AD 10 and AD 80!
  • Refuge

    The mountain refuge of Platé

    A green hollow in the immense lunar landscape of the Désert de Platé, a few cabins. You've arrived at the refuge of the same name. Managed by the CAF (French Alpine Club), its caretakers offer you the welcome that only they know and know almost too well: Italian cuisine, homemade bread and jams, a naturalist's library corner and a telescope for spotting ibex. But be very careful not to overindulge yourself in all this splendour! Water and energy are in short supply here!


From the Praz Coutant car park, head up to the Chalets de Platé. Follow the signs for Chalets de Platé - Refuge de Platé, marker 156. Stay on the path and head towards Chalets de Platé - Refuge de Platé. Marker 23. Stay on the path and head towards Chalets de Platé - Refuge de Platé. Marker 147. Take the path on the right. Head towards Chalets de Platé - Refuge de Platé. Marker 24. You are now at the Refuge de Platé. To go back down, take the reverse route.
  • Departure : Praz Coutant
  • Arrival : Praz Coutant
  • Towns crossed : Passy

Altimetric profile


A hike with a tricky, exposed and vertiginous section. We recommend that you keep your dog on a leash. Bring water, as there is no pool or spring at the Platé chalets and the refuge does not provide water.

Information desks


Bus SAT Mont-Blanc L85, stop : Praz Coutant.

Access and parking

Go to the parking lot Praz Coutant located on road D43. Parking at the entrance with very few spaces at the kerbside. Bus line L85 (SAT Mont-Blanc), Praz Coutant stop.

Parking :

Praz Coutant

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