Hike to Tête Noire, Tête Ronde & Tête de l’Arpettaz

Last Autumn, I went on a hike to the so-called “3 Têtes” of the Bornes mountains: Tête Noire, Tête Ronde and Tête de l’Arpettaz.

I partly followed the instructions here, to find the start of the trail on Plateau des Glières, although I actually walked the trail shown below (download KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy and got off at Pont de Morette in Thônes (world capital of Reblochon). While there, I made a detour through Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes, but was soon on my way to Plateau des Glières. The path is a forest trail at first but soon becomes an access road starting from Alpage du Nant Debout. After a while, I reached the Notre-Dame des Neiges chapel on Plateau des Glières. The trail to the 3 Têtes starts nearby: The trailhead is actually only marked by a cairn, without any direction signs. There are only paint marks along the way after that. On the path to Tête Noire, I crossed fields of limestone, similar to the Parmelan. There was a great view from the summit, with all the Bornes mountains visible, as well as the Mont Blanc. I continued to the highest peak of the day, Tête Ronde, located not very far away. I ate lunch there then went on to Tête de l’Arpettaz, which had a great view on La Tournette and the Thônes valley. After that, I walked down towards the Gorges d’Ablon then climbed up again on the limestone plateau of Parmelan-Tassonnière until I reached Col du Pertuis. My original plan was to continue until Tête du Parmelan, but I had been too slow and night was falling, so instead I ended the hike by getting down the mountain from the Col until La Blonnière in Dingy-Saint-Clair. I then followed the road down until the Fier river. Finally, in order to get home, I had to walk all the way to Annecy-le-Vieux in the dark, which was pretty tedious…

Above, in front of the bus stop in Thônes.

Above, German bunkers.

Above, Tête à Turpin on Parmelan-Tassonnière.

Above, Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes.

Above, La Balme-de-Thuy.

Above, Dent du Cruet.

Above, Alpage du Nant Debout.

Above, chalet at Alpage de la Rosière.

Above, nice autumn colors.

Above, Notre-Dame des Neiges in view.

Above, the chapel.

Above, Plaine de Dran on Plateau des Glières, with Montagne des Frêtes in the background.

Above, cairn marking the beginning of the trail to the 3 Têtes.

Above, Montagne de Sous-Dine.

Above, limestone pavement.

Above, summit of Tête Noire.

Above, Mont Blanc, with the Aravis mountains and Lachat de Thônes in front.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Lake Geneva in the distance.

Above, Col du Pertuis.

Above, Parmelan-Tassonière, on the way to Tête Ronde.

Above, hands are needed to cross that part.

Above, Pointe de la Québlette and Pointe de Dran.

Above, Thônes valley.

Above, summit of Tête Ronde.

Above, Tête Noire.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre in the background.

Above, Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, Montagne de Cotagne and La Tournette.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, cross at the summit of Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan-Tassonière, with some view of Lake Annecy.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, Dent du Cruet and Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, on the way to Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, on the way to Col du Pertuis.

Above, the 3 Têtes.

Above, Croix du Bénitier.

Above, at Col du Pertuis.

Above, Dingy-Saint-Clair.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan.

Above, at La Blonnière.

Above, red sunset on Parmelan.

Above, Col de Bluffy, with the Bauges in the background.

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