Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Aiguilles Rouges
Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Aiguilles Rouges Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Reviews
Réserve naturelle nationale des Aiguilles Rouges Jul 31, 2013
The Réserve naturelle nationale des Aiguilles Rouges or the Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve is a natural park located in the vicinity (opposite / parallel to the) of the Mont Blanc massif. so named because of the reddish character of the rock / mineral colors that compose the mountain range. hence the name - aiguilles rouges (red needles).
the aiguilles rouges are so popular on the tour du mont blanc route as a trekking trail, for rock climbers and mountaineers.
although not as high as the peaks of the mont blanc massif, the aiguilles rouges holds on to its own. peaks that have meaningful names attached to them for example: aiguille de la persévérance, aiguille de la floria, aiguille l'index and aiguille des chamois. the tallest peak - aiguille du belvédère at 2,965 m (9,728 ft), so named because of the spectacular view from the peak. the many species of plants and animals that could be found in the nature reserve such as: chamois, ibex, marmot, golden eagle and choughs. for the flora one can find: soldanella alpina, gentiana acaulis, rhododendron, juniperus communis, pines, androsace alpina and many more to the delights of botanists.
the aiguilles rouges lacks the massive glaciers of the mont blanc massif, there are few thin glaciers in higher places that supports them but one thing that stand particularly famous in the mountain range are it's beautiful (and sometimes hidden) mountain lakes such as: lac du brévent, lac cornu, lacs noir (the highest mountain lake in the aguilles at 2494m), lacs des chéserys and the most beautiful and spectacular of all: lac blanc situated at 2352 m that faces the mont blanc massif and on the otherside faces the highest peaks of the aiguilles rouges - the trail leading to lac blanc by far is the most beautiful trail i had traversed in the alps.
the treeline of the aiguilles ends at more or less 1900m and from there moonlike landscapes appear with occasional patches of snow and ice that didnt melted in summer, patches of vegetation and mountain flowers that survives the higher altitudes.
the aiguilles rouges offers the most magnificent views of mont blanc and the peaks of the mont blanc massif, it's glaciers and the needles that rises more than 3 kms from the valley of chamonix. it is also where the breathtaking mountain trail of the grand balcon sud starts - the mother of all scenic trails in the chamonix valley.
the aiguilles rouges is accesible by two cable cars which you could aleady start trekking in high altitude. from the town of chamonix it is accesible via plan praz (the end of the tree line at 2000m) and continue until the peak of le brévent (2525m) - moonlike landscape. then at the small commune of les praz via la flégère (1900m) that gets you to the grand balcon sud trail and to aiguille l'index (2400m) where a more complex mountain trail starts - avalanche prone areas from the colouirs of the aiguilles rouges - they cable cars are also the gateway to the mountain lake of lac blanc..
the aiguilles rouges runs from the towns and communes of les houches, les bossons, les pelerins, chamonix-mont-blanc, les praz, argentiere and vallorcine. there are many accomodations available from camping places, to hostels apartments and so many more but if oyu like roughing it - there are mazots and mountain huts if you like to do hut to hut trekking.
all in all i recommend for you to visit the aiguilles rouges nature reserve. the hike / trek grade here depends - on the lower altitudes you can traverse by walking on trainers with a grade of T1 (grand balcon sud trail) and for the higher altitudes with complex trails can go between T2 and T3 and a knowledge of scrambling and alpine terrain. it is expensive (but still cheaper compared to the swiss alps) but the experiences around nature surrounded by mighty peaks, glaciers, flora and fauna are worth every cent you spend.
Part of the an unforgetable journey across the EUROPEAN ALPS travel blog
Part of the list a guide to the EUROPEAN ALPS.
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