Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
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If you’re planning a trip to Chamonix in the French Alps and dream of the views from the summit of a towering glaciated spire, then taking the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi is a must-do for you, especially if you don’t want to have to climb the 9,200 feet from Chamonix to get there yourself. Aiguille du Midi (French for “Needle of the Mid-day”) sits aside Mont Blanc along one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the world and sports the highest vertical ascent of any cable car in the world.

The cable car was originally conceived in 1909, but it took until 1955 to complete due to obvious engineering and technical challenges. When it was completed, it was the highest cable car in the world for two decades, and it still remains the tallest from base to top. The lift is in two sections: The first is from Chamonix to Plan de l’Aiguille (1,034 meters to 2,317 meters), while the second section rises to 3,777 meters near the summit without any support pillar. The whole journey takes about 20 minutes, and it is truly an amazing experience to be lifted up over 9,000 feet in that short period of time.

At the summit is a grand panoramic viewing platform with indoor and outdoor viewing areas encircling the entire summit. The star of the show is certainly Mont Blanc itself, but the entire range is spectacular with the rear of Grand Jorasses thrusting above its nearby neighboring peaks. Also at the summit is a gift shop, a cafe, and an exciting attraction called “Step into the Void,” where you can walk out into a glass box poking out from the side of the building so that nothing but a thin layer of glass separates you from a fall many thousands of feet.

On days with clear weather the crowds can be staggering, so an early or very late start is recommended. Expect to spend two to three hours including the trip up and down. For those who are not used to altitude, you’ll want to make sure you bring warm clothing even in summer, and don't forget strong sun protection. Take it easy going up any stairs and stay hydrated.

For anyone more adventurous, you can also use Aiguille du Midi as a starting point for any number of snow- or glacier-oriented adventures. A tunnel allows access to and from the facility to a steep snow slope down to the glacier. Aiguille du Midi is an amazing feat of engineering, and something you must visit to believe.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Spectacular views. Interesting informative displays. Unique experience.

Cons

Crowded. Expensive.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Big vistas
Geologically significant
ADA accessible

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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