Les Houches Ski Resort

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Les Houches ski resort viewed from Grands Montets in the Chamonix valley
Les Houches ski resort viewed from Grands Montets in the Chamonix valley
Les Houches is a charming village without the hustle & bustle of nearby Chamonix
Les Houches is a charming village without the hustle & bustle of nearby Chamonix
Gorgeous beginner piste trail near the Mélèzes chairlift & Les Houches ski resort
Gorgeous beginner piste trail near the Mélèzes chairlift & Les Houches ski resort
Looking from Bellevue toward Prarion summit (1,900m) & the long piste trails streaming down to Les Houches
Looking from Bellevue toward Prarion summit (1,900m) & the long piste trails streaming down to Les Houches
We enjoyed staying at the RockyPop Hotel on the outskirts of Les Houches
We enjoyed staying at the RockyPop Hotel on the outskirts of Les Houches
Gentle slopes below Prarion looking toward the Bellevue at Les Houches ski resort
Gentle slopes below Prarion looking toward the Bellevue at Les Houches ski resort
The journey to Les Houches (& Chamonix) is swift and easy by road from Geneva airport
The journey to Les Houches (& Chamonix) is swift and easy by road from Geneva airport
Cable car arriving at the top station at Bellevue above Les Houches village
Cable car arriving at the top station at Bellevue above Les Houches village
Les Houches has numerous mountain restaurants making most of the expansive views
Les Houches has numerous mountain restaurants making most of the expansive views
Steak with a view at Les Houches ski resort, Chamonix valley, French Alps
Steak with a view at Les Houches ski resort, Chamonix valley, French Alps
Perfect tree-lined beginner piste at Les Houches ski resort, France
Perfect tree-lined beginner piste at Les Houches ski resort, France
Les Houches has opportunities for off-piste tree skiing, but its low elevation is a problem.
Les Houches has opportunities for off-piste tree skiing, but its low elevation is a problem.
Prarion gondola is the best way to access the skiing at Les Houches
Prarion gondola is the best way to access the skiing at Les Houches
The famous Kandahar run starts easy & becomes more fun as it descends into Les Houches village
The famous Kandahar run starts easy & becomes more fun as it descends into Les Houches village
Les Houches ski resort near Prarion
Les Houches ski resort near Prarion
Partner ski rental shop, Skiset, at the base of the Bellevue cable car in Les Houches
Partner ski rental shop, Skiset, at the base of the Bellevue cable car in Les Houches
Le Solerey brew pub at Les Houches is fun for an evening meal & beers
Le Solerey brew pub at Les Houches is fun for an evening meal & beers
Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB) makes it way to Bellevue on Les Houches from Saint Gervais
Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB) makes it way to Bellevue on Les Houches from Saint Gervais
Chamonix makes a wonderful base from which to explore all the ski resorts in the region, including Les Houches
Chamonix makes a wonderful base from which to explore all the ski resorts in the region, including Les Houches
Les Houches mountain restaurant overlooking Mont Joly & ski terrain from St Gervais - St Nicolas
Les Houches mountain restaurant overlooking Mont Joly & ski terrain from St Gervais - St Nicolas

Les Houches Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Les Houches

Les Houches4/51
Les Houches4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Chamonix Ski Areas

Balme Tour Vallorcine
Brevent Flegere
Chamonix
Grands Montets

Les Houches Maps & Stats

    Les Houches Ski Trail Map
  • Les Houches Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,000m - 1,900m (900m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6m
  • Lifts (16)
    3 Gondolas /cable cars/train
    8 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to late April
    8:30am - 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 55km
    Longest run - 4.5km
    Advanced - 10%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Beginner - 45%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 22/23
    Les Houches Only
    Adult - €42.50 to 50
    Child - €36.10 to 42.50
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Mont Blanc Unlimited Pass
    Adult - €76
    Child - €64.60
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Ikon Pass & Mountain Collective Pass valid with conditions/limitations
    Chamonix Ski Resorts Map
  • Chamonix Ski Resorts Map

Les Houches Ski Resort Chamonix France

The home of the Kandahar World Cup skiing event, Les Houches ski resort offers a variety of long ski descents on picturesque, tree-lined slopes with stunning views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley in one direction, plus St Gervais, Les Contamines & Mont Joly in the other. The village makes an affordable base from which to ski all of the Chamonix valley resorts.

A charming ski resort, Les Houches has managed to keep a largely intact, traditional atmosphere. The slopes are dotted with superb mountain restaurants & alpine farm buildings. For one of the best mountain restaurant experiences in the Chamonix valley, try Les Vieilles Luges, located on the slopes in a 250yr old farm chalet.

Pros & Cons for Les Houches Ski Resort

Pros

  • Most family friendly ski resort in the Chamonix valley.
  • Handy 900m skiable vertical accessible for all ski & snowboard abilities.
  • Extensive, sheltered, on-piste trails for beginners & intermediates.
  • Least crowded of the Chamonix resorts by a long way!
  • Best Chamonix ski area during a winter storm.
  • Relaxed atmosphere, no stress skiing, unlike some other Chamonix ski areas!
  • Excellent restaurants & bars on the mountain.
  • Fabulous value local lift pass price compared to other Chamonix ski areas.
  • Very easy to access from Geneva airport and local towns via rental car, train, tram, bus or private transfer.
  • Bus connections to other Chamonix ski resorts are wonderful and avoids much of the overcrowding & car-parking issues prone to other ‘starting points’ in the valley.

Cons

  • Lowest elevation resort in Chamonix and it often shows!
  • Limited advanced & off-piste terrain.
  • Aging lift infrastructure.
  • Struggles for natural snow in the lower half of the ski area.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Hotel accommodation in Les Houches village itself is minimal to non-existent, and chalet/guesthouse lodgings can be difficult to source, but several hotels on the outskirts have superb atmosphere & availability most of the season.
  • Whilst there are bars & restaurants aplenty on the mountain, dinner venues & entertainment is limited in the village.
  • The village is an affordable base from which to ski the region, but requires travel by car, train and/or bus to do so.
  • Ikon Pass & Mountain Collective Pass are now valid in the resort which may increase visitation in this relatively quiet resort ..... or not

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The lowest elevation of the main Chamonix ski resorts (top elevation is only 1,900m), Les Houches is a wonderful option in harsh weather conditions due to the visibility and shelter afforded by its low elevation & tree lined slopes. It is also the best ski area in the valley for progressing beginners to start on longer, cruisy trails.

A total of 55km of trails are available, with the longest nearing 5km running from top to bottom. A cable car, gondola & train provide the bulk of the uphill lift, with a series of aging chairlifts and surface tows linking all the trails.

Check out the ski trail map for Les Houches below.

Les Houches Ski Trail Map
Les Houches Ski Trail Map

With two distinct sectors from the Bellevue & Prarion summits, the longest and best runs are on the full 1,000m vertical that splits down the middle of the resort to Les Houches. Aside from the World Cup piste, there is little for advanced & expert skiers & snowboarders.

Les Houches is a perfect ski resort for beginners & intermediates with 90% of piste trails dedicated to them. For beginners, the terrain around Prarion and along the Mélèzes lift is the ‘go to’ location with glorious, gentle, rolling tree lined runs and mountain views. Top to bottom ski trails are available for all skiing & snowboarding abilities.

Lift Passes

The Les Houches ski resort has the cheapest ski lift pass in the Chamonix valley and is NOT covered by the commonly purchased Chamonix Le Pass ski lift ticket. The expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass validity area includes Les Houches as does the 'Ikon Pass' & ‘Mountain Collective Pass’. If basing oneself in Les Houches, the local ski pass is better value.

Ikon Pass is valid in most of Chamonix, with days shared between: Grands Montets, Les Houches, Le Tour/Balme, La Flegere and Le Brevent. Holders of an Ikon Pass can ski for free for 7-days, with no blackout period. Holders of Ikon Base Plus Pass and Ikon Base Pass can ski for free for 5-days with no blackout periods. To redeem lift passes, you will need to go to a local ticket window and show your Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, or Ikon Session Pass.

Holders of the 'Mountain Collective Pass' can redeem two free days at Les Houches and/or the other Chamonix ski areas with no blackout periods. Additional days can be redeemed for half price. Mountain Collective pass holders will receive a ‘Mont-Blanc Unlimited’ pass, which allows one to visit all the following Chamonix Valley resorts: Grands-Montets, Flégère, Brévent, Les Houches, Montenvers Train, Aiguille du Midi, Tramway du Mont Blanc. To redeem your day passes at Chamonix, bring your printed voucher/confirmation of your Mountain Collective Pass purchase. Redeem at Central Cash Desk, 35 Place de la Mer de Glace, Chamonix.

Where is Les Houches France?

Les Houches is situated 8km south of Chamonix. Access to the ski resort can be via the village of Les Houches or on the rustic & spectacular Tramway du Mont Blanc (TMB) from the St Gervais les Bains side of the mountain. The Tramway du Mont Blanc starts at the Saint Gervais - Le Fayet railway station just north of St Gervais les Bains. The tram journey takes about 1hr to the top of Les Houches ski resort at Bellevue where it terminates in winter. The TMB is included in the Les Houches ski lift ticket price. From Les Houches there are two lifts climbing the mountain. Closer to the center of the village, the original cable car heads up 800m vertical to Bellevue. Further along, a more efficient gondola rises over 850m vertical up to Prarion. The gondola provides the better access to the mountain.

The best airports for travellers heading to Les Houches & the Chamonix valley are Geneva (GVA) & Lyon St Exupery (LYS). An enormous number of bus & train transport options from both airports to Chamonix exist. The bus is the cheapest & most efficient mode of travel.

Search & book train & bus tickets to Chamonix.

For detailed information on the best ways to get to Les Houches see our Travel to Chamonix page.

Les Houches Accommodation

Les Houches is an extensive but pleasant village surrounded by numerous hamlets full of chalets & apartments, plus a handful of excellent hotels. We stayed at the new RockyPop Hotel and loved it for the well-designed rooms, lively bar, entertainment & relaxed attitude. A bus stop near the front of the hotel provides easy access to Les Houches village centre and the ski lifts, or in the other direction, to Chamonix & beyond. Further out, the unconventional Wanderlust Hotel Chamonix usually has availability in its colourful rooms, plus is perfect for families. Two other hotels of note, also on the outskirts of the main village, are the Le Saint Antoine Hotel and Chalet Hôtel du Bois.

Search & book all Les Houches accommodation.

The obvious alternative to Les Houches is Chamonix. If spending less time in the Chamonix valley and more time toward Megève, St Gervais les Bains and its surrounded villages provides a useful lodging location due to the access afforded by the TMB and its proximity to ski areas like St Gervais - St Nicolas & Les Contamines.

Search & book all Chamonix accommodation.

Ski Rentals, Guiding, Lessons & Equipment

Ski rentals are available in all the Chamonix valley villages including at Les Houches adjacent to the ski lift base. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Les Houches Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Any Chamonix experience is better when the magnificent off-piste terrain is explored. For off-piste skiing improvement or to access group freeride day tours & private guided skiing, see our Les Houches Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

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Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Les Houches in March 2023. We can see how it fits into the Chamonix valley ski resort puzzle. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Les Houches compares to the rest of the French ski resorts on the France ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe the European ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Les Houches

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Chamonix Mont Blanc Powder Skiing Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ski off-piste on a guided tour around the resorts of Chamonix, Courmayeur & Mont Blanc, discovering amazing descents, incredible vistas & delightful ski towns. Enjoy 6 nights in Chamonix & a night in a rifugio high on Mont Blanc. Join a fixed date or get a group together for your best dates & duration....
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy on a 8-day tour.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
Based on group of 7 for min 7 nights.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,449
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Les Houches here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Chamonix Off-Piste & Freetouring
PRIVATE GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREETOURING
4 Days | 4 Nights | 4 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Discover the best of the world's ski & mountaineering mecca, Chamonix, during low season in January, when the crowds are few but the snow is awesome! Inquire about a custom private tour to suit your best dates & group size.....
Price p/p From price based on 4 nights twin-share lodging in a minimum group of 6 people.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,166
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Les Houches here
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