If you’re planning to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, you’ve surely seen the many pictures of people posing with the Tour du Mont Blanc sign. And naturally you want to be one of them. But more importantly, you deserve to be one of them. Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc is an incredible accomplishment worth celebrating!
And what better way to bookend your trek than with a photo at the TMB sign at the start and finish? Here’s how you get there…
Also check out: Tour du Mont Blanc Packing List: What to Pack for the TMB and What to Ditch!
Where is the Tour du Mont Blanc sign?
The famous Tour du Mont Blanc sign is found in Les Houches, France – the “official” starting and ending point of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Understandably so, many people think of Chamonix as the trek’s starting point, and therefore the TMB sign must be in Chamonix. But while the city of Chamonix definitely makes a better base for your before and after-hike adventures, the nearby commune of Les Houches still marks the “official” starting and finishing lines.
(I say “official” with quotation marks because there are no hard and fast rules here. The Tour du Mont Blanc can be whatever you make it. You can start and finish your hike anywhere you please, purists be damned. Read this post to see what I mean: 10 Myths about the TMB You Need to Forget Right Now.)
That being said, if you’re still considering where to start and end your trip, Chamonix is definitely the best suggestion. Go to Les Houches to complete your trek, but stay in Chamonix for the many awesome things to do, places to stay, and places to eat and drink. For more info, check out my Chamonix posts here:
- 21 Awesome Things to do in Chamonix in the Summer for your alpine bucket list
- What to Pack for Chamonix in the Summer – all the essentials
- Complete Chamonix Summer Travel Guide – all you need to know about visiting Chamonix in the summer
- Best Day Hikes in Chamonix – the top 3 most stunning Chamonix day hikes
- Chamonix’s Aiguille du Midi summer visitor’s guide
- Quick guide to a Day trip to Courmayeur, Italy from Chamonix
Find great Chamonix hotels here. (My personal recommendation: Les Gourmets Chalet Hotel)
How to find the Tour du Mont Blanc sign in Les Houches
If you walk the length of the main road through Les Houches, you’re sure to find the TMB sign. But with 105 miles (170km) in front of or behind you, I’m sure you feel that’s enough walking for now.
So, in the spirit of skipping ahead to the good part, to find the TMB sign in Les Houches, seek out these main landmarks:
- The Les Houches tourism office at Pl. de la Mairie B.P 9, 74310 Les Houches – the sign is located on the sidewalk in front of the building
- Gîte Michel Fagot – If you’re starting or ending your trek here, the TMB sign is just up on the hill that overlooks the Gîte.
- Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste – the Church of St. John the Baptist is the one you can see in the background of many pictures taken at the Tour du Mont Blanc sign. Find it and you’ll find the sign.
How to get to the Tour du Mont Blanc sign
If you have a GPS or GPS-enabled phone with you, putting in any of the above landmarks will get you right to the Tour du Mont Blanc sign. Or, if you’re really good with planning, you can find it at these coordinates: 45.88987385117188, 6.798069873598909.
However, if you’re like me and keep your phone on airplane mode like your life depends on it, it’s still easy to find. (The same goes for if you’ve been in the wilderness so long you’ve forgotten how to use electronic devices. If so, you’re nailing this whole long-distance hiking thing.)
Also read: How to choose between hiking the TMB self-guided or with a guided group
If you’re ending your (clockwise) hike with a shortcut down the mountain via the Bellevue cablecar, the Tour du Mont Blanc sign is just a 10-minute walk from the station in Les Houches. Exit the Bellevue cablecar station in Les Houches, take a right, walk straight for 10 minutes and you’ll walk right under the sign. Perhaps you’ll crawl your way to the finish line or maybe you’ll sprint your way there. Maybe you’ll even collapse when you reach it. All acceptable ways to finish. Literally no one will judge you.
If you’re starting your (anti-clockwise) hike with a bus ride from Chamonix to Les Houches, take the 01 bus from “Chamonix Sud” to “Les Houches Mairie.” Once off the bus, you’ll see the sign across the street to your right. This method also works if you totally spaced on getting your photos with the Tour du Mont Blanc sign and want to go back later. (01 bus timetable here)
Pro tip: All hotels in Chamonix will give you a free bus pass to use for the duration of your visit. All you have to do is ask if they don’t offer it to you upfront.
Where to find the Tour du Mont Blanc Sign: a map
I put together this map with the sign’s location as well as all the landmarks mentioned in this post.
Other tips worth mentioning
Given the popularity of the Tour du Mont Blanc, chances are there will be others at or around the TMB sign who can take your picture. And if so, always offer to take theirs as well! After my recent finish in July 2022, there were two other women who had just finished theirs too.
Across the street from the sign is a small gift shop called Le Floch’on that sells a ton of fun handmade Tour du Mont Blanc items as well as Les Houches, Chamonix, and general alpine gifts. I got a wooden sign to hang on my wall at home to commemorate finishing the TMB.
Photo inspiration – take a photo with the TMB sign at both the start and finish of your hike. This way, you can see how huge your muscles have grown, marvel at how bandage-free you used to be, and cringe at how lax you’ve become with personal hygiene.
And so you can make hilarious photo mashups with both versions of you! On the left is me when I started my TMB adventure back in 2019 and on the right is when I finished in 2022. (No, I didn’t hike for three years – there’s a story there.)
Also read: The 10 Best Tour du Mont Blanc Tips You’ve Never Heard Before. Except for #4 because that’s what this post is about.
More info for your TMB hike
- Find great places to stay in Chamonix or Les Houches here.
- Take the same TMB tour as me – details here!
- Pick up this TMB guidebook for your hike.
- Considering travel insurance? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
Have a great hike! See you at the sign. ☺️
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