September in the Alps
September 13 - September 19
A unique trip that includes Chamonix, the world’s trail running hotspot, the quiet Swiss Alps village of Champéry, and a chance to take part in the oldest trail race in the Alps, DDM Trail.
Here’s a secret: September is our favorite month in the Alps. Temperatures are cooler, trails are quieter, and there’s a relaxed vibe that settles throughout the region. Just a month earlier, with schools on vacation, these areas were bustling. But September is a rejuvenating, calming time in the Alps.
Our annual fall trail running trip features Chamonix, the Alps hotspot for trail running and proclaimed “Vallée du Trail,” then a visit to a quaint village high in the Swiss Alps and a special opportunity to take part in, or cheer on, the Alps’ oldest trail race, DDM Trail, with its beautiful course around the wild Dents-du-Midi range.
Our trip starts in Chamonix, France, the world’s epicenter of trail running. We’ll run the high-elevation Balcon Sud, in full view of the impressive Mont Blanc massif and the towering Aiguilles, or needles, that dot the range. After, we’ll wander through town, taking in the sights in this village where modern-day alpinism began. Climbers still fill the streets, testing themselves against demanding rock and ice climbs in the region.
Our second day will feature a ridge run to the Aiguilles des Houches, and we’ll descend past mountain huts, through pastures and forests back to Chamonix.
Next, we’ll take French and Swiss trains over the high border and into the Swiss wine-growing Rhône valley. From there, it’s on to a cog railway up a side valley to tranquil Champéry, a small village nestled under the seven craggy peaks of the Dents-du-Midi range. The next morning, we’ll head off for a trail run in this relaxed corner of the Alps.
For those who wish to take part in an Alps trail race, we’ll have entries available to DDM Trail, a challenging 57-km race with 12,000 feet of climbing. Other race distances include more accessible two-person relay of 25 km and 32 km, and a 32 km race over the second half of the full course. DDM Trail is an authentic Alps trail race, with a history dating back to 1963!
For those who prefer not to race, we’ll provide trail run options for the day, and there’s always the chance to cheer on runners and watch the race unfold from a number of beautiful mountain huts and cafes.
September is our favorite time of year in the Alps. The trails are quieter, and cooler temperatures prevail. It’s a great time to be in this dramatic setting!
*While we strive to keep event dates accurate, due to Covid be aware dates may change or events may be cancelled before we can reflect such here. Please visit the organizers website to confirm dates before making plans.