On one of our recent summer road trips to Europe, we drove from London, via the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, to France and Italy. We drove through the Mont Blanc tunnel to cross the border between France and Italy and made our first stop at Courmayeur, a charming town in the Aosta Valley region of Italy located at the foot of Mont Blanc, on the other side of the mountain from Chamonix. We stayed in Courmayeur for a couple of days to take a break from the long drive from London, and one of the highlights of our short visit was going on a family hike to Lago d’Arpy.
Mr. G had also brought his road bike on this trip and that morning cycled Colle San Carlo which is the mountain pass that takes you to the beginning of the trail for the Lake Arpy hike in Morgex. The hike to Lago d’Arpy is one of the top day trips from Courmayeur and only a 30 minute drive from town to the trail starting point, which is at the Hotel La Genzianella.
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An hour along a shady path, the trek to Lago d’Arpy is an easy one to do with kids and definitely worth it for the mountain views and beautiful scenery. Lago d’Arpy is a popular spot for families during the summer to relax after the trek and enjoy a lakeside picnic.
Starting Point: Hotel La Genzianella
To get to the starting point of the Lake Arpy hike, set your sat nav for La Genzianella in Morgex – Loc. Colle San Carlo, 11017 Morgex AO, Italy.
Parking is free along the roads and at the car park in front of La Genzianella, however space is limited so do arrive as early in the day as possible. The car park was full by the time we arrived in the late morning, and we were lucky to find a spot along the side street behind the hotel to avoid having to park further down along the mountain pass as many others did.
Restrooms and a water fountain are located at the starting point of the trek to Lago d’Arpy directly across from La Genzianella. The only other water fountain is halfway down the trail and was broken at the time of our visit although you could still reach over to refill bottles with fresh water from the small waterfall that fills the fountain.
Hiking Trail to Lake Arpy
The hiking trail to Lago d’Arpy takes about an hour and is relatively flat the whole way. Round trip, the distance for this hike is about 6km.
The Lake Arpy hiking trail is heavily trafficked with several options for hikes in the area, including one from Lago d’Arpy to Lago di Pietra Rossa (round trip 12km).
At the halfway point on the Lake Arpy hike, there is a small waterfall supplying water to a fountain that was broken at the time. Hikers were reaching over to fill up bottles with cool fresh water directly from the waterfall.
The hour long trek to Lago d’Arpy is easy for hiking with kids and a pleasure to explore along the way. Keep an eye out for the beehives that are in the wooded area along the trail.
The views of the mountains and Aosta Valley are stunning as you approach the end point of the hiking trail at Lago d’Arpy.
When you look back, you can catch a glimpse of the Mont Blanc mountain range in the distance, most prominently the mountain Grandes Jorasses.
Picnic at Lago d’Arpy
Lago d’Arpy is a popular picnic spot for families in the Aosta Valley. While it was fairly busy when we visited on a Saturday, there was no issue at all keeping distance from others and finding a spot for ourselves.
Before making the drive to Morgex from Courmayeur, I stopped by the local shops to buy cold cuts, cheese, bread and mini tarts for our picnic by the lake. It was the perfect way to take a break from trekking, enjoying the sunny weather and cooling off by the lakeside.
The kids loved dipping their toes in the freezing, ice-cold water. The water was so clear and a stunning turquoise colour, and the views are absolutely stunning around the lake.
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Hiking from Lago d’Arpy
For those who would like to carry on hiking and exploring the area, there is a hiking trail from Lago d’Arpy that takes you along the Torrent d’Arpy to Lago di Pietra. Located in the heart of the Aosta Valley, Lago Pietra Rossa is at 2553 meters above sea level at the end of the Vallon d’Arpy.
After our picnic and exploring the area around the lake, we set off again along the same trail back to La Genzianella. We enjoyed our time trekking at Lago d’Arpy and can highly recommend visiting if you are looking for family hikes in the Aosta Valley or ideas for a day trip from Courmayeur. Bring along a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the spectacular views by this stunning mountain lake.
Hike to Lago d’Arpy Map
Read on for more tips and reviews for planning a family summer trip to the Alps;
Tips for Visiting Chamonix in the Summer
Family Hikes in the French Alps
Parc de Merlet, Les Houches in the French Alps
Grand Balcon Sud Chamonix Hike – La Flégère to Planpraz
Pin for Later – Hike to Lake Arpy in Aosta Valley, Italy