The Grand Ballon (German: Großer Belchen) or Great Belchen is the highest mountain of the Vosges, located 25 kilometres northwest of Mulhouse, France. It is also the highest point of the Alsace French region.
Some still call it Ballon de Guebwiller, after the name of the closest town, Guebwiller, located 8 km to the east. It is 1,423.7 metres high.
The well known Route des Crêtes (French for "route of the peaks") circumvents the mountain top around east, crossing a mountain pass at an altitude of 1,343 m, between Le Markstein winter sports station and Hartmannswillerkopf, a rocky spur.
The mountain is part of the so-called Belchen System, a group of mountains with the name "Belchen" (in German) that may have been part of a Celtic sun calendar.
There's a hiking trail (T1) leading to the summit. Grand Ballon is one of the 139 peaks along the multi-day European long distance path E2.
The nearest mountain hut is Abri Oberer-Sattel located 691m/2 266ft SW of the summit.
By elevation Grand Ballon is
# 1 out of 1710 in Grand Est # 1 out of 509 in Parc naturel régional des Ballons des Vosges # 1 out of 391 in Haut-Rhin # 73 out of 8522 in the North France-West Rhine Area
By prominence Grand Ballon is
# 41 out of 35442 in France # 1 out of 1710 in Grand Est # 1 out of 509 in Parc naturel régional des Ballons des Vosges # 1 out of 391 in Haut-Rhin # 2 out of 8522 in the North France-West Rhine Area
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