hikes in Chamonix
Some of the best hikes in the Alps are near Chamonix. The great hiking region of Chamonix is situated on the north side of Mont-Blanc: Western Europe’s highest mountain at 4808m. Chamonix is world-renowned for its skiing, however during summer the hiking is phenomenal, and Chamonix has some of France’s best hikes. These best walks near Chamonix will amaze you. Plus, you know the food in France is going to be amazing!
Mont Blanc is an iconic mountain, and Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Region gives you outstanding access to the beauty of this natural masterpiece, and some of the best hikes on earth. You’re going to love Chamonix’s towering mountains and high meadows flush with wild flowers. This list has a hike for every skill level; however, one thing you’ll notice is that you don’t have to be super-fit to experience the beauty of these French mountains.
- Grand Balcon Sud (6.0km, 320m, 2-4h): One of the classic hikes near Chamonix, the Grand Balcon Sud hike is a spectacular trail due to presence of Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, towering above you for your entire walk. Hike along wooded ravines, high meadows, and wide rocky expanses, finishing up directly in front of Mont Blanc.
- Grand Balcon Nord (6.1km, 720m, 2.5-4.5h): Hiking on the Grand Balcon Nord trail is a great Chamonix hike. This spectacular and panoramic alpine hike has great views towards Mont Blanc. This variant of the trail takes in the high point of Forbes Signal for a truly high-mountain feel. While you are hiking you’ll be able to look down the Mer de Glace glacier and into Italy’s Grands Jorasses.
- Lac Blanc (6.0km, 269m, 3-5h): The Lac Blanc hike is possibly Chamonix’s most famous walk (with the crowds to match), and one of the highlights of hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. This classic high-mountain panorama reflects onto a lake surrounded with snow for much of the year. Lac Blanc sits next to a welcoming refuge, and while hiking you will likely see Ibex and marmots in the surrounding nature reserve.
- Aiguilletteis des Posettes (9.5km, 960m, 4-6h): The Aiguilletteis des Posettes hike is a small Chamonix summit with a big view and a lovely, varied terrain for you to hike across. Prepare to walk through cool larch forests, along a beautiful long ridge, and then hike up to a wide summit point with views straight across to Mont Blanc.
- Albert Premiere (8.7km, 997m, 4-6h): The Albert Premiere hike has steep slopes, a dramatic winding path, and a high alpine ambience which all add up to one amazing hike in the French Alps. Walk this trail all the way to a mountain refuge overlooking the glacier.
- Lac Cornu (8.5km, 651m, 4-6h): Hiking to Lac Cornu takes you away from the Chamonix valley’s villages and lift systems for a higher, wilder, and quieter hike. Climb to a col looking across at the Mer de Glace and the Drus. Slip behind a ridge and hike down to three mountain lakes overlooking the Rochers des Fiz. Hike back into the Chamonix valley, and finish at Planpraz for a perfect Mont Blanc view.
- La Jonction (11.6km, 1499m, 6-7h): La Jonction hike is one of a kind: long, strenuous, but very rewarding. Hike up the ridge on a zigzagging path, showing you the serac-riven glaciers on either side. At the top there is a beautiful glacial-amphitheatre. This is the essence of a wondeful hike in the Alps!
- Le Chapeau via the Sources d’Arveyron (8.5km, 610m, 2.5-4h): Hiking to Le Chapeau via the Sources d’Arveyron is a beautiful Chamonix walk that takes you through larch forests, above the valley, and past a waterfall. You’ll hike to the glacial overlook of Les Grands Morasses and Le Dent du Geant. It’s quite a lot of elevation, but it’s at an easy gradient. As a reward, near the top, there is a lovely refuge serving food and drink.
- Col de Balme (4.8km, 81m, 2-3h): Hiking to the Col de Balme is a Chamonix Classic. This hike starts at elevation as you let the lift whisk you up to the Swiss border, at the very top of the valley, to start this hike. Walk along a wide and easy track. As you hike through high flower meadows, you’ll be accompanied by cows gently clonking their bells. You’ll have iconic views of the entire Chamonix valley and Mont Blanc at all times during this hike.
- Pointe de Vue (3.9km, 315m, 1.5 – 3h): Pointe de Vue is an easy Chamonix hike. You trek through the high alpine flowers to an astonishing viewpoint directly facing the glacier. From this vantage point you can hear it creak as it carves its ravine.
The best hikes in Chamonix
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