Hikes in Chamonix

Region in France

The spiritual home of mountaineering, Chamonix is a hiker’s dream. A small, cosmopolitan town nestled in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix provides access to some of the most dramatic peaks and fantastic hiking trails in the French Alps. Expect to see towering, snow-capped peaks, creaking glaciers, and flower-strewn trails as you walk in the footsteps of mountaineering legends.

The most striking feature of the region around Chamonix is the towering face of Mont Blanc, which looms high above the town. As the highest mountain in Western Europe, and the site of many pioneering mountaineering expeditions, Mont Blanc exercises a powerful hold over the imagination of many hikers, and the trails in the Mont Blanc massif and surrounding area certainly won’t disappoint.

Hiking in Chamonix is a pure delight, with views that will take your breath away around every corner. With ice-blue glaciers and impossibly craggy ridges, romantic wildflower meadows and gurgling streams, the landscape of the French Alps is truly spectacular. What’s more the bustling town of Chamonix itself is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day out on the trail.

This incredible region is packed with five-star hiking trails, so it’s almost impossible to choose our favorites! Nevertheless, we’ve put together a list of the best hikes in Chamonix, to help you plan your next hiking adventure. Read on to find out more!

Top Hikes In Chamonix

As the adventure capital of the Alps, Chamonix is the ideal place to visit for an epic hiking adventure. Nestled in the shadow of Mont Blanc, this magnificent region has so much to offer for all kinds of visitors, from beginner hikers to experienced thrill-seekers. One of the advantages of taking a summer hiking trip in a ski resort is that the ski lifts are still available to take hikers high into the mountains to start their walk, meaning that it’s easy to enjoy some phenomenal views without expending too much energy. You’ll find fun family hikes, easy short routes perfect for a low-key stroll, and strenuous day hikes that will test the mettle of the most experienced hikers. Heaven for hikers, Chamonix has it all.

  • Col de Balme Hike: The hike to the Col de Balme is a Chamonix classic, and a good option if you’re looking for a less strenuous hike in the Alps. Take a ski lift right to the edge of the Swiss border and start the trail on a straightforward path through flower-strewn, expansive meadows. The views over the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc will take your breath away, and we think this is one of the best easy hikes in Chamonix.
  • Pointe de Vue Hike: This lovely hike is the perfect option if you’re looking for an easy day out in the French Alps. The trail ascends gently through some truly gorgeous alpine scenery, with wild flowers and pretty shrubs, crossing over gurgling mountain streams. The viewpoint at the end of the path, however, is truly spectacular, offering views over the immense Argentière Glacier, creaking and groaning as it proceeds slowly down the mountain.
  • Lac Blanc Hike: The hike to Lac Blanc is one of the best family hikes in Chamonix, and a good option for families looking for an exciting day out in the French Alps. This beautiful lake is surrounded by snow-capped peaks that cast a shimmering reflection into the crystal waters, offering an alpine vista that you’ll never forget. Kids will love this trail as it passes by a nature reserve filled with ibex and marmots, making it a good place for wildlife watching.
  • Grand Balcon Sud Hike: This spectacular hike will take you along a beautiful, varied trail, much of it in the shadow of the towering Mont Blanc. This trail is pure joy to hike, and a good option if you are travelling with older children who want a taste of the dramatic scenery of the French Alps. The views change constantly along the route, meaning you’ll never be bored, and the awesome view of Mont Blanc at the end is simply jaw dropping.
  • Albert Premiere Hike: This steep, dramatic hike will take you all the way up to the Refuge Albert Premiere, with a staggering viewpoint overlooking the glacier. The climb is steep and rocky in places, but the views along the way are incredible, and there’s plenty to distract you from your aching legs. It’s possible to do this as one of the best day hikes in Chamonix, but if you want to take it easy, you can stay at the refuge and admire the wonderful sunrise and sunset from this high mountain vista.
  • Lac Cornu Hike: Looking for a quiet hike that takes you away from Chamonix’s summer tourists and off the beaten track? The route to Lac Cornu is a wild and wonderful hike that will take you away from the Chamonix Valley to a series of three beautiful mountain lakes. This is an immensely satisfying day hike, and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the wilder side of the French Alps.
  • La Jonction Hike: This epic hike in the French Alps is one of our favorite challenging hikes in Chamonix! You’ll hike along a dramatic ridge on a zigzagging path, with impressive glaciers on either side, creating an impressive alpine vista. However, the greatest surprise is left until the end – an immense glacial amphitheater with incredible views all around you. This is a strenuous hike, but it’s worth every little bit of effort.
  • Aiguilletteis des Posettes Hike: This gorgeous hike is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery of the French Alps, combining high, snow-capped peaks, cool larch forests, and an impressive craggy ridge. This area is especially lovely in autumn, when the leaves turn and the larch forests show off their fine colors. The ascent is steep, but you’ll be walking alongside fragrant plants such as juniper, rhododendron and blueberry, and the descent offers magnificent views of the Chamonix Valley all the way down.
  • Grand Balcon Nord Hike: The spectacular Grand Balcon Nord hike offers mind-blowing views and a wonderful panorama over the heart of the French Alps. This route takes you all the way to the high point of the Forbes Signal viewpoint, named after the Scottish geologist who discovered many of the principles of glacial movement. Fittingly, the viewpoint offers a wonderful vista of the Mer de Glace glacier on the Mont Blanc massif, and is just one of the highlights on this wonderful, varied trail.
  • Le Chapeau via the Sources de l’Arveyron Hike: This beautiful hike is a moderate challenge and a good option for beginner or intermediate hikers looking to stretch themselves whilst in the Alps. The trail itself is stunning, passing through larch forests, along wildflower-strewn valleys, and past gushing waterfalls before reaching a viewpoint where you can gaze upon two impressive glaciers. Make sure to take a pit stop at the refuge near the top, La Buvette du Chapeau, for a well-earned rest and a drink.

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Chamonix?

The best time to hike in Chamonix is between June and September, when the higher-elevation trails are free of snow, the weather is warm and sunny, and the refuges are fully operational. The French Alps have a relatively short hiking season, as the high elevation means that many trails are covered in snow for most of the year, and the risk of avalanches is high. In winter, the region is transformed into one of Europe’s finest skiing destinations, and the mountains take on another guise, clothed in pristine white powder. This can be wonderful time for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Other Outdoor Activities In Chamonix

Whether you visit in summer or winter, there are so many different outdoor activities on offer in Chamonix! Choose from hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing and all kinds of water sports, including kayaking, canoeing, canyoning and rafting. In winter, it’s time to turn your attention to the ski slopes, but don’t miss the opportunity to try out cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and even ice climbing during the cooler months.

How To Plan A Trip To Chamonix

The French Alps are truly a magical place for a hiking trip, and to help you make the most of your adventure, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Chamonix. You’ll find everything you need for a fantastic hiking trip, including insider tips on all the best places to stay and eat. It’s time to grab those hiking boots and head for the hills!

Frequently-Asked-Questions About Chamonix

Do you need a car in Chamonix?
Chamonix is one of the most well connected towns in the Alps, and it’s certainly possible to enjoy a fantastic hiking trip here without needing to bring your own car. While there are some advantages to having your own set of wheels (including the flexibility to go a little further afield, and to hike according to your own timetable), a car is certainly not essential in Chamonix.

How far is Chamonix to Geneva?
Geneva is approximately 55 miles from Chamonix.

How many days do you need in Chamonix?
There’s plenty to do in Chamonix and the surrounding area to keep you busy for weeks on end. However, if time is tight, we’d recommend spending at least 2-3 days in Chamonix. This should give you enough time for a couple of good hikes with the option of spending a day in the charming town itself.

Guide-book quality info for over 8,000 trails

View Hikes in Chamonix on Map

View Map

Best Hikes in Chamonix

Open details for Grand Balcon Sud

Grand Balcon Sud

Moderate
6.0 km
320 m
2-2.5h

We love the Grand Balcon Sud hike. This is a spectacular hike thanks to the presence of Western Europe’s highest mountain: Mont Blanc. Hike along wooded ravines, high meadows, and wide rocky expanses, finishing up directly in front of Mont Blanc.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Grand Balcon Nord

Grand Balcon Nord

Moderate
6.1 km
720 m
3-4.5h

The Grand Balcon Nord hike is a classic Chamonix trail. This spectacular and panoramic Alpine hike is a must-do hike when in Chamonix. This variant of the Grand Balcon Nord trail takes in the high point of Forbes Signal for a truly high-mountain feel. Look down at the Mer de Glace glacier and into Italy’s Grands Jorasses while on this wonderful hike.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Lac Blanc

Lac Blanc

Easy
6.0 km
269 m
2-2.5h

The Lac Blanc Hike is possibly Chamonix's most famous walk. Every hiker coming to Chamonix should make the hike to Lac Blanc, one of the hiking highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc. A 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.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Aiguilletteis des Posettes

Aiguilletteis des Posettes

Hard
9.5 km
960 m
4.5-6h

The hike along the Aiguilletteis des Posettes is a wonderful hike in Chamonix. Aiguilletteis des Posettes is a small Chamonix summit with a big view and a lovely, varied terrain for you to hike across: cool larch forests, a beautiful long ridge, and a wide summit point with views straight across to Mont Blanc. You’ll descend across a wide mountainside with the whole Chamonix valley laid out in front of you.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Albert Premiere

Albert Premiere

Hard
8.7 km
997 m
4.5-6h

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. Hike this trail all the way to the Refuge Albert 1er, which overlooks the glacier.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Lac Cornu

Lac Cornu

Moderate
8.5 km
651 m
3.5-4.5h

The Lac Cornu Hike takes you away from 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 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.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for La Jonction

La Jonction

Very Hard
11.6 km
1,499 m
6-8.5h

La Jonction hike is one of a kind: long, strenuous, but hugely rewarding. Hike up a ridge on a zig-zagging path, showing you the serac-riven glaciers on either side. At the top there is a beautiful glacial-amphitheatre. A great and challenging hike in Chamonix.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Le Chapeau via the Sources de L’Arveyron

Le Chapeau via the Sources de L’Arveyron

Moderate
8.5 km
610 m
3-4.5h

Hiking to Le Chapeau via the Sources de l’Arveyron is a beautiful walk that takes you through the 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.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Col de Balme

Col de Balme

Very Easy
4.8 km
81 m
1-1.5h

Hiking to the Col de Balme is a Chamonix Classic. This hike starts at elevation as you let the lifts whisk you up to the Swiss border, at the very top of the valley. Begin by walking along a wide and easy track, then 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.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Pointe de Vue

Pointe de Vue

Moderate
3.9 km
315 m
1.5-2h

Pointe de Vue Hike is an easy Chamonix hike. You trek through the high alpine flowers to an astonishing viewpoint directly facing the beautiful Glacier d'Argentière. From this vantage point you can hear it creak as it carves its ravine. Then explore Refuge de Lognan.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

Change happens, fees shouldn't

Essential Tools for Any Adventure

Find a hotel in some of the most beautiful locations on earth.

Book your own car to have complete freedom on your next adventure.

Gear-up for your next adventure.

This page may include affiliate links. We may get a small commission for the purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you.
We only recommend tools we personally think are great.

Related regions

Change happens, fees shouldn't

Recent Stories

Open details for Planning A Trip to Chamonix

Planning A Trip to Chamonix

By Lukas Saville
July 3rd, 2019
Open details for The Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt

The Walkers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt

By Richard Campbell
April 8th, 2017
Detailed Route Guides
Real GPS Coordinates
Reliable Trail Reports
Experienced-Based Travel Tips
GPS App
Extensive Travel Guides

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Tours

Routes

Blogs