Hike / Trail / Mont Blanc / Chamonix

Best Hiking Routes in Chamonix

Chamonix is a hot spot for all types of adventure sports – and with great facilities, views, chalets and a long history of hospitality, it’s difficult to fault the resort as a summer destination! For hiking enthusiasts of all levels, the inter-season period is the perfect time to discover some of the best routes in the area.

Whether you’re looking for a family day out or a more challenging high-altitude hike, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we highlight the best hiking routes in Chamonix, with suggested trails for all levels from beginner to experienced.

Read on to find out more…

Beginner Hiking Routes in Chamonix

The scenery in Chamonix makes it an idyllic place to discover hiking. Many of the lifts stay open in summer, so beginners don’t have to miss out on the stunning scenery.

Please note, however, that dogs may not be permitted on some of the hikes listed below. If you’re keen to enjoy a hiking adventure with your four-legged companion, explore the top places for dog walks in popular destinations here.

Berard Waterfall Trail

Distance: 1.8 km
Elevation: 93 m
Duration: 1 hour

The Bérard Waterfall trail is one of the easier hikes around Chamonix, and is a great family-friendly option.

Starting from the village of Le Buet, follow the gentle path above the Hotel, crossing the hamlet of La Poya. The trail takes you through the nearby meadows up to the reservoirs just above the village. Be sure to pass across the newly built footbridge, which brings you directly to the Bérard waterfall.

At the end of the trail, stop at the Refuge Pierre a Berard for a quick lunch before returning by the same route!

Please note that this trail is also part of the Aiguille Rouge reserve, so be mindful of wildlife (no dogs allowed).

Find out more here.

Hike to La Floria

Distance: 4.2 km
Elevation: 307 m
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

This trail is fantastic during the summer, as most of the path is shaded by forest trees. The itinerary begins along the road from Les Nants to Le Belvedere, where you can head up Chemin de la Floria up to the Petit Balcon Sud footpath.

Once you reach the end of the Couloir de la Floria, you will come across a little chalet offering traditional cheese dishes, as well as other food and drinks for a lunch break on a comfortably furnished terrasse.

This family-friendly hike along a forest track is perfect for an afternoon out in nature with kids. Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking views over the Aiguilles de Chamonix.

More details about the hike can be found here.

Col de Balme Trail

Distance: 4.8 km
Elevation: 81 m
Duration: 1 – 2 hours

Whether you’re travelling with your family or looking for a quick afternoon walk, the Col de Balme is a classic for your holiday itinerary in Chamonix.

The hike starts at the top of Les Autannes chairlift, which stays open during the summer season. Once you’ve reached the top, enjoy a peaceful walk along a wide track signed Col de Balme. You can choose to stop at the Refuge du Col de Balme for ice cream, continue along the path to the French-Swiss border, or even go all the way to Les Écuries de Charamillon for lunch and drinks in an authentic mountain setting.

Don’t forget to stop and take in the iconic views overlooking the surrounding valley, Mont Blanc, and maybe even spot some mountain cows!

Discover more here.

Lac Blanc Hike

Distance: 6 km
Elevation: 269 m
Duration: 2 – 3 hours

The Lac Blanc is another must-try if you are looking for hikes in Chamonix. The hike is part of the Aiguille Rouge reserve, meaning that no dogs are allowed. However, with picture-perfect views of the lake, this hiking trail will highlight the best that Chamonix has to offer. If you’re lucky you may even spot ibex and marmots en route!

Starting at the top of La Flégère, take a right away from the Mont Blanc, following the signs to Lac Blanc. Continue making your way along the path until you reach the junction, heading on towards the Lac Blanc.

Once you get there, be sure to stop at the refuge for a quick bite, or bring your own picnic before making your way back down to the Flégère.

For more details, click here.

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Advanced Hiking Routes in Chamonix

Grand Balcon Nord Trail

Distance: 6.1 km
Elevation: 720 m
Duration: 2 – 3 hours

This classic Chamonix hiking route is an absolute must for hiking enthusiasts. With spectacular panoramic views and a close-up view of the Mer de Glace, tourists won’t be disappointed!

Start by taking the Montenvers train up the mountain, where you will be overlooking the stunning Mer de Glace. Head left out of the station, following the trail signs for Le Signal. The path takes you behind the station for a 45-minute climb, after which you will rejoin the main Grand Balcon Nord hiking trail towards the Aiguille du Midi cable car.

This trail is fantastic on a clear day, where the visibility and views will be optimal. At the end of the trail, why not take a dip in the Lac Bleu before taking the lift back down to Chamonix?

For maps and more, click here.

Lac Cornu Hike

Distance: 8.5 km
Elevation: 651 m
Duration: 4 – 5 hours

Starting at the top of the Index lift (accessible at the Téléphérique de La Flégère), take the wide ski trail towards the Col de la Glière, which overlooks the spectacular Aiguille Verte.

At the top of the col, you can choose between two different signpost lakes. While we’d recommend doing both as they are equally worth seeing, the Lac Cornu trail is an interesting hike featuring boulders. Be sure to wear good quality hiking shoes which support your ankles!

Once you’ve reached the lake, you can admire the scenery overlooking the Rochers des Fiz on one side and the Mont Blanc on the other. If you’re hiking during spring or summer, you might even spot some flowers around the lake – an ideal spot for picnicking while dipping your toes in the water.

Interested? Discover more details on this website.

Le Chapeau trail

Distance: 8.5 km
Elevation: 610 m
Duration: 4 hours

Can’t get enough of the views overlooking the Mer de Glace, Gorges de l’Aveyron, the Aiguilles and the rest of the stunning scenery that Chamonix has to offer? Then this hike is for you!

Starting from les Tines railway station, follow the forest path “Chemin de la Pierre no. 2” through a classified site towards the Sources d’Arveyron. From there, head towards the left, where you will find the start of the Chapeau trail.

Enjoy all the fabulous mountain views around Chamonix on this trail, before arriving at a fenced area overlooking the Mer de Glace and a refuge overlooking a big waterfall. If you’re feeling peckish at the end, make your way towards the refuge La Buvette du Chapeau for some refreshments.

For more information, click here.

La Jonction

Distance: 11.6 km
Elevation: 1,499 m
Duration: 7 hours

Looking for a challenge? The Jonction hike is deceivingly short in terms of distance, taking you up a zig-zagging path up to the viewpoint. The endpoint, however, makes it worth it, with stunning panoramic views over the frozen waves of the seracs from the Mont Blanc. It is also the perfect spot for a picnic – the hiking trail is quite long, and you’ll need to come back down to Chamonix the way you came.

The trail starts from the village of Le Mont, at the top of The Bossons glacier chair lift. The path initially takes you through a forest trail, before the trees start to thin out, leaving room to admire the Taconnaz Glacier, the Aiguille du Midi and even the Bossons glacier. You will even pass the Gîte à Balmat, a big boulder under which the first summiteers of Mont Blanc spent the night!

To see the map and more, click here.

A useful app for hikers on the go is AllTrails. Tried and tested by our team, it’s a great resource for discovering a multitude of hikes of varying difficulty, as well as tracking your progress and finding directions.

Hiking is just one of the fantastic activities on offer in Chamonix. If you’re looking for more ideas of activities to fill your holiday itinerary, check out our various blog posts on things to do in the area.

Find the perfect base for your holiday

Choose from our great selection of Chamonix chalets, many of which are just a few steps from the ski lifts, and make the most of all the wonderful activities available to you in the Chamonix Mont Blanc area. 

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