Lac Blanc from Col des Montets

Chamonix

One of Chamonix's most famous hikes!

Hiking Severe

Distance
9.7 km
Ascent
995 m
Descent
995 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
Lac Blanc from Col des Montets Map

Description

Lac Blanc is arguably the most famous non-technical hiking route in Chamonix. "Every hiker coming to Chamonix should make the hike to Lac Blanc, one of the hiking highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc," writes 10adventures.com. "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."

Multiple routes lead to Lac Blanc, but the route mapped here from Col des Montets is always accessible, even if the lifts are closed. However, since it starts lower down the mountain, this route constitutes a respectable day of hiking—budget most of your day for this adventure.

From the trailhead, the path is "clearly marked," according to Chamonix.com, and it climbs steeply from the road up into the alpine. Higher up on this route, you will pass five beautiful lakes as you approach Lac Blanc, the main feature.

"After the last lake, the path becomes steeper and there is an equipped section to help you negotiate huge rounded boulders," according to Chamonix.com. "This brings you out into a hollow where you will find the lake and the mountain refuge."

The scenery at Lac Blanc is simply stunning! Since the lake is situated on the opposite side of the valley from the Mont Blanc massif, this hike and the endpoint at the lake actually provide some of the best views of Mont Blanc from anywhere in the Chamonix Valley! In fact, "the calm clear waters create the perfect mirror image of Mont Blanc and the snowy peaks on the opposite side of the valley," writes Chamonet.com.

If you want to spend as much time as possible savoring this idyllic location, stop at the Refuge du Lac Blanc for lunch and a drink. How fantastic is it to finish an arduous hike and get to enjoy a delicious meal that you didn't have to carry up yourself?!

Be sure to save some energy, though, because the descent back down to the highway is long and strenuous.

If the Flegere lift is running, the shortest and most popular round trip hike to Lac Blanc runs from the top of the lift to the lake and back. But if that's not an option, the route mapped here is always available to you.

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area