Guidebook

Let Chamonix Blow Your Mind with These Must-Do Hikes

Explore Chamonix—possibly the most breathtaking mountain destination in the world—on these hikes ranging from mild to wild.

Description

Chamonix is one of the most stunning mountain destinations on earth. The idyllic town center sits in the bottom of a narrow valley with mountains soaring straight up on all sides. The Mont Blanc massif forms one side of the Chamonix Valley, with the mountain slopes culminating in sheer rock cliffs covered in glaciers. Mont Blanc itself, visible from just about everywhere in the valley, rises to 4,809 meters above sea level—the highest peak in Western Europe.

The question isn’t, “are there good trails to hike in Chamonix?” Rather, the question you will find yourself asking is, “where do I even begin hiking in this enormous network of trails?!”

This guidebook will help you get started.

Take a look through the recommended routes that we’ve included here. These hiking trails run the gamut from mild, scenic walks to epic climbs straight up the mountainside. That’s one of the beautiful things about Chamonix: if you want to hike all the way from the valley floor to Lac Blanc, you can totally do that. But if you’d prefer to ride halfway up the Midi, walk across the gorgeous but much less challenging Grand Balcon Nord, you can do that instead. Or if all you want to do is walk down the stairs to access the Grotte de Glace… it’s completely up to you.

Whichever hike you choose, one thing is certain: you will undoubtedly fall in love with Chamonix!

La Jonction
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

La Jonction

Chamonix
4 - 5 hrs
11.8 km
1,271 m
1,271 m
A famous hike which was the starting point for Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard when they made the first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786.
Difficult
Private
Grand Balcon Nord
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Grand Balcon Nord

Chamonix
1 - 2 hrs
6.2 km
187 m
588 m
Packed with incredible views—likely the best bang-for-your-buck hike in Chamonix!
Difficult
Private
Lac Blanc from La Flegere
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lac Blanc from La Flegere

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
6.6 km
566 m
566 m
One of Chamonix's most famous hikes!
Difficult
Private
Aiguillette des Houches
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Aiguillette des Houches

Chamonix
3 - 4 hrs
9.2 km
880 m
880 m
A pleasant hike with views of the Mont Blanc Massif
Moderate
Private
Refuge de Bellachat: Depuis Planpraz

Refuge de Bellachat: Depuis Planpraz

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
7.0 km
629 m
522 m
Difficult
Private
Petit Balcon Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Petit Balcon Loop

Chamonix
4 - 5 hrs
20.8 km
702 m
702 m
A classic loop around the Chamonix Valley.
Moderate
Private
Lavancher to Chapeau Refuge and Mer de Glace Viewpoint

Lavancher to Chapeau Refuge and Mer de Glace Viewpoint

Chamonix
0 - 1 hrs
1.8 km
332 m
4 m
A short, easy and pleasant walk through the forest to a charming refuge and viewpoint over the Mer de Glace glacier.
Easy
Private
Buvette de la Floria
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Buvette de la Floria

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
8.5 km
362 m
366 m
A short and pleasant hike up to a picturesque little mountain hut.
Moderate
Private
Grotte de Glace
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Grotte de Glace

Chamonix
0 - 1 hrs
2.2 km
225 m
225 m
A must-do visit to an ice cave carved in the Mer de Glace glacier.
Easy
Private
Tour du Mont Blanc: Col de la Forclaz to Montroc
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tour du Mont Blanc: Col de la Forclaz to Montroc

4 - 5 hrs
15.3 km
1,134 m
1,239 m
Day 9: The final border crossing of the Tour and the first time you'll have seen Chamonix for a week!
Severe
Private
Tête Rousse Hut
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tête Rousse Hut

Chamonix
1 day +
23.0 km
2,240 m
2,240 m
A challenging loop showcasing the diversity of the Mont Blanc mountain range.
Severe
Private
Petit Balcon Sud Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Petit Balcon Sud Loop

Chamonix
1 - 2 hrs
7.7 km
235 m
235 m
A short loop on one of the best sections of the Petit Balcon Sud trail.
Moderate
Private
Lac Cornu from Planpraz
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lac Cornu from Planpraz

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
7.5 km
538 m
538 m
Escape the crowds at Lac Blanc by hiking to Lac Cornu instead.
Severe
Private