Guidebook

Discover Your Trail by The North Face

Half a dozen of the best hikes and runs in the legendary Chamonix valley.

The North Face Chamonix

Description

Chamonix is considered to be the outdoor capital of Europe. It became a Mecca of trail running and hiking since it offers a broad variety of terrain, from easy and well-established footpaths to steep, technical and challenging and everything in between.

In this guidebook we’ve put together some of the best routes around the valley, and there's something for all ability levels - starting from very easy and increasing to hard and long ones. Most of the routes described here can be modified to match your needs by using cable cars to shorten them, and the hiking routes can be turned into trail running (and vice versa).

Discover Your Trail by The North Face Lac Blanc

Discover Your Trail by The North Face Lac Blanc

Chamonix
2 - 3 hrs
9.5 km
521 m
1,032 m
The hike to Lac Blanc is possibly Chamonix's most famous walk, and one of the highlights of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc. With the right timing you can enjoy a high-mountain panorama reflecting onto the 2352m altitude lake. A welcoming refuge sits next to the lake from where you can enjoy a nice lunch and a cold refreshment. From the top of Flegere gondola take the path to Lac Blanc, after you visit and enjoy Lac Blanc, follow the trail with direction Lacs de Cheresys. On that section of the trail you will meet a delicate passage of ladders from where you keep left until you reach Cheresys lakes. From there the path is clearly marked and it descents steeply towards the road. When you reach the road you cross it and a short descent path will take you to the Montroc train station.
Private
Discover your trail By The North Face La Jonction

Discover your trail By The North Face La Jonction

Chamonix
3 - 4 hrs
6.8 km
1,492 m
55 m
Is the ultimate trail that hikers dream of. A tough climb to get the adrenalin pumping, sprinkled with historical significance and an epic view. La Jonction (The Junction) is one of the classics of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Chamonix Valley. This itinerary offers a staggering view of the Aiguille du Midi, the Dôme du Gôuter as well as the Aiguilles Rouges. La Jonction constitutes an exceptional site as it gives close view towards two glaciers from where you can observe their seracs and crevasses in an enchanting environment. The high elevation gain represents the sole difficulty of the hike. From the car park, take the trail going inside the forest, sign “La Jonction”.
Private
Discover your trail By The North Face Mont Buet

Discover your trail By The North Face Mont Buet

Chamonix
26.4 km
1,592 m
2,778 m
Starting from the top of Brevent this is the most remote route described in that series and it shouldn’t be underestimated. From Brevent top station you go towards col du Brevent where you drop off the back side of Aiguilles Rouges and into Diosaz valley. The entire trail goes though nature reserves, taking you to Col du Salenton from where you have the option to climb a 3096m mountain, Mont Buet. After the Col du Salenton, you enter into Berard Valley and pass by the nicely situated Berard hut. Then the route continues down the valley and finishes in Le Buet village from where you can take a train ride back to Chamonix.
Private
Discover Your Trail by The North Face Le Tour

Discover Your Trail by The North Face Le Tour

Chamonix
17.3 km
1,509 m
1,509 m
Starts from the village of Le Tour. There is a big parking (free of charge) next to the cable car. From there, the path immediately starts ascending towards Aiguillette des Posettes. It's not really steep, but it's almost 4 km long. There is a point where there are different paths and you will be unsure on which one to take, but after a while you will realise that all of them are actually going to the same place. From that point you will descend a bit on a very nice and easy path until you start re-ascending up towards the col de Balme. Refuge de Balme is a nice option if you want to have a cold refreshment. From there you keep traversing on the side of the mountain and soon you would start ascending up towards the refuge Albert 1er. The last kilometers of the way up are the same as for the way down but right after you can keep on descending directly to Le Tour.
Private
Discover Your Trail by The North Face Cascade du Dard

Discover Your Trail by The North Face Cascade du Dard

Chamonix
1 - 2 hrs
4.6 km
447 m
449 m
Cascade du Dard is a beautiful, easily accessible, 20 meters high waterfall in the forest at 1233m altitude. Located in the woods, it offers a refreshing break in the heart of the summer. From the Grepon car park in Chamonix, cross towards the ski jump from where you can find the start of the trail. Take the path on your right and follow it through the forest.
Private
Discover Your Trail by The North Face Plan d’aiguille

Discover Your Trail by The North Face Plan d’aiguille

Chamonix
17.5 km
1,334 m
1,366 m
This is a classic trail and it can be shortened by using the Montervers train on the way up and / or taking the Plan de l’Aiguille cable car down. The mapped route here starts with a climbs to Montenvers. On arrival there , it’s worth taking a few minutes to enjoy the setting. You would be overlooking the stunning Mer de Glace, a tremendous and retreating glacier and the high peaks towering above the Glacier. Afterwards, take the trail along the Grand Balcon Nord which takes you through the wild, rocky landscape to Plan de l’Aiguille and passing bellow the steep and imposing Aiguilles du Chamonix.
Private