Escape the crowds at Lac Blanc by hiking to Lac Cornu instead.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Sick of the crowds of other tourists hiking to Lac Blanc? Or do you not even want to bother with the swarms of people on Chamonix’s most popular hikes? Then head to Lac Cornu instead! The route to Lac Cornu mapped here runs out-and-back from the top of the Planpraz lift—the mid-station of Le Brevent.

If you’re more ambitious, you can combine Lac Cornu with Lacs Noirs, and even head all the way over to Lac Blanc if you’d like.

Check out the [South Balcony Tour](,4.1935333,2743201.9148192,-90,0,0,normal) trail run to give you ideas for a long lake linkup in this area.

While the hike is relatively non-technical, it does traverse rocky, alpine terrain and gain a respectable amount of elevation even from the top of the lift.

One scree field crossing may require some scrambling.

But for most people with moderate physical fitness, this hike should be manageable.

Beyond the short scree field scramble, “the trail becomes steeper as it approaches Col Cornu and you pass between the impressive peaks of Aiguille de Charlanon on your left and Aiguille Pourrie on your right,” according to [](

“Once you’ve reached the summit of the col at 2414m the trail drops down to the lake.” Lac Cornu feels much wilder than Lac Blanc.

A ring of rocky boulders forms the shores of the lake, and there’s no hut here to serve you a warm lunch.

The wildness of the area will force you to pause and soak in the breathtaking grandeur of the mountains you’re surrounded by.

Not only that, but “the rocks make for quite eerie acoustics and you can often hear the cawing of birds or bleating of goats, magnified and distorted from their usual sounds.” After you’ve finished at the lake, either return the way you came, back to Planpraz, or continue on to create a longer circuit connecting other nearby lakes.