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FATMAP difficulty grade
The Petit Balcon trails serve as Chamonix’s best easily-accessible hiking trails.
Combined together, you can create [a fantastic loop](https://fatmap.com/routeid/303594/Petit_Balcon_Loopfirstname.lastname@example.org,6.8737248,8753.0085392,-73.0872508,-42.9393318,1148.1898055,normal) around the Chamonix Valley. But what if you want a shorter loop that hits just the _very best_ sections of the Petit Balcon Sud trail? Well, look no further than this short loop option! This loop departs from downtown Chamonix and climbs up to the bench that the Petit Balcon Sud traverses.
The route continues to climb along the rocky, rooty trail, eventually reaching some of the best overlooks from the Petit Balcon Sud! The openings in the forest canopy created by avalanche paths and ski lifts afford stunning views of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc Massif.
After rolling up and down this delightful singletrack trail, the route mapped here drops back down to Chamonix near the Brevent lift. While, of course, you could create a longer loop with the Petit Balcon Sud trail, this route as it's constructed features one climb up to the bench, a traverse along the bench, and a descent back to town.
If you elongate this loop in either direction on the Petit Balcon Sud, you’ll have to incorporate another significant climb or descent.
While it would make sense for the trail to just stay on the bench at the same elevation, it doesn’t.
Further up valley, the trail drops back to the valley floor then climbs back up to regain the bench.
Further down valley, the trail works its way much higher up the mountainside. For the best bang-for-your-buck Petit Balcon pleasure, this loop is tough to beat!