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Hiking and Trekking

chamonix hiking

The Chamonix valley offers over 350km of well maintained diverse hiking trails that suit families and elite hikers of all ages.  Forests encompass Chamonix’s lower valleys satisfying children’s hiking ability while the demanding high mountain trails can be accessed via the lift network which offer high altitude and fabulous panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Click here to view our Chamonix Holidays rental properties available.

If you don’t feel like beginning the trek on foot from your holiday accommodation you can always take the train or bus (link to local services within location) to the trail head.  Chamonix Holidays recommends the following hiking trails:

Chamonix hiking le lac blanc

Chamonix is the starting point for the famous Tour Du Mont-Blanc trail which climbs and crosses 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland and lasts between 7 and 10 days, averaging 5 hours walk daily, gaining altitudes between 800m and 1000m. You will find everything that you are looking for including tremendous mountain scenery, alpine pastures, glaciers, passes and elevated routes.

 

One of the most beautiful walks easily accessed by the Flegere cablecar is Le Lac Blanc. Start from the Flegere lift station in the town of Le Praz and ascend to the top of the Index. Follow marked trails for approximately 1hr15min covering unique panoramic facing Mont Blanc.

chamonix hiking grand blacon nord

For a steady climb or descent over 1250m you can join the the Petit Balcon Sud walking trail from different towns in the Chamonix valley. The trail runs from Argentiere all the way to Servoz climbing and ascending gently along the river L’Arve, in and out of the forest.

 

The Grand Balcon Nord is a higher altitude walk offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. It is a superb Chamonix hike linking two of the most famous spots of the valley, Plan de l’Aigulle 2310m and Montenvers 1913m, whilst being dominated by Chamonix’s majestic “Aiguilles”.

chamonix hiking le buet

The Vallon de Berard is a beautiful place to walk with the whole family.  This is a gentle Chamonix hike follows the river up the valley and passes a waterfall right at the start.  The hike is 1h45 to the Refuge Pierre a Berard.  Trail heads can be found in the village of Le Buet.  As part of the Aiguille Rouge reserve and it is not rare to see bouquetin, chamois and marmottes. If you are looking for a more challenging hike, continue on after the refuge up to Le Buet (3096m). The hike continues on for about 3h45 after the refuge.  The views from the top are spectacular.

chamonix hiking zermatt

The historical Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt (the Matterhorn) is a spectacular and demanding summer hike in the French and Swiss Alps, walking from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland in 10 to 12 days.
The route passes through the centre of both the French and Swiss Alps meandering through green alpine valleys with flower-covered meadows and picture-book villages as well as crossing glaciers and towering snow-capped peaks!

chamonix hiking

Chamonix and The Alps contain endless possibilities when it comes to hiking.  Visit our Day Trips section to see a few options for those of you on holiday that have a bit more time to explore and are looking to do a tour out of the Chamonix valley.  Each of the following areas is under an hour car ride from Chamonix and well worth the trip!

chamonix hiking

TIPS FOR HIKERS:

Remember to take lots of water and sunscreen with you when out hiking in the mountains. For high Chamonix alpine hikes; sunglasses and a hat really help to keep you cool when the sun is out, but it can cool down very quickly so take some extra layers. Please be considerate of the surrounding environment, picking up your rubbish after you and the quieter that you are the more wild animals you will see!
For other suggestions and ideas visit the ‘Summer hiking in Chamonix’ of the Chamonix Tourist Office.

Chamonix hiking Mont Blanc Wonderings

Mont Blanc Wanderings by Natalie Jennings:
Spectacular hikes from the Chamonix valley

For a great trail guide to use on your holiday we recommend Natalie Jennings’ ‘Mont Blanc Wanderings’.

Natalie Jennings was born and bred in the Welsh valleys before setting off in search of ‘real’ mountains. She has lived in Chamonix in the French Alps for over ten years and currently works freelance as a translator and interpreter. Natalie, who has just published her first book 'Mont Blanc Wanderings’ is a languages graduate who first came to Chamonix in 1999 to visit a friend and like many, never quite managed to leave. Passionate about hiking, trekking, walking and being in the fresh air, Natalie has written her book to share some of her very favourite walks.

Mont Blanc Wanderings is a hand picked selection of stunning hikes and treks from the Chamonix valley, coupled with beautiful full colour photographs. The routes described should suit most people with a reasonable level of fitness, and present no technical difficulty. The trails cover high altitude terrain, starting from Vallorcine and Le Buet, through to Argentiere and Chamonix, and down to Les Houches and Servoz, offering superb views over the entire Mont Blanc massif. From rural farming grounds to sweet alpine meadows to rugged, rocky terrain, the scenery is ever-changing yet remains spectacular. The book also includes handy little tips such as the best places to find blueberries, where to spot marmots or where you are most likely to encounter wild chamois.
Ideal as a guide book for your holiday or as a souvenir book.

Click the HERE to view the entire book without obligation to purchase.

Here are two of Natalie's favorite walks:

Chamonix hiking

Vallorcine to Alpage de Loriaz (2020m)

For a gorgeously ‘rustic’ alpine trek, look no further than Alpage de Loriaz! Loriaz is a beautiful mountain pasture with a cute cluster of huts set against a stunning backdrop. The walk up takes you through open fields and rural farm lands, into deep forest and finally out into lovely exposed pastures…and all the while the distant sound of cow bells echo charmingly through the meadows.

The walk starts in Vallorcine, by the tourist office. Turn left up through the little village of Le Crot, and follow the narrow path that winds up behind the chalets. Keep left and up for approximately 2 hours until you arrive at a large cross on a boulder overlooking the valley (Croix de Loriaz). This signals the final 500 metre ascent to the Loriaz huts. The sweeping views down the valley and towards Switzerland are spectacular.

Chamonix hiking

Bellevue to Col de Tricot (2120m)

This is a really pretty trek, encountering lilac & pink coloured fields of rhododendrons, an unusual ‘swinging’ style bridge over a glacier and loud flocks of sheep! The walk starts at the top of the Bellevue cable car station (Les Houches), descends down to the Bionnassay glacier, crosses the glacier via the afore-mentioned bridge and climbs back up the other side to the Col de Tricot.

It is approximately a 4 hour round trip from Bellevue to Col de Tricot and back to Bellevue. From the top of the cable car walk down to the tramway station, cross over the tracks and take the path leading down into the forest. Head left towards Chalet de l’Are. Here, followed the signed path off to the right for Col de Tricot and the Passerelle du Glacier. The path descends steeply down to the bridge and, once crossed, climbs back up alongside the glacier and then out into rhododendron fields. A final zigzagging climb eventually leads you to the Col and its resident flocks of sheep! There are lovely views looking towards Les Contamines and Montjoie.

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Summer Holiday Hiking in Chamonix