This 8 to 9.5 km circuit (depending on the path taken) is difficult but also one of the most beautiful in the Chamonix valley. Although it is very crowded on sunny days, you will still have more than one opportunity to feel alone in the world facing the immensity of the Alpine peaks. Your goal? Join Lac Blanc, at an altitude of 2,350 m, in the Aiguilles Rouges national nature reserve. If you do this hike before the end of June, you will see that the rear part of the lake is still covered with snow. Once there, celebrate your ascent while admiring the scenery. You will think you are only a few meters from the summits of the Mont-Blanc massif. Count between 4h00 and 4h45 of walking in total (2h30-3h00 for the climb). You will have the choice between three access routes to the lake: the Tré-le-Champ path (the fastest), the Col des Montets path and the Flégère route (which starts from the cable car of the same name) .
Another must-see hike in the Chamonix valley reserved for great athletes. And for good reason, you will have to face 5:30 of ascent and more than 2 hours of descent, or almost 8 hours of walking (16.4 km) with an elevation greater than 1,500 m. Better to be equipped before starting this extraordinary circuit. You will discover along the way the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France, then the Aiguilles de Chamonix. It is possible to shorten the climb time by taking the rack train which connects Chamonix with the Mer de Glace (Montenvers train). Needless to say, the panorama from the Forbes signal and the blue lake is sensational.
Aiguillette des Houches
Head to the Carlaveyron nature reserve to conquer a summit which stands at 2,285 m above sea level, the Aiguillette des Houches. This 9 km loop circuit (medium difficulty) departs from the village of Les Houches, 5 km south of Chamonix, from the Merlet park car park. During the ascent, you will pass by the Bellachat refuge, your landmark before arriving at the summit. The Aiguillette des Houches is a summit less frequented by hikers than Lac Blanc. However, it offers very beautiful views of the Fiz and Mont-Blanc mountains. Allow about 5 hours to complete this hike with 910 meters of elevation.
This beautiful hike to the Tête du Grand Chantet is shorter than the previous ones (6.7 km, 2h50). The start is from the Planet parking lot in Argentière, north of Chamonix. The Peclerey mountain delights locals and lovers of the great outdoors who want to meet few hikers. During the descent, you will find shaded areas in the forest. This walk has a height difference of 670 m but with a pinch of effort and a zest of motivation, occasional walkers can do it and savor it.
Lac Cornu and black lakes
Allow between 4 and 5 hours to complete this 11 km loop (medium difficulty). Lac Cornu is a 54 hectare lake of glacial origin located in the Aiguilles Rouges range at an altitude of 2,300 m. The black lakes are a little higher, at 2,540 m above sea level. The hike starts from Planpraz train station, served by a gondola that you can take to Chamonix. Plan 1 hour 45 minutes to reach Lake Cornu, 2 hours 30 to reach the Black Lakes. The lakes offer beautiful views of the Mont-Blanc massif. This circuit is less popular than that of Lac Blanc, and therefore less crowded.
Finally, it is impossible to leave the Chamonix valley without boarding the Montenvers train to go see the Mer de Glace.