The Best Trails featuring Glaciers around Chamonix
This is our personal selection of the best trails in and around Chamonix that feature Glaciers. The glaciers around Chamonix are one of its defining features. The most visible glacier will be the fast moving Glacier des Bossons which can be seen from the center of town and reaches quite a low altitude. Most of the trails we present here will bring you to close to a glacier and give you some great views of them. It is only the Mer de Glace glacier that provides direct public access through the Grotte de Glace. The other glaciers will have trails leading to them but those are meant for mountaineers with the proper equipment including crampons, ropes and poles. We often see tourists on the Argentiere glacier for instance and although it looks safe enough we have to advice you against this. If you want to go for a proper glacier walk to then book a guide so you can do so safely.
A large man-made Ice Cave inside the Mer de Glace with easy access and ice sculptures and lighting effects. Need we say more?
The Mer de Glace glacier is the most famous glacier around Chamonix and also by far the easiest to visit thanks to the Montenvers mountain train and the special gondola that goes down from Montenvers to the ice cave. The Grotte de Glace ice cave is man-made and quite large and includes lighting effects and sculptures. It is a very unique sight and should not be missed. The trail we present here combines a visit to the Grotte de Glace with a beautiful trail that ends at the Plan de l'Aiguille cable car. It is the most popular traverse in Chamonix so expect quite a number of people to be there on the trail with you but it is worth it. We include an optional visit to the Refuge du Plan de l'Aiguille and the very pretty Lac Bleu mountain lake. You can even include a visit to the Aiguille du Midi to end up what will probably be your most spectacular day in Chamonix.
A steep climb to a brilliant view point where the Glacier des Bossons and the Glacier de Taconnaz meet and split
The Glacier des Bossons is the most visible glacier in the Chamonix Valley. It moves quickly compared to the other glaciers and as such its terminus reaches quite a low altitude. This trail is a pretty steep climb starting at the Les Bossons and from there you make your way up a land tongue that sits in between the Bossons and Taconnaz glaciers. The Jonction view point sits at the very end of the land tongue and gives a pretty dramatic view of both glaciers and further up to the Mont Blanc and surrounding peaks. It is quite a sight. On the way up and down you will pass by the Chalet de Glacier des Bossons and the Chalets des Pyramids buvettes where you can enjoy some food and a drink. You can shorten this trail a bit by taking the Les Bossons chair lift which is lovely and feels a bit old fashioned. Overall, a popular trail that ends up at a really spectacular view point over some truly dramatic glaciers.
A spectacular glacier with a relatively easy trail and amazing views of the glacier and a nice refuge at the end of it all
This trail uses the Plan Joran gondola to give easy access to the Argentiere Glacier above the town of Argentiere. During the trail you will turn the corner and suddenly be hit by the view of the glacier and it will be very impressive. The glacier at its terminus has big jagged ice peaks crumbling off and falling down of the glacier. The trail runs right next to the glacier so the views are up close and personal. As you climb higher you will gain more of a top down view of the glacier and appreciate its size and length as the view travels deep into the mountains. The rest of the trail visits the very nice Refuge de Lognan which serves excellent food and has nice views towards the Aiguilles Rouge. From there you simply loop back to the Plan Joran lift. Overall, the Argentiere glaciers is one of the most beautiful ones in the valley with a relatively easy trail that has very close-up views of the glacier.
A beautiful trail leading to the high altitude Refuge Albert1er sitting right next to the imposing Glacier du Tour
The Glacier du Tour sit at the far north-eastern end of the Chamonix Valley. Its terminus is visible from the hamlet of Le Tour but the fast majority of the glacier is hidden from sight. Luckily the Charamillon gondola, which departs from Le Tour and the Autannes chair lift provide options for much easier accecss to the excellent Refuge Albert 1er which sits right next to the glacier. This trail is really beautiful with nice views that stretch deep into the Chamonix Valley. The last sections of the trail take place on a ridge that sits right next to the glacier providing good views. Once you reach the Refuge Albert 1er you will be happy to find out that the refuge has an excellent kitchen and serves hot meals. It also has a nice terrace overlooking the glacier. If you want to see even more of the glacier, then there is an alternative route that follows the ridge line all the way down to Le Tour. Our Albert 1er Trail Video showcases this route.
Looking for more trails with glacier views around Chamonix?
The trails we have presented above as the best hikes and trails with glacier views are only a few of the many trails we have on our website. You can use our detailed search function to find trails based on a large number of variables, including length, elevation gain and loss, technical difficulty level and much more. You can also select different tags, including "Glacier" to make sure those features are included in the trail. Using the search box below you can put in your own parameters and find your perfect glacier view trail.
Trail Length (km)
Hiking Time (hr)
Elevation + (m)
Running Time (hr)
Trail Title Keyword
Tags (select one or more to filter on)