The Best Trails visiting Lakes around Chamonix
This is our personal selection of the best trails in and around Chamonix that visit a lake. Chamonix features some really nice mountain lakes and the more popular onces, like Lac Blanc, draw in large crowds. As you might expect, the nicer lakes are the higher altitude lakes which combine the beauty of the lake with the views of the surrounding peaks. The only issue with these higher altitude lakes is that many of them will only be accessible quite late in the season and tend to receive snow quite early. So sometimes you only have a 2-4 month window to actually enjoy these lakes. The Chamonix valley itself does not really have beautiful natural lakes at on valley floor level. The nicest probably being the Lac Anglais and that one is man-made. If you want to have a full list of our lakes then visit our Lakes directory.
Arguably the most famous lake in Chamonix: the Lac Blanc. This trail is the easiest way of getting their using the gondola and chair lift.
Lac Blanc is the most visited and popular mountain lake around Chamonix. The crowds can get heavy during the peak summer months of July and August but even if you will not have your peaceful moment in nature, it is still worth a visit for sure. Lac Blanc is located high above Chamonix in the Aiguilles Rouges natural reserve. The lake has an upper and lower section and there is trail that goes around the lake. From its north-western side you will have a great view over the lake to the peaks behind it and those peaks will have a beautiful reflection in the waters. The Chalet du Lac Blanc consists of both a restaurant and a take-out snack bar. The trail we suggest is family friendly and includes the minimal amount of vertical gain. You get an amazing head start by taking the Flegere gondola and the Index chair lift to drop you off at an altitude of 2500 meter. From there its a fairly flat traverse to the Lac Blanc. Overall, this is a stunning lake and if you can handle the crowds then you should definitely go. If you want to have the lake for yourself then you should visit outside off the summer season when the lifts are not operating. Which is what the #2 Trail in this category will be all about...
This long trail visits 3 of the high altitude lakes in the Aiguilles Rouge natural reserve: Lac Blanc, Lacs Noirs and Lac Cornu
Our winner for the Best Trails around Chamonix visiting a lake was the short trail to Lac Blanc using lifts. The trail we present here also starts with a visit to Lac Blanc but this time you do the ascend by foot starting at the Col des Montets which is easily reached by public transport. There are also alternative routes up to Lac Blanc starting at Tre-le-Champ, Argentiere and Les Tines. From Lac Blanc you will do the high altitude traverse to the Index and from there onwards to the Lacs Noirs and Lac Cornu. The trail as we describe it here then uses the Planpraz gondola to take you back to the valley floor. As we mentioned above, Lac Blanc is super popular in summer when the lifts are open which is from mid June to mid September. So if you want to have the lakes to yourself then your window is from mid-September until roughly mid-October depending on how early in the season the first snow arrives. You will have to do the full descend from Col Cornu though and thats a nearly 1400 meters of descend. Could be worth it!
Beautiful lake with crystal clear waters and a nice trail around the lake near Plaine Joux above Servoz
Lac Vert is a very popular lake located a little west from the Plaine Joux recreation area above Servoz. The lake is really beautiful with pine trees all around the lake and a nice backdrop of the Fiz mountains from its southern side and views of the Mont Blanc massif from its northern shores. There is a trail that loops around the lake which is really pretty and sure to be enjoyed by children. There is a parking right next to the lake if you want to go staight for it. The trail we suggest here starts from Plaine Joux which is a nice area to see paragliders take off and to have a meal or a snack at one of the restaurants there. The lake is also accessible in winter and looks stunning covered in snow and ice and surrounded by snowy pine trees and peaks. Overall, one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Access without a car gets a bit trickier though.
Beautiful high altitude lake near the Plan de l'Aiguille cable car which can be combined with Montenvers and so much more
Lac Bleu, or blue lake, is a beautiful lake located very near to the Plan de l'Aiguille mid station. So if you want to do a short walk and only visit the lake then this is something you could do in 30-40 minutes. The lake is very clear and has very nice reflections of the high peak of the Aiguille du Midi. In our opinion taking the cable car up with the sole purpose of visiting the lake is a bit of a waste because there is so much more fun to be had on this mountain! The trail we suggest here is one that we have featured in many other categories. We suggest you take the Montenvers mountain train and enjoy the views of the Mer de Glace and then visit its Ice Cave and from there do the relatively gentle traverse to the Plan de l'Aiguille and visit both the the Refuge de Plan de l'Aiguille and then end at Lac Bleu before either taking the cable car down to Chamonix or up to the Aiguille du Midi. If you are pressed for time or really don't want a longish hike, then a visit to just Lac Bleu is of course a good option too.
Nice lake located on the Montagne de Pormenaz above Servoz with great scenery all around
Lac de Pormenaz is a high altitude lake located on Montagne de Pormenaz on the east of Servoz. The upper plateau of the Pormenaz mountain is mostly a large pasture around the farm houses of the Chalets de Pormenaz. You will often encounter sheep grazing around Lac Pormenaz. The lake itself is quite sizeable and has a very beautiful setting. There is a small island in the middle of the lake. The trail we suggest here departs from Servoz and climbs up the Pormenaz mountain from the south. This is a nice forest trail which then opens up on the plateau where its all grassland and pastures till you reach the lake. You then descend on the western slope and loop back to Servoz. A potential worthwhile add-on would be a visit to the Refuge de Moede-Anterne which is about 1.5km north from the lake. We got a much longer trail starting all the way in the east at Le Buet near Vallorcine that ends up passing by the lake too if you are looking for a larger challenge.
Looking for more trails around Chamonix that visit a lake?
The trails we have presented above as the best hikes and trails that visit a lake 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 length, elevation gain and loss, technical difficulty level and much more. You can also select the "Lake" tag to show only trails that visit a lake. Using the search box below you can put in your own parameters and find your perfect trail.
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