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The best treks in Chamonix, Mont-Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is ideally located at the bottom of the Mont-Blanc, which offers a spectacular view over it and its glaciers.

It is also the departure of many cable cars that brings you to the top of different mountains aroung, so you can get even a better view on the Mont-Blanc, the Aiguille du midi or the many mountains around. It is also the departure of the cogwheel train that goes up to the "mer de glace" (sea of ice, or what remains of it).
Therefore, Chamonix is a central point to the many excursions in this area.
There are many treks to do around, but we have selected here the top ones that every mountain lover should do.

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The sea of ice (La mer de glace) - Montenvers

Known worldwide because of the impact global warming has on this glacier, la mer de glace is a must do in Chamonix to see for yourself how fast worldwide glaciers are melting.

You can go up by walk or simply by taking the cogwheel train, that leaves every 15 minutes in high season.
Once you are up you can visit the "ice cave" (la grotte de glace), by taking a small cable car, and then by walking down the 550 steps of the stairway that brings you down to the cave.
The cave is pretty small and is done in about 5 minutes, but it's a must do anyway. What's important is to see the different levels the glacier was at during the last years when you go down and up, and understand how fast it is melting, particularly in the last 10 years. 
Back to the top, you can have a view over la mer de glace, although there's not much of it anymore in this area and it is mostly grey because of all the rocks that were imprisonned within the ice that are now free on top of the glacier.
The whole trip takes about 3 hours if you take the train, 6 hours if you go by walk.

L'aiguille du midi

Another iconic place and an absolute must do is the aiguille du midi.

You have to take the cable car to go up there, and as it's pretty crowded you'll get a number when you purchase your ticket, so you'll have to wait a little before you can take the car.
Once you are at the top, you'll get a spectacular view around and on the Mont Blanc and you'll be able to access the different rooms that have been created within the rocks.
You can even go to the "Pas dans le vide" if you are courageous enough and if you are willing to wait your turn in the line for about 30 minutes.
You can also take another cable car from here, for an additionnal fee, that will take you on the glacier on the Italian side. If you plan to do this don't forget to bring your passport or ID card as you'll cross a national border.

Planpraz - Brévent

Another important trek to do in Chamonix is the Brévent, either by going up by walk, which will take about 3 hours, or by taking the 2 cable cars.

The first one will bring you to Planpraz, and you will then be able to take the second one that will take you to the Brévent.
You can also decide to take only a one way trip to the second one, and get down to Planpraz by walk, which many people do.
Up there you'll get another view on the Mont Blanc, but this time from a different view as the Brévent is on the other side than Chamonix.

The white lake

Another famous trek in Chamonix is the white lake, by taking "La Flégère"'s cable car.

This trek will take about 3 hours and will give you a superb view over the Mont Blanc and its surroundings.
Start by taking the "La Flégère" cable car, then follow the trail to the lac blanc and the lac de Chéserys.

The Bossons' glacier

Another popular trek, that is accessible to anyone is the Bosson's glacier, by going to the Bossons' refuge. 

You can either take a cable car just below the parking that will bring you up almost to the refuge, or you can go by walk in about one hour.
Up there, you'll get a view over the Bosson's glacier, which is more spectacular in itself than the mer de glace, even though it is smaller.

Les gorges de la Diosaz

Last, this small trek is not directly in Chamonix but in Les Houches, but is worth doing to relax and enjoy a different landscape.

You can walk along the gorges on the man-made trail and enjoy all its beauty.
This can be done easily with kids. It will take you about an hour and a half to go to the end of the trail and come back.

The best treks in Chamonix, Mont-Blanc

This article is also available in French here.

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By wozi on 25/08/2021, 14:39:12

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