Pride and joy of the French Alps, the Mont Blanc is one of the most well-known mountain peaks on the planet. Culminating at 4,810 m, this white colossus is the third most visited natural site in the world. While attempting to climb to the summit demands experience and to be in excellent physical conditions, it also constitutes a formidable sight when admired from the Pic du Midi. Thanks to the most amazing cable-car journey, this spot may be accessed via the Aiguille du Midi.
Besides being dominated by one of the most iconic peaks, gorgeous Mont Blanc hikes through the many paths the massif has to offer will be just as memorable if you don’t happen to be an alpinist by trade! Here are five of the most awe-inspiring options you’ll want to lace up your shoes for.
1. Lac Blanc
While the difficulty of this trail is relatively important, it does little to deter avid walkers looking to admire nature in all her glory. Lac Blanc itself (White Lake in English) is covered in snow for most of the year, hence its name. The spectacle it offers is nothing short of astounding: the peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif seem so close one could almost touch them! As this is an absolute must-see, any good Mont Blanc hiking trail map will show you two ascent paths to choose from (via Tré-le-Champ or Col des Montets) and one descent path.
From our hotel in Chamonix, you may embark on this Mont Blanc hike self-guided and follow its paths at your own pace. A little under three hours are needed for the ascent and under two hours for the descent.
2. Balcon Nord
The Balcon Nord is considered a classic Mont Blanc hike which, if you take the Aiguille du Midi cable car to get through the very challenging parts of the itinerary, offers an intermediate level of difficulty. The route of the Balcon Nord starts at the mythical Mer de Glace to then lead you along the Aiguilles de Chamonix. It ends at the Plan the l’Aiguille, where you will choose whether to continue down some steep passages or take the Montenvers train back to Mer de Glace.
Doing this Mont Blanc hike self-guided is entirely possible, though enlisting the help of a professional may be a great way to approach it with more confidence.
3. Lac Cornu and Lacs Noirs
The Massif des Aiguilles Rouges is home to several fascinating lakes nestled at the heart of the most amazing settings, dominated by the colossal shapes of the Mont Blanc. A Mont Blanc hiking trail map will show you different possibilities to choose from and you will be able to opt for an intermediate level of difficulty.
Culminating at an altitude of 2,276 m, Lac Cornu is a 54.4 ha body of water of glacial origin. Truly a sight to behold.
4. Aiguillette des Houches
This summit may not be as popular as Lac Blanc, but it does provide a magnificent viewpoint on the Mont Blanc. Starting at the Parc de Merlet (which is another wonderful option for a family day in Chamonix), this Mont Blanc hike is ideal for those who enjoy admiring the wealth of biodiversity the French Alps have to offer.
5. Montagne de Peclerey
The Montagne de Peclerey, situated above the village of Argentière, is a tranquil, intermediate Mont Blanc hike where you won’t encounter many other hikers. Serene and wild at the same time, its landscapes are every bit as magnificent as those you may admire from more well-known spots. Don’t miss out on this quick but gorgeous trail.