Mont Blanc Area

  • Mont Blanc Area - Mt Blanc From Aiguilles Rouges - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - Mer de Glace From Signal Forbes - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - Aiguilles Vert From Signal Forbes - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - Aiguilles Rouges, Belvedere Pass - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - From Mont Joly - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - Mer de Glace From Lac Blanc - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - © William Mackesy
  • Mont Blanc Area - © Jeff Black
  • Mont Blanc Area - © Jeff Black
  • Mont Blanc Area - © Jeff Black
  • Mont Blanc Area - © Jeff Black
  • Mont Blanc Area - © Jeff Black

Key information: Mont Blanc Area

    • One of the world's great walking regions: superb mountain scenery, generally good weather in season, excellent huts or other accommodation, French food (albeit often of the tourist variety). 
      • In many ways the neighbouring Aiguilles Rouges are the best walking of all, not least for some amazing views back to the Mont Blanc massif. 
        • There is a huge variety of walking opportunities:
        • The area's supreme walk is the justly famous Tour du Mont Blanc. 
        • Other multi-day walks include the Tour of the Aiguilles Rouges.
        • Life-enhancing day walks are endless. 
          • These can be tough walks in high, remote mountains. Come prepared.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty36
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest6
  • Charisma35
  • Negative points3
  • Total rating90

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: Variable
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Mont Blanc Area - Mer de Glace From Signal Forbes - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

The Mont Blanc region is one of the world's great walking areas, with a myriad of varied walks in superb mountain scenery, with huge peaks and spires, glaciers galore, high meadows and comfortable (often atmosphere-starved) villages and towns in the deep valleys. Superb paths, plentiful huts and usually easy access to the delights of French and Italian cooking make this a paradise for walkers, albeit an occasionally damp one.

See also the superb neighbouring Aiguilles Rouges. These are arguably even better walking than Mont Blanc itself - particularly if you want multi-day but less trodden walks.

Around the dominating massif of western Europe's highest mountain (at 4,808m) is a ring of French, Swiss and Italian towns, perfect base camps for day excursions into the hills, or roadheads for longer treks.

As well as the famous long-distance trails;

    • The Tour du Mt Blanc (TMB), the 8-day Big Daddy of the region
    • The 4/5-day Tour of the Aiguilles Rouges in the spectacular neighbouring Aiguilles Rouges
    • The Tour du Pays de Mt Blanc, which circuits the Aiguilles Rouges, and covers similar ground to the Tour of the Aiguilles Rouges
    • Other multi-day walks in the Aiguilles Rouges
    • The great GR5 (Grand Traverse des Alps), which threads southward to the west of the Mont Blanc Massif

and other long-distance walks (it is easy to create your own with the good maps and plentiful refuges), the region has endless outstanding day walks and overnighters.

The must-take Cicerone book arranges the area's day walks by base towns: Chamonix, Argentiere, Vallarcine, Cormayeur etc, and we have arranged our walks following this logic. The selection is endless - don't just think of the walks here: your circumstances may mean other walks (the Cicerone features 50 in the region) give you even greater joy. 

You can find a myriad of walks, wherever you are, on the map of the area (although these tend to be adequately- rather than well marked).

From St Gervais-les-Bains and les Contamines

    • Mont Joly: Mont Joly is the high point of the next ridge west and has outstanding views back onto Mont Blanc and its glaciers.
    • Lac D'Armacette.
    • Col de la Fenetre: easy access to high ground and glorious views.
    • Tete Nord du Fours - along part of the TMB.

From Les Houches

    • Aiguillettes des Houches.

From Chamonix

    • Lac Blanc and the Eastern Aiguilles Traverse and the south-eastern Aiguilles Rouges.
    • Le Chapeau and Tete des Prepators: an easy path (family starter-walk) leading into a tougher ridge ascent. Superb glacier and mountain views.
    • Grand Balcon Nord, a superb 2-hour climb to Signal Forbes, high above the vast Mer de Glace glacier, then a traverse across the Mont Blanc massif's northern slopes, high above the Chamonix Valley.
    • Montagne de la Cete: quite a tough but remarkable ascent of a ridge between two glaciers.

From Argentiere

    • Aiguillette d'Argentiere: a fine, long half-day circuit to a (lowish) nearly-needle, with the increased excitement of a short section of Via Ferrata.
    • Aiguillette des Posettes: Cicerone says it: "perfection is rare in this world, but the Aiguillette des Posettes comes pretty close." Quite a long, steady climb to this peak on the Aiguilles Rouges side, but much of it is outstanding.
    • Refuge Albert Premier: 4 hours of great walking from a cable car to this hut-with-a-view between a high Mont Blanc ridge and the Glacier du Tour. It is very popular, though.
    • Croix de Fer: a wonderful summit-laden half day circuit on easyish paths from a cable car to a peak in Switzerland. Much less uphill slogging than most!

From Vallorcine

    • The Aiguilles Rouges to the north-west are particularly fine walking. See the Cicerone for a number of great walks.
    • Mt Buet: an essential climb up the Aiguilles Rouges' highest summit.
    • Refuge de la Pierre - Berand.
    • Pointe de la Terrasse: fine one or two day trek to a gorgeous viewpoint.
    • Cheval Blanc: Two day walk to a well known and loved but remote mountaintop.

From Cormayeur (Italy - nicer but more chichi than Chamonix)

    • Punta della Croce: half day circuit to a very special viewpoint. Can be overcrowded at its lower sections.
    • Mout Chetif: 6 hour slog to superb viewpoint over Mont Blanc.
    • Mont della Saxe: tough full day slog to one of the best of all Mont Blanc viewpoints.
    • Tete de Ferret: peak on the Italian-Swiss border. Near the TMB, with fine, wide views.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: Jeff Black
Posted on: 12/09/2013
I did several other hikes around La Clusaz. I can recommend a terrific B&B chalet at La Clusaz. There are two rooms each with two single beds run by a delightful couple Chantal and Joel Collomb-Patton. It's called La Trace. www.laclusaz.com > se loger > chambres d'hôtes. It's a bit far from Chamonix but it has some terrific hiking paths although not as dramatic as Chamonix.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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Mont Blanc Area - Aiguilles Rouges, Belvedere Pass - ©William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Mont Blanc Area - From Mont Joly - ©William Mackesy...
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