Snowshoeing/Hiking/Cross country skiing
Valley bottom trails are accessible for walking and snowshoeing, depending on snow cover. The golf course in Les Praz is an ideal playground for both activities.
- Marked routes
- Off-piste routes
MARKED ROUTESA few marked trails for showshoeing can be found in the lower part of the valley.
Near Les Bossons, the local trail department has designed a loop called “Circuit des glaciers”.
Near the village of Les Bois, one can follow the trail “Boucle des Tines” through larch pines and spruce and discover the ancient glacier moraine which testifies from the presence of Mer de Glace a long time ago.
In Les Houches, the alpine loop on the plateau near Le Prarion offers constant quality snow cover during all winter months. (Access by Prarion gondola). There is another shorter loop around Lac des Chavants, and a marked snowshoeing trail from the hamlet of Coupeau called “sentier des Cerfs”.
From Servoz one can follow the trail called “Sentier des Trois Gouilles” and “Lac Vert”.
There are 2 marked trails around Vallorcine: “Les Granges” and Les Saix Blancs”.
The Chamonix valley tourist offices pubished a guide book and a map showing waymarked walking and snowshoeing trails for the valley and nearby towns of the Pays du Mont Blanc region.
The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc marks up high-altitude snowshoe trails accessible by the lifts on the sites : Montenvers (3 loops) - la Flégère (loops Raverettaz and Tête Aubuy) - Vallorcine (aiguillette des Posettes). Reminder: the practice of snowshoeing is prohibited by municipal decree of 10 December 2004 on the alpine ski slopes.
Enquiries should be made about the openings of these routes.
Only a few minutes past Le Chatelard, the French-Swiss border, the villages of Trient and Ravoire also offer a few showshoeing marked trails.
OFF-PISTE ROUTESSnowshoeing in the Chamonix valley is totally access free. However, a municipal by-law (December 10 2004) does not allow this activity on ski runs.
Experienced snowshoers will find interesting loops in mid mountains, in good conditions most of the winter (Charousse, Chalets de Chailloux, Carlaveyron Plateau, Petit Balcon nord and sur, Vallon de Bérard, Alpages de Loriaz…)
Please note that many mid-mountain trails are not accessible during winter, on foot or with snowshoes, due to terrain profile.
No matter how experienced you are at snowshoeing, it is highly recommended to check all relevant information that may affect safety during your outing (profile, avalanche couloirs, technical difficulties, weather, temperatures etc.) A good experience in snowshoeing, and wandering into the mountains in a responsible way (appropriate training and knowledge) are necessary to reduce the risks and ensure a safe experience.
We recommend the guide book “ 52 balades en raquettes autour des villages du Mont Blanc” by Pierre Millon. It is full of very useful information and advice and has an extensive literature reference list. Joining a guided group is always a good option for those who require more experience. It is also a wise decision if you wish to discover a new area.
Walking and cross country skiing trails
WINTER WALKING TRAILSThe Chamonix valley offers many marked and maintained walking trails nearby cross country ski trails.
- Bois du Bouchet
- Les Bois
- Secteur de Vallorcine
For your safety, users must stay off the skating tracks and should follow the signs. A multiactivity area was created on the golf course in Les Praz (walking, snowshoeing, and sledding).
CROSS COUNTRY SKIINGAccess fee required. Cross-country ski runs are patrolled.
Information available from the valley cross country centres “Foyers de Fond”:
- Chamonix : +33(0)22.214.171.124.15
- Vallorcine : +33(0)126.96.36.199.09
- Les Houches : +33(0)188.8.131.52.34
Not far from the Mont Blanc tunnel, the Italian Val Ferret also has a good choice of cross country trails.