With the growing popularity of trail running in the Valley, Chamonix has recently declared itself the Trail Valley (Vallée du Trail).
The terrain lends itself perfectly to trail running with the stunning scenery, hundreds of MTB free routes, some fairly significant height gains and a near year round lift network to get you to new stomping grounds.
The Maison Du Trail is a dedicated information site based at the Bois du Bouchet, where two local trail runners will be available to give advice on running in Chamonix. Open everyday during the summer season from 09:00 to 19:00.
Walking trails & routes
A selection of Chamonix trail running routes for can be found here, although in reality the number of routes and permutations are endless.
Some routes have been waymarked and graded, so far 18 of them in various lengths and are reserved only for trail runners.
Here are some of the map routes and details for trail access. They are graded S (small), M (medium) and L (large) which takes into account the length, technical difficulty of the trail and metres ascent and descent.
S routes, lasting between one and two hours
- Circuit Argentiere - Le Tour - Tre le Champ
- Circuit Chamonix - Floria cafe - Les Praz
- Traverse Servoz - Vaudagne - Les Houches
- Circuit Vallorcine - Les Mayens - les Parts
M routes, lasting between two and four hours
- Circuit Les Chosalets - Le Lavancher - Alpage de la Pendant
- Circuit Les Houches - Plan de la Cry - Merlet
- Circuit Servoz - Les Ayeres - Lac Vert
- Circuit Vallorcine - Berard Valley - Loriaz refuge
L route lasting between four and eight hours
- Circuit Montroc - Catogne - Aiguillettes des Posettes
- Circuit Les Gaillands - Aiguillette des Houches - Brevent
- Traverse Servoz - Le Prarion - Mont Lachat - Les houches
- Circuit Vallorcine - Col du Passet - Aiguillettes Parrees
- Traverse Vallorcine - Col de Salenton - Servoz
There are of course plenty of walking trails that are also great for running so make sure you check those out too.
Refuges & huts
There are plenty of refuges dotted around the Mont Blanc Massif that are perfect for staying the night. However, if you are running you may not want to be held back with carrying extra weight so a 'hut to hut' approach is possibly not what you're looking for. You may however be interested to start your run from a different point and staying the night before in a hut could work well for you.
Races & events
Chamonix is also known for the array of world class running events that it hosts every year. The running season kicks off with the Mont Blanc Marathon weekend which features the Marathon, the Ultra, the Cross, the 10k and the Vertical K. At the end of August the infamous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc brings in world class runners from around the globe to compete in a number of ultras, ranging from 96km to 300km. The Trail des Aiguilles Rouges finishes the season in September, another ultra marathon but this time more popular amongst the local trail runners.
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