Set in the heart of the Aiguilles Rouges, this beautiful lake (which is often snow covered) offers an extraordinary vantage point over the Chamonix Aiguilles, Les Drus and the Verte.
Lac Blanc is a high altitude mountain lake, surrounded by rocks and accessed by a number of different hiking trails. The calm clear waters create the perfect mirror image of Mont Blanc and the snowy peaks on the opposite side of the valley.
Lac Blanc is a particular favourite of ours as it offers so many different perspectives of the Mont Blanc Massif and demonstrates some of the most beautiful alpine colours, changing all year round. At the tail end of summer a few seasons ago we hiked up to Lac Blanc in the late afternoon staying overnight in the refuge. That evening we saw the most amazing sunset over the Mont Blanc massif. We were lucky enough to have a clear day the following morning and were able to watch the sun rise over the range again. It was a truly amazing sight with rich autumnal colours on display against the stunning Mont Blanc backdrop.
The mountain refuge on the edge of the lake was destroyed by an avalanche and re-built in the 1990’s but it has proven to be such a popular stop over with walkers (being on the Tour de Mont Blanc) that it was further extended in 2005 to offer more beds.
Who should go
This hike is not particularly long or technical and can be done by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
What to bring
You'll need to buy a lift pass for the cable car and/or chairlift.
The hike is exposed with no shade, so wear sunglasses and a hat if it's sunny.
If you wish to take a map, the IGN3630 map is recommended.
What to see
This area is in the nature reserve of the Aiguilles Rouges and it's not uncommon to see wild animals such as Bouquetin (also known as Ibex), Chamois, Marmots and deer.
Where to lunch
The refuge at the lake serves meals, snacks and drinks. There is also a canteen-style restaurant at the cable car station. The lake is a perfect picnic spot if you wish to bring a packed lunch.
Starting at the top of the Flégère cable car, you have two options to get to the lake:
- Take the Index chairlift up (you can walk it but it’s a 4x4 track with large, rough stones and isn’t very pleasant) and traverse across the base of a rocky spur before climbing up a scree slope into the Aiguilles Rouges Reserve.
- Descend the combe of la Chavanne and follow the path on the left that climbs upwards from the vicinity of the old stables. The route is signposted either way and is not difficult to find, especially if you look out for splashes of paint on the rocks.