Col de Balme

trail running Alps

Col de Balme: Running the Swiss French border

Easy trail running with massive views of Mont Blanc

→ 18km   

↑ 1302m

Δ 2341M 

♦ Easy


This is classic Chamonix trail running, but on the Swiss side of the line. The usual uphill climb through the trees takes you up to great Mont Blanc views touching the French border at Col de Balme Refuge. Just before the hut, a quick out and back to Croix de Fer is a  rocky trail to the run's high point, a sharp place to perch for a picnic.

From Col de Balme, you've got an exquisite 5km traverse to Les Grands before a fast footed descent. Easy dirt road along the bisse/sounen (okay, water canal) leads back to the parking at Col de la Forclaz, and ice cream.

Start: 46.05779, 7.00105
Town:  Col de la Forclaz
Canton:  Valais
Country:  Switzerland

  • Chalet des Grands is a great place to stop for a drink with glacier views.

  • Take a look at all your trail options spanning out from Col de Balme. Plenty of ways to pass through from every direction.

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Guided and self-guided trips. Come run with us.


Easy running with rewarding views.


Super smooth singletrack. It doesn't get better than this.


Blueberries might be a snacking distraction along the way.


Dan charging towards the Tirent Glacier.

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