Refuge du Lac Blanc, mountain lodge, Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve, Aiguille de Chardonnet behind, Chamonix, Haute-Savoie department, France
Guenter Fischer/age fotostock
While Aiguilles Rouges offers sublime skiing in winter, its true glory is revealed once the snow melts. Named after the granite spires that glow red at sunrise, the nature reserve, which was established in 1974, boasts walking trails at all levels of difficulty. The slopes above the Chamonix Valley entice hikers with a penchant for Alpine pastures, while the elevated Lac Blanc bewitches as it reflects the Mont Blanc massif on its emerald surface. Many hikers devote days to exploring Aiguilles Rouges, taking in fields of orchids as well as wildlife like ibex, marmots, chamois, and deer. To delve deeper into the area’s abundance of flora and fauna, visit the information cabin at the Col des Montets, open May to September.