There are many excellent hiking trails in the Chamonix area. They range in difficulty from very easy to somewhat strenuous. The summer time is a great time for viewing wildflowers. There are many different varieties throughout the summer, depending on what elevation you are at. A few of the trails that I hiked or were recommended to me are listed below.
The hike to the Glacier de Bossons is well worth the trip from Chamonix if you are in reasonable shape. The entire round trip hike takes about 3 to 3.5 hours. This glacier is the one that you can see from town, which almost reaches the valley floor. It is the lowest of all the alpine glaciers in the Alps. From Chamonix walk towards this glacier. You will soon hit the main road and continue on towards the glacier. There will be signs along the road pointing you in the right direction. Soon the trail/path will pass a campground and will veer away from the road and will turn to dirt. This will pass near the road, but will not actually cross the road until you get to the Mount Blanc tunnel. Here you will cross the road after climbing up some steep stairs. Continue towards the glacier which you should still be able to see provided the day is somewhat clear. The trail begins to become steep and you are probably still 1/2 hour away from the glacier over look. Coming down this portion of the trail, however, usually is much quicker. It took me about 10 minutes to go from the glacier overlook to the Mount Blanc Tunnel.
There will be a skull and cross bones at the end of the trail. This glacier is extremely dangerous and no one is allowed to venture onto it. Take a few minutes at the glacier overlook and watch and listen carefully. Most likely you will see large chunks of ice and rocks crashing down. Some of these can be quite large and make a lot of noise. Presently the glacier still extends below the lookout. However, at the current rate of retreat it will not be long before the glacier has retreated past the field of view from the lookout. If this happens the lookout may have to be moved higher up.
The western side of the valley is a great place to hike especially at dusk. From this side you have tremendous views of Mount Blanc and the surrounding mountains. There aren’t any specific trails on the valley floor that I recommend. I had a nice time just walking around the neighborhoods and rustic hotels.
Grand Balcon Sud trail is for the most part quite flat and runs along the western side of valley at about 6500 feet. You can reach this trail from behind the Le Brevent tramway. The hike up to this trail is about 3000 feet vertical so you may want to consider taking a tramway. There are two tramways which will whisk you up to the Grank Balcon Sud trail. The Planpraz for a price of 10 Euros, or the La Flegere for a price of about 11 Euros, will take you to this trail.
Lac Blanc at 7708 feet in elevation is a spectacular lake. Chances are you will see photographs of this lake in some of the Chamonix stores. It is a turquoise lake with excellent views of Mount Blanc. You can access trails from the top of the Les Praz L’Index tramway or the La Flegere tramway.