Located 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) outside Chamonix city center, Lake Gaillands (Lac des Gaillands) is a man-made lake created in the early 1900s during excavation work for a nearby train line. The site quickly filled with water, creating an outdoor recreation area frequented by locals and visitors who enjoy hiking, fishing, and rock climbing at the lake. The Basics
Escape busy downtown Chamonix and enjoy a leisurely picnic beside peaceful Lake Gaillands. You’ll enjoy impressive views of Mont-Blanc and the Bossons glacier. When the lake is still, the mountains are reflected on the surface of the water, making it a favorite place for photographers. Lake Gaillands is a popular fishing spot, offering abundant rainbow trout. Lake Gaillands is also a favorite for sunbathing and features a family-friendly climbing area nearby. Things to Know Before You Go
- Lake Gaillands is a popular recreation area just minutes from downtown Chamonix.
- Only fly-fishing is allowed at the lake, and a permit is required.
- A family-friendly sport climbing area is located just north of the lake.
How to Get There
The most convenient way to travel around Chamonix is by local bus. Frequent buses run daily, and most hotels provide a free bus pass to use during your stay. To reach Lake Gaillands, take bus Line 1 or 15 to the Les Gaillands bus stop from the center of Chamonix. Lake Gaillands is also easily reached by car via road D243, or you can walk there from the Chamonix Center in about 25 minutes. When to Get There
Lake Gaillands can be enjoyed year-round, but picnicking and sunbathing at Lake Gaillands are best enjoyed during the warm summer months. The Les Gaillands rock-climbing area is very popular due to its convenient location, so arrive early in the morning during the busy summer months to secure a spot at the crag. Rock Climbing Les Gaillands
Lake Gaillands is best known for Les Gaillands, an easily accessible, beginner-friendly rock-climbing area, located just north of the lake. With a large number of beginner climbs and its convenient roadside setting, Les Gaillands is a great place to learn the basics of sport climbing. Many climbing schools and local guide services offer beginner’s clinics and private lessons.