Lake Gaillands is an artificial lake located 1097 meters above sea level in Chamonix, the French ski capital. The lake was excavated during the construction of a train line nearby in the early 1900s, and was subsequently filled with water – and quickly became frequented by outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Fishing is permitted and remains a highly profitable touristic endeavor for the region. In fact, Lake Gaillands is arguably one of the most scenic, bucolic gems in the Chamonix area; between the SNCF trains that can often be seen riding along elevated aqueducts, the plentiful Alpine chalets, and the untouched flora, it’s hard not to agree.
Excursions to the lake are often combined with lengthy hikes and trips to the observatory atop Mont-Blanc, which offers unobstructed views of the Alps. The lake is nicknamed “The mirror of Mont-Blanc”, because of its proximity and amazing views of the roaring mountain, the highest peak in Europe, and the Bossons glacier.
Lake Gaillands is located just 2 kilometers outside Chamonix, and can therefore easily be reached by car via road D243 or even by foot in less than a half-hour.