The Hiker’s Haute Route consists of a spectacular series of trails linking Chamonix to Zermatt, marked by high, steep passes, quiet trails, and stunning mountain scenery. It’s one of the world’s classic hikes, with a wild beauty deserving of it’s name. The Haute Route is also a very strenuous tour, with many high passes to cross and very few easy options for shorter days or bad weather. It’s a commitment, but one that repays you with remote, rugged scenery. Our 11-day tour starts in Chamonix and finishes in Zermatt, while the 9 day options starts in Verbier, cutting off 2 days in the beginning of the tour but still covering the heart of the tour. There are many ways of breaking up this hike, and in our itinerary, we’ve linked the most spectacular sections of the Haute Route with some of our favorite huts and inns into a spectacular trip!
On our full, 11-day Haute Route tour, you’ll have 7 nights in hotels with private rooms, and 3 nights in mountain huts with shared accommodations. For a slightly shorter Haute Route tour, we offer a 9-day version starting in Verbier. On this shorter Swiss Haute Route, you’ll have 5 nights in hotels with private rooms with the same 3 nights in mountain huts. Showers are available all nights.
Luggage? Our self-guided Haute Route tours do not automatically include luggage transport. Private luggage transfers are available between villages however. For 2 or more people, add $280/person for luggage transfers to all villages (you’ll have it in Chamonix, Champex, Arolla, Zinal and Zermatt) on the 11-day trip, and $200/person for luggage transfers on the 9-day trip. Please ask if you’re interested in adding luggage transfers to your tour.
Our typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at your inn – delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – which gives you the energy needed for a full day of inn-to-inn hiking. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Most of the hotels and mountain inns will sell picnic lunches if they are ordered the night before. Reminders will be included in your route notes. Soon you’ll be out on the trail for 7-9 hours, with detailed directions to get you to your next stop.
You should finish your hike around 4-5 pm, giving you time to wash up and relax followed by dinner at your inn. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring local French and Swiss specialties, and will definitely be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious.
Chamonix – Arrive in Europe and transfer by train or airport shuttle to Chamonix, France, the stylish mountaineering village at the base of Mont Blanc.
Col de la Forclaz – On your first hiking day of the tour, cross the Col de Balme into Switzerland, with sweeping views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley.
Champex – You’ll have 2 hiking choices today, crossing either a high, rocky pass, or a more moderate hike through woods and farms to the small lakeside village of Champex.
Louvie hut – After a morning transfer by bus and train to Verbier, you’ll hike high above the valley, through meadows filled with mountain goats to the lakeside Louvie hut, a small traditional alpine club hut high in the mountains.
Prafleuri hut – A rugged day brings you across 2 passes and through a remote, wild region filled with glaciers and rocky peaks known as the Grand Desert.
Arolla – The Haute Route continues past the Grand Dixence, a huge reservoir filled with turquoise glacier water, and then up to Dix hut, spectacularly perched on a lonely rock outcrop and surrounded by glaciers and mountains.
Moiry hut – Another morning bus transfer brings you to la Sage, where a long, steep hike leads to the beautiful Val d’Anniviers and more stunning mountain scenery.
Zinal – A slightly easier day leads you over a minor pass and gives you a chance to further explore the Val d’Anniviers, an unforgettable valley with a great blend of ancient villages, quiet trails, and breathtaking views.
Gruben – Another day, another high pass, as your Haute Route itinerary continues over the Meidpass to the Turtmann valley and into the German-speaking portion of the Wallis.
Zermatt – Your final pass brings us up to more grand views of the Weisshorn and Dom, two of Switzerland highest mountains, before dropping down to the valley where you catch a short train ride to Zermatt.
depart - After breakfast at your hotel, depart for your post-trip destinations.
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