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Guided Walker's Haute Route trek from Chamonix to Zermatt

Walker's Haute Route, Chamonix to Zermatt, guided 2024

The classic walker's Haute Route trek with 10 days guided walking starting in Chamonix and finishing in Zermatt

This is the classic Walker's Haute Route trek. We hike the entire journey from Chamonix in the French Alps to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. Our journey takes us through amazing and varied alpine terrain as we cross mountain passes up to 3000 meters high. Along the way, we stay in mountain huts in superb locations and hotels in charming alpine villages. The Haute Route trek is bursting with great walking trails, breath-taking mountain views and fascinating mountaineering history and is a must-do for strong walkers.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 : Meeting in Chamonix
Arrive Chamonix and meet with your guide in the afternoon for welcome, equipment check and a day-by-day briefing on your Haute Route trek ahead. At night, you're free to explore the many bars and restaurants in Chamonix at your leisure.

Day 2: From Chamonix to Trient
We take the local, scenic train to the nearby village Argentière, where the walking begins. We ascent gently on a balcony trail above the Chamonix valley to the ski area of le Tour. Here, the trail gets steeper as we ascent through the ski area to the Balme mountain pass, which forms the border between France and Switzerland. From the Balme pass, it is a pleasant descent into Switzerland and the village Trient, where we spend the night in a bustling auberge (B+D)

Day 3: From Trient to Champex
From Trient we have a choice of two routes. If the legs are feeling good, we'll ascend the steep and rocky pass known as the Fenêtre d’Arpette (2665m), which offers amazing views of the Trient Glacier. The slightly gentler option takes us over the shoulder of the Mont Blanc massif to the Bovine high mountain pastures where we enjoy spectacular views up the Rhone valley. Both routes will take us to the Swiss lake-side village Champex (1477m) where we stay in a comfortable hotel. (B+D)

Day 4: From Champex to Cabane Mont Fort
From Champex we start the day with a gentle, downhill walk, through alpine pastures and idyllic Swiss farming villages. From the village le Chable, we take a cable car up through the famous Verbier ski resort. From the top of the cable car, we have an easy ascend along old irrigation channels to the stunning Mont Fort hut where we watch the sun set behind the mountains before we turn in. (B+D)

Day 5: From Cabane Mont Fort to Cabane Prafleuri
From the Mont Fort hut we have a stunning and very wild walk ahead of us, tackling no less than three mountain passes - Col de la Chaux, Col de Louvie and Col de Prafleuri. The walk takes us through very rugged alpine terrain where there is a good chance of spotting ibex. We end the day at the Prafleuri mountain hut. (B+D)

Day 6: From Cabane Prafleuri to Arolla
From the Prafleuri hut, we quickly ascend to Col des Roux and descend to the enormous Dix lake and dam. A gentle and enjoyable walk along the lake takes us to the main climb of the day. The climb follows the moraine created by the Dix glacier until we cross the snout of the glacier, where the terrain steepens and becomes bouldery as we near our pass. We cross the Riedman pass, or the Pas de Chevre via it's ladders, and commence the descend to the village Arolla. (B+D))

Day 7: From Arolla to La Sage
A lazy start followed by a gentle, mostly downhill, walk through the picturesque Arolla valley to the village la Sage (1670m). There is an option to use this day as a rest-day and take the local Post Bus to the village La Sage instead of walking. (B+D)

Day 8: From La Sage to Zinal
From La Sage we have a long day ahead. We ascend through Swiss mountain pastures to the Torrent mountain pass. Descending from the pass, we keep an eye out for the rare edelweiss, which flowers in this area. The descent takes us to the beautiful Moiry lake and dam where a cafe provides refereshments before our second climb of the day. This time, our climb takes us to the Sorrebois pass and we descend to Zinal with the help of a cable car.
If necessary, it's possible to shorten this day by taking a bus from the Moiry Dam. (B+D)

Day 9: From Zinal to Gruben
From our charming hotel in Zinal, we traverse upwards through pine forest to the Forcletta pass. From the pass we descend into the small Turtmann valley, which is the beginning of the German speaking part of Switzerland. We stay at the historic Schwarzhorn Hotel in the small village of Gruben. (B+D)

Day 10: From Gruben to St Niklaus
The walking trail starts directly outside our hotel and takes us up to the Augstbordpass. At the pass, we can look into the large Mattertal valley where we’ll be hiking for the rest of our tour. We may even catch our first glimps of the Matterhorn today. A wonderful descend takes us through the old hamlet of Jungu before we reach St. Niklaus. It's a long descend so it's possible to take a small cable car from Jungu to St. Niklaus. (B+D)

Day 11: From St Niklaus to Zermatt
We leave St Niklaus for the final leg of our journey towards our end-destination Zermatt. Today takes us on a relatively gentle walk along a gushing stream in the Mattertal valley. We pass through green meadows and small, traditional villages before, all too soon, we arrive at Zermatt and the end of our journey. The night is spent in a traditional, family run hotel in historic Zermatt. (B)

Day 12: Depart Zermatt
Breakfast in Zermatt and the official end of our Haute Route trip. (B)

Trip details

Grade: strenuous
Suitable for mountain walkers with a high level of fitness and stamina and an adventurous spirit.

12 days holiday with 10 days walking

8 nights nights in hotels, 1night in auberge and 2 nights in mountain huts.

Group size and guides:
From 4 to 10 clients with 1 certified English-speaking guide (UIMLA).

Standard inclusions & exclusions:

- Expert tour planning and organisation by Alpine Treks
- 10 days guiding by English-speaking guide (UIMLA)
- 11 nights accommodation (8x hotel, 1x auberge, 2x mountain hut)
- Meals (11x breakfast and 9x dinners)
- Luggage transfers (not to mountain huts)

- Travel to Chamonix and return from Zermatt
- Lunches, snacks, drinks and meals not mentioned above
- Cable cars and busses when used

Option and Extras

Extra days
Add one or more extra days in Chamonix or Zermatt at the start or end of your trip. Contact us for details.

Private Walker's Haute Route Classic trip:
This trip is available as a private trip. Contact us for details.

Self-guided Walker's Haute Route Classic trip:
This trip is available as a self-guided trip. Click here for details.

What our customers say:

"Flawless planning and organisation by Alpine Treks: we stayed in 12 different hotels/dortoirs/huts on this tough 14 day walking holiday with no problems. Our small group of 5 was led by guide Robert Farwell who is competent, knowledgeable, and good company. Thanks to Alpine Treks for a memorable experience."
Mark Bentinck

"My wife and I recently enjoyed a very memorable hike of the Swiss Alps guided by Alpine Treks. We experiences a challenging, yet relaxing hike, with top notch accommodations, food and a knowledgeable and friendly guide (Thank you Robert). We were paired with other hikers with similar skills and backgrounds. The group chemistry was way more than we hoped for and we believe most of it was due to great planning and organization by Alpine Treks. It is a tribute to the guide (and Apline Treks) when you can totally enjoy the views, company and accommodations without a single worry. Great Job - we highly recommend using their service."
Mr & Mrs Betcher

"I signed up with Alpine Treks for the Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt) trek with a friend and we really lucked out. We had a compatible group of five with a very knowledgeable, competent, French and German speaking guide (Robert Farwell). He was especially helpful to me when the soles came off my boots after two days (in spite of pre trek repairs) and I had to buy some new ones in Champex. We had a week of glorious weather and only 2 rainy days in 12. The views were spectacular. There were no logistical problems at any of the hotels or mountain huts. It's a strenuous and occasionally challenging hike and fortunately everyone was up to it, as it would make a big difference to the experience if there were different levels of hiking ability in the group. Definitely recommended."
David Cannell

Frequently asked questions about our trekking and walking holidays

Alpine Treks Limited
2 The Abbey Coach House, Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR, UK
UK company no. 06957454

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