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Self-guided Walker's Haute Route trek from Chamonix to Zermatt

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

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

This is the classic Walker's Haute Route trek. You'll hike the entire journey from Chamonix in the French Alps to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The journey takes you through amazing and varied alpine terrain, crossing mountain passes up to 3000 meters high. Along the way, you'll stay in mountain huts in superb locations and hotels and hostels 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: Arrive in Chamonix
You arrive in Chamonix and check in at your hotel. At night, you're free to explore the many bars and restaurants in Chamonix at your leisure.

Day 2: From Chamonix to Trient
You take the local train to the village Argentière, where the walking begins. You ascent gently on a balcony trail above the Chamonix valley to the ski area of le Tour. Here, the trail gets steeper as you 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 you spend the night in a bustling auberge. (B+D)

Day 3: From Trient to Champex
From Trient you have a choice of two routes. If the legs are feeling good, you can 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 you over the shoulder of the Mont Blanc massif to the Bovine high mountain pastures where you enjoy spectacular views up the Rhone valley. Both routes will take you to the Swiss lake-side village Champex (1477m) where you stay in a comfortable hotel. (B+D)

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

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

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

Day 7: From Arolla to La Sage
Today you have a wonderful walk through Swiss country side from Arolla to the village La Sage. You traverse high above the valley to a small lake with it's magical green colour. You then drop down to Les Hauderes before a short ascent to the village la Sage. (B&D)

Day 8: From La Sage to Zinal
From La Sage you have a long day ahead. You ascend through Swiss mountain pastures to the Torrent mountain pass. Descending from the pass, keep an eye out for the rare edelweiss, which flowers in this area. The descent takes you to the beautiful Moiry lake and dam where a cafe provides refereshments before your second climb of the day. This time, your climb takes you over the Sorrebois pas and you descend through the Zinal ski area to the village center. It's possible to shorten the descent by taking a cable car. (B+D)

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

Day 10: From Gruben to St Niklaus
The walking trail starts directly outside your hotel and takes you up to the Augstbordpass. At the pass, you can look into the large Mattertal valley where you’ll be hiking for the rest of your tour. You may even catch your first glimps of the Matterhorn. A wonderful descend takes you through the old hamlet of Jungu before you 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
You leave St Niklaus for the final leg of your journey towards your end-destination Zermatt. Today takes you on a relatively gentle walk along a gushing stream in the Mattertal valley. You pass through green meadows and small, traditional villages before, all too soon, we arrive at Zermatt and the end of your 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 your Haute Route trip. (B)

Trip details

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

12 days holiday with 10 days walking

Hotels, auberges and mountain huts.

Group size and guides:
Min 2 people. No max sizes and no guide.

Dates & prices

Any dates between July and mid-September 2024.

Price: £ 1995 p.p.

Price based on min. 2 people joining.

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Standard inclusions & exclusions:

- Expert tour planning and organisation by Alpine Treks
- Detailed route cards
- Topographic maps, NOT photo copies
- Practical information pack
- 11 nights accommodation (8x hotel, 1x auberge, 2x mountain hut)
- Meals (11x breakfast and 9x dinners)

- Travel to Chamonix and return from Zermatt
- Lunches, snacks, drinks and meals not mentioned above
- Cable cars and transportation along the route

Option and Extras

Extra hiking days
Add optional hiking days such as the Europaweg. Contact us for details.

Rest days
Trek at your own pace and take as many rest days as you prefer. Contact us for details.

Luggage transfers
Luggage transfers available. Contact us for details.

Guided Walker's Haute Route Classic trip
This trip is available as a guided trip. Click here for details.

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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