Walker's Haute Route - From Chamonix to Zermatt - 13 Days

A spectacular trail, hut-to-hut through the heart of the Alps

Walker's Haute Route - From Chamonix to Zermatt - 13 Days

A spectacular trail, hut-to-hut through the heart of the Alps

Embark on a trek along the Walker's Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, which is frequently ranked as one of the world's top hikes. The journey from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn is characterized by awe-inspiring mountain vistas, arduous mountain passes, and picturesque Alpine landscapes straight out of a fairy tale. The Walker's Haute Route is a modified version of the original route, which stays on alpine paths below 3000m and is a challenging, high-altitude trek that does not require technical mountaineering skills. This trek showcases the best of the Pennine Alps between Chamonix and Zermatt.

Program: Haute route to Zermatt Highlights 13 days, self-guided

Accommodations: Dormitories in mountain huts, private double or triple room in Hotel.

Departure dates 2023: from July 1st through September 20th (Departures on Demand, please inquire).

*Note that early season (basically June) there is too much snow remaining on the trails making this trip very challenging and dedicated only to very experienced guests.

No items found.
No items found.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Chamonix

Arrive in Chamonix (on your own), check into your hotel where you will receive our travel pack with all of the information you need for the 13-day trek!

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 2: Chamonix – Col de la Balme – Trient

From Chamonix, take a local bus to Tré-Le-Champ (1416m). Hike up the flanks of beautiful Posettes Ridge, a spectacular way to start your trip, on an ascent positioned between the gneiss spires of the Aiguilles Rouges and the glacier covered (and scoured) terrain of the Mt. Blanc Range. Make the quick descent to Col des Posettes Pass, followed by a short ascent to Col de Balme Pass (2199m) and the French-Swiss border. Looking west towards Chamonix, the views of the entire valley are simply breathtaking (an understatement). From the pass, head off the very beaten Tour du Mont Blanc path, down the less traveled Catogne trail. Hike past Croix de Fer's summit, through Tseppes where the trail heads into the forest, and then down into the quaint Swiss village of Trient (1326m).

Distance: 13.5 km (8.5 mi.) - 6 Hours

Ascent: 900 m. Descent: 1050 m.

Lodging: Mountain Inn

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Trient – Bovine (Fenêtre d’Arpette) - Champex

On today's hike, you have two options for hiking to Champex based on how you feel and the

weather. The classic, more "pastoral" Tour du Mont-Blanc trail via Col de la Forclaz Pass takes you through the forests and alpine meadows past Bovine (1990m). Finish the day walking along a scenic mountain road that leads through small hamlets and typical Swiss chalets all the way to Champex. Or enjoy the more strenuous alpine hike up and over Fenêtre d'Arpette, an amazing high mountain notch that offers safe passage from one side of the granite-spire ridge-line to the other and a worthy objective for the experienced hiker. From Trient, hike to and follow "Bisse" creek and then start your ascent up the steep, narrow, and sometimes exposed trail to Fenêtre d'Arpette notch (2665m). This hike should only be attempted in dry weather when the notch is clear of snow. From your high perch, descend through scree and then the lush green alpine meadows of Arpette Valley on your way to Champex.

Bovine route: Vertical gain: 900 m. Vertical drop: 750 m. Hiking time: 5 hrs.

Fenêtre d'Arpettr route: Vertical gain: 1400 m. Vertical drop: 1200 m. Hiking time: 6.5 hours

Lodging: Mountain Inn

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4: Champex – Col de Mille Pass – Cabane Brunet

From Champex, take a local bus to Orsières and then Chadonne (1454 m), where the day's hike begins. Start by climbing to Col de Mille Pass (2471 m) to the foot of Mt. Brulé. Enjoy views of the world-renowned Swiss ski resort, Verbier. Take the leisurely descent into Bagnes Valley (Val de Bagnes), contouring along the mountainside until you reach Brunet Hut (2103m).

Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi.) - 5 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1050 m. Descent: 400 m.

Lodging: Mountain Hut

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5: Cabane Brunet – Fionnay – Louvie Hut

Begin your day with a downhill hike, a unique experience for a change. Once you reach the bottom of Val de Bagnes, trek for 2km towards the upper end of the valley, passing through several charming hamlets, until you arrive at Fionnay. Next, ascend the west-facing slopes above the village along a trail that leads you on a steep, direct, and undoubtedly picturesque path to the Louvie Hut (2230m). This alpine refuge is situated beside a stunning lake with the same name, enhancing the overall beauty of the location.

Distance: 10.5 km (6.5 mi.) - 5 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 900 m. Descent: 800 m

Lodging: Mountain Hut

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6: Louvie Hut – Cabanne de Prafleuri Hut

Embark on a unique adventure and relish in the opportunity to explore a seldom-traveled section of the trail that winds through the striking mineral terrain of the high-alpine environment. As you approach the base of the glaciers that descend from the summit of Rosablanche Peak (3336m), cross the Col de Louvie Pass (2921m) and Col de Prafleuri Pass (2987m). This leg of the legendary trek between the two capital cities of the Alps undoubtedly lives up to its reputation. To conclude this unforgettable day, make your way downhill to the Prafleuri Hut (2624m).

Distance: 11 km (7 mi.) 6 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1000 m. Descent: 550 m.

Lodging: Mountain Hut

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Prafleuri Hut – Arolla

Commence your day by setting off early and embarking on the initial climb towards the Col des Roux Pass (2804m). Follow the balcony trail that meanders above the serene Lake Dix until you reach the base of the subsequent ascent to the Col de Riedmatten Pass (2919m). After crossing the pass, make your descent towards the quaint and charming village of Arolla (2067m), which is nestled within the breathtaking Herens Valley. Admire the traditional Swiss chalets adorned with beautiful flowers that are typical of this picturesque settlement.

Distance: 16.5km (10.5 mi.) 7 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 750 m. Descent: 1350 m.

Lodging: Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 8: Arolla to Zinal

After transferring to Les Haudères, embark on a scenic hike from Villa (1730m) that leads you through the enchanting flower-strewn alpine meadows to the Col de Torrent Pass (2918m). Along the way, you will pass by the picturesque Lake Autannes and eventually reach the stunning Lake Moiry (2250m). At this point, you can choose to continue your journey on foot via Corne de Sorebois, or opt to transfer by bus from the Moiry dam to your accommodations in Zinal (1675m).

Distance: From 11.5 km to 23 km (7 to 14 mi.) 5.5 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1200 m. Descent: 700 m.

Lodging: Guest-House

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9: Zinal to Grüben

Bid farewell to Anniviers Valley (Val d'Anniviers) as you make your way towards the Forcletta ridgeline, and ascend towards the Col de la Forcletta Pass (2894m). This elevated viewpoint is situated high above the pastures of Turtmanntal and the Gruben Valley (1822m), and is positioned further down the valley from the Brunegghorn and Turtmann glaciers, which afford stunning views of several of the region's magnificent 4000-meter peaks.

Distance: 19 km (12 mi.) Hiking Time 7 Hours

Ascent: 1200 m. Descent: 1050 m.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Grüben to Saint Niklaus

Embark on your journey by hiking towards the charming mountainside chalets located above Grübou. Augstbord Pass (2894m) represents the final high-altitude section of the trek and is easily navigable. After descending from the pass, take the aerial tram from Jungu to St. Niklaus, the first village that greets you as you enter the valley that leads to Zermatt.

Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi.) 5 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1150 m. Descent: 900 m. Hiking : 5 hrs.

Lodging: Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11: Saint Niklaus to Europahütte

The final two days of your excursion will be spent traversing through the same valley, with several of Switzerland's highest peaks looming above you as you make your way to Zermatt. Commence your day's hike from Herbriggen (1250m), and begin a steep ascent beneath a few of the region's fabled 4000-meter peaks. The climb, which spans 1300 meters, leads you to the Europa Trail (also known as the Europaweg). Once on this trail, you will traverse below the lofty summits, contouring southwards all the way to the Europahütte (2264m), which represents the final rustic lodgings of your journey.

Distance: 21 km (13 mi.) 6 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1350 m. Descent: 350 m.

Lodging: Mountain Hut

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 12 & 13: Europahütte to Zermatt

As you embark on the final leg of your journey towards Zermatt, you will spend the day hiking alongside the Matterhorn, which will serve as your constant companion. Start your trek by crossing the world's lengthiest suspension footbridge, which boasts a span of 494 meters. Once you have crossed the bridge, the trail will lead you through a series of brief climbs and descents, as it contours the mountainside. When you reach a trail junction located just above Täsch, you will be presented with the option of descending to the village and taking the train to Zermatt. Alternatively, if you're determined to continue on foot until you reach your final destination, stay on the Euroweg via Täschalp and then Tuftra. From there, enjoy an effortless descent to Zermatt, which is the preeminent capital of the Swiss Alps.

Distance: 17 km (10.5 mi.) 6 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 1050 m. Descent: 1850 m. Hiking : 6 hrs.

Lodging: Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Zmutt and Zermatt

Begin your last day of hiking by making your way to the charming hamlet of Zmutt, nestled at the base of the iconic Matterhorn. From there, take in the stunning views as you traverse a series of balcony trails back to Zermatt, where your trip will come to an end in the afternoon. With plenty of time remaining, consider taking advantage of the numerous excursion options available in Zermatt, and don't hesitate to ask for recommendations. If needed, transfers to the airport or elsewhere can be arranged upon request.

Distance: 9 km (5.5 mi.) 3.5 Hours of Hiking

Ascent: 450 m. Descent: 450 m.

Meals: not included

Additional Trip Info

  • Accommodations as described for 12 nights
  • Meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 dinners
  • Baggage transfers if you choose this option (not available for days 4, 5, 6 and 12)
  • Private transfer from Champex to the start of the hike (Day 4)
  • Transfer from Arolla to the start of the hike (Day 8)
  • The roadbook (as well as maps and reservation vouchers) for a 4-person group
  • Emergency hotline 24/7
  • Access to the new mobile phone application (including GPS guidance)
  • Transportation to the meeting point at the start of the trip and from the point where the trip officially ends. (This can be arranged at an extra cost)
  • Dinner on Day 1 in Chamonix and Day 12 in Zermatt
  • Picnic lunches (about $10-15 per lunch depending on the location)
  • Showers in those huts that charge a fee
  • Drinks, tips, and personal expenses
  • Insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, lost/stolen baggage, or assistance

Have Questions?

Interested in building a custom trip? We want to help you travel to places you have dreamt about.

Build a Custom Trip