HIKERS HAUTE ROUTE TREK
Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland - 10 days
HAUTE ROUTE TREK OVERVIEW
The Walkers Haute Route trek from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland is a classic Swiss trek that cuts through some of the most spectacular alpine terrain on the planet. High alpine passes, quaint Swiss villages and sweeping mountain vistas are all found on the Haute Route Trek.
The Haute Route trek is a true European hiking adventure with lots of time spent in the high alps along the hikers Haute Route. Our adventurous style combines the experience of the rustic Swiss alpine huts with the comforts and luxury of 3 and 4-star inns. Since the alpine huts and the hotels provide our food and bedding, we hike the Haute Route each day with a lightweight day pack. While the Swiss hut system is dorm-style lodging, spending a few nights high in the Alps allows you to fully immerse yourself in the Swiss Alps experience. However, most nights are spent in comfortable hotels in quaint Swiss villages. On the nights that we spend in hotels in the villages, we provide a luggage transfer so you can have access to all your other clothes, etc. We get you high into the Swiss Alps with use of the high mountain huts, but also spend time in the quaint mountain villages with private rooms and showers. The best of both worlds!
Our Haute Route Trek begins at the traditional starting point of the Haute Route in the French alpine village of Chamonix. We then quickly cross into French-speaking Switzerland. After hiking through the town of Verbier, we make our way high into the Swiss alps and begin using the high mountain hut system. We make our way across an easy glacier crossing and eventually end up in the small Swiss village of Arolla and then through high mountain passes into German-speaking Switzerland. The last leg takes us through more small villages and into the Visp Valley where we eventually arrive in the car free town of Zermatt under the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn.
Almost all of the Haute Route hike is along alpine trails high up in Switzerland. Very little off-trail hiking is encountered, but we do make use of ladders occasionally and perhaps an easy glacier crossing. We consider our walkers Haute Route to be an adventurous on-trail Swiss hiking tour.
We include all lodging, food and transport during the Haute Route trek and take care of all the logistics, allowing you to relax and enjoy the spectacular alpine surroundings. We keep our group sizes small, no more than 8 guests, for everyone's enjoyment.
Our Swiss treks are led by American guides who have extensive experience in this wonderful part of the world. We run our own treks and do not contract out our tours like many larger companies. With over 10 years of guiding experience in the Switzerland, you know you’re in good hands with IAG and ensured a more personal experience.
SKILL & EXPERIENCE LEVEL
Hikers on the walkers Haute Route trek should be in good physical condition and have some previous hiking experience. The ability to hike up to 11 miles a day with a day pack is necessary.
GROUND TRANSPORTATION & LODGING
We provide private and occasional public ground transportation when needed on the Haute Route Trek including mountain lift fees. Lodging is in 3-4 star inns ands simple country inns at double occupancy (single occupancy upgrade available) with a few nights in high alpine huts in dorm style rooms. All meals are included such as continental breakfast, pack lunch and traditional Swiss meals.
5 nights in charming 3-4 star hotels
2 nights in simple country inns
3 nights in mountain huts
Breakfast, pack lunch and dinner (beverages not included)
All ground transportation and lifts between Chamonix and Zermatt
Luggage transfer to inns most nights (not available for the hut nights, see itinerary)
American trekking guide with years of Swiss trekking experience
Prefer a private trip? No problem at all. We specialize in designing custom trips for you or your group.
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Haute Route Trek Itinerary
We meet in the historical alpine climbing center of Chamonix, France, home of Mont Blanc. High alpine peaks with glaciers spilling down into the valley surround the famous town of Chamonix. We meet for a 6pm dinner meeting and go to a traditional ‘Haute Savoie” restaurant to discuss the logistics of the trip. Overnight at a quiet and cozy hotel right on the river. Chamonix is an easy shuttle ride from the Geneva, Switzerland, airport.
Today we take the local small train up the Chamonix Valley to the small town of Le Tour where we board a gondola that takes us up high into the alps. From the top of the lift we begin our trek as we hike across the Col du Balme and quickly walk across the Swiss border, making our way down to the charming village of Trient with it’s views up towards the Trient glacier. We spend the night in a small inn.
A bigger day, we hike up from Trient along the river and through the forest trails and then high up over the Fenetre d'Arpette pass. Then it’s down through the Val d'Arpette valley to the charming lakeside town of Champex. We spend the night in a comfortable hotel, just steps from the beautiful lake.
We spend the morning hiking downhill from Champex and then take a short train ride on the Saint Bernard Express to the famed Swiss mountain resort town of Verbier. where we enjoy lunch. From Verbier, we hike up to the charming high mountain hut, Cabane de Mont Fort, just on the outskirts of the Verbier ski resort. An old style stone hut, the Mont Forte offers great food and hot showers with dorm style accommodations. Not to mention spectacular views of the backside of the Mont Blanc Massif. No luggage transfer today.
We leave the Mont Fort Hut and the Verbier area and make our way deeper into the Valais Alps towards the Prafleuri Hut deep in the Valais alps. Crossing the easy Grand Deserts Glacier we descend to the charing Praflueri hut. Today is a bigger day in which we cross three passes through stunning alpine scenery and views back towards the Mont Blanc Massif.. No luggage transfer today.
Today we hike over the Col des Roux and then along the dramatic Grande Dixence lake. In the afternoon we climb exciting ladders that take us over the Pas de Chevre and are rewarded with grand views of Mont Blanc du Cheilon. We then descend to the charming small Swiss village of Arolla, with towering alpine peaks in all directions. We enjoy a charming hotel and more excellent Swiss food.
A short bus ride takes us to the trail head we take to climb up to the Moiry Hut located in a stunning location surrounded by glaciers. Deep in the Swiss Valais alps, we are pleased to include the Moiry hut on our itinerary as it is a special place. One of the most scenic huts of the trip. No luggage transfer today.
Today is a leisurely day hiking down to the small village of Zinal where we will spend the night in a traditional Swiss chalet hotel.
Leaving Zinal we hike over the Meidenpass. The views of the Surrounding alpine peaks (inlcuding the Matterhorn) are spectacular. We stay in a small inn in the small hamlet of Gruben. (no luggage transfer today).
The final day of the Haute Route takes us from Gruben over the final pass of the trek, the Augsbordpass, and down to the tiny hamlet of Jungu. An exciting mini cable car ride from Jungu takes us down to St. Niklaus where we board the cog-wheel train to famous Swiss resort town of Zermatt under the shadow of the Matterhorn. If energy allows, we may get off the train early and walk the final couple miles into Zermatt. We will stay in a 4-star hotel with a well deserved spa (Luggage will be waiting for us at the hotel).