Full Walker's Haute Route - Including accommodation before and after
Bookatrekking.com Trips - 14 days
Regular days with
- More than 20 km per day
- More than 1000m ascent per day
- T3 Trails
Overview> Cross 11 mountain passes, cover 200 kilometers of trails
> Spend the nights in Mountain Huts and local Hotels
> Accommodation in Chamonix and Zermatt before and after the trek included
The Walkers Haute Route connects two of the most well-known mountain towns in the Alps - Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. Typically starting from Mont Blanc and finishing at Matterhorn, it crosses 11 mountain passes, covering about 200 kilometers - offering a multitude of variations and route options. Chamonix is also known as a starting point for the Tour du Mont Blanc. Unlike the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Walker's Haute Route doesn't go round. It does feature a part of the route of the TMB. Up until Swiss Champex and via Trient, the route follows some stages of the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Our 14-day trek starts in Chamonix, France, where you spend the night in a cozy hotel. The next morning you start with your Walkers Haute Route. This is essentially the same package as the 13-day version, but with overnight stays in Chamonix and Zermatt before and after. Along the way, the trek offers an unprecedented world of contrasts. Glaciers and snow-capped peaks are guaranteed, but you can also expect beautifully lush green valleys, alpine meadows, and the most picturesque Alpine villages. Cross the Rösti curtain, the symbolic border between French and German-speaking Switzerland between Zinal and Gruben. The final stages via St. Niklaus and the Europa Hütte bring you to one of the most iconic peaks of the Alps, the Matterhorn, and to that other mountaineering capital: Zermatt.
Why book with us?
RouteWhat's the Plan?
Stage 1: Chamonix to Trient
The first stage of the Walker's Haute Route is an excellent introduction to Alps trekking. You'll make your way up the reasonably easy Col de Balme before descending steeply to the small hamlet of Le Peuty. Continue on the road from Le Peuty for 10 - 15 minutes until you reach Trient, which has a charming pink church.
* You can take a local bus from Chamonix to Argentière to shorter your hike to 15.1 km
Stage 2: Trient to Champex
The second stage of the Walker's Haute Route is the most difficult but also rewarding of the entire walk. En route to Champex, you'll pass through the well-known Fenêtre d'Arpette. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Trient Glacier, but be cautious on the initial descent from the pass's summit. Spend an evening unwinding in Champex, a charming lakeside village.
In addition to the Fenêtre d'Arpette path described above, an alternate 'Alp Bovine' route is available for Stage 2. This route follows the same track as the Tour du Mont Blanc and is a good alternative in bad weather because it does not reach the heights or exposed character of the Fenêtre d'Arpette. It is nonetheless a beautiful hike.
Stage 3: Champex to Le Chable
Stage three is mellow throughout, which is a wonderful break after yesterday's intense hike. You'll leave Champex and make your way downhill to Sembrancher. You'll have a short hike next to farmland before arriving to Le Chable, your destination for the evening
Stage 4: Le Chable to Cabane du Mont Fort
The fourth stage of the Walker's Haute Route is ideal for individuals who dislike steep descents because it is all uphill! As you make your journey from the valley to the beautiful Cabane de Mont Fort, you'll climb nearly 1,800 meters in elevation. It's worth noting that you can take the cable car from Le Chable to Les Ruinettes via Verbier before continuing on to Cabane du Mont Fort. If you need a simpler hike, this will reduce much of the hiking of the day for you.
Stage 5: Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane de Prafleuri
Stage five is a particularly challenging stage, as the course frequently remains snow-covered far into July. The main route follows the stunning Sentier des Chamois trail before crossing the Col Termin. Hikers will cross the hillside from here before reaching the Col de Louvie and the Grand Desert beyond. The Grand Desert is a very secluded section of the walk, and you should be careful, especially when there is snow. Next, it’s time to trek across the Col de Prafleuri before descending to the same-named mountain hut.
It is crucial to note that in Stage 5, there is a popular alternate path that skips the Sentier des Chamois track entirely. This path is more direct and passes the Col de la Chaux. Before choosing which path to take, check in with the warden at Cabane du Mont Fort.
Stage 6: Cabane de Prafleuri to Arolla
Another challenging day awaits those on the Walker's Haute Route on stage six, with the crossing of the Pas de Chèvres and its iconic ladders. The climb up to the ladders over the boulder-strewn environment is significantly more challenging than the ladders themselves. In either case, take your time and be cautious as you approach the top of the pass and on the ladders. Crossing the nearby Col de Riedmatten is generally considered more challenging, so for most hikers, it might be the better option to choose the Pas de Chèvres. After crossing the pass, you'll have a lovely descent into the picturesque Swiss village of Arolla.
Stage 7: Arolla to La Sage
Trekkers can finally enjoy a pretty easy day on stage seven of the Walker's Haute Route after several challenging stages. The trail makes its way down the valley shoulder between Arolla and Les Hauderes, passing the lovely Lac Bleu. It's a short and enjoyable climb from Les Hauderes to the day's finale in La Sage.
Stage 8: La Sage to Zinal
Stage eight involves a lot of climbing, as you can tell by the elevation change. You'll leave La Sage and begin the hard ascent a little over 4 kilometers northwest of the Col du Tsaté, which will lead you into the breathtaking Val de Moiry. After descending into the valley, you'll reach Cabane Barrage de Moiry over a steep and rather exposed portion. When you continue, you reach the Col de Sorebois and will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding Alps. The descent then passes through a ski area (with the option of taking the cable car down*) before reaching Zinal, a ski resort town.
* The cable car is daily open in the high season (mid-June to mid-August), but limited or closed in the low season.
Stage 9: Zinal to Gruben
On stage 9 of the Walker's Haute Route, you'll cross the 'Rosti Line,' Switzerland's unofficial border between French and German-speaking districts. The trip is hard, but nothing compared to some of the more difficult stages you've already completed. The Forcletta pass is the day's high point, and from there you'll descend into the peaceful village of Gruben. Stage 10 also includes the option of spending the night at the Hotel Weisshorn or Cabane Bella Tola. This adds a day to your Walker's Haute Route schedule, but many folks find it worthwhile. Instead of crossing the Forcletta, you'll continue along the mountain shoulder before arriving at the Hotel Weisshorn. You can also go on if you want to stay at the gorgeous Cabane Bella Tola. Those who choose this path will cross the Meidpass the next day (Stage 11) before resuming the main Walker's Haute Route in Gruben.
Stage 10: Gruben to St. Niklaus/Gasenried
Stage 10 takes hikers on the Walker's Haute Route over their final mountain crossing and into the Mattertal valley, where Zermatt is located. The descent from the top of the Augstbordpass offers breathtaking views of the Alps beyond. When you arrive in the charming village of Jungen, you can take a cable car down into St. Niklaus to rest a little. If you want to continue your Walker's Haute Route journey by hiking the Europaweg trail, we recommend either hiking or catching the local bus from St. Niklaus to the town of Gasenried, which is just up the hill. If you can't find a place to stay in Gasenried, travel a little further to the village of Grachen. This will save you a tough start to the following stage and set you up for a fantastic final two days on the Europaweg to complete the Walker's Haute Route!
Stage 11: St. Niklaus/Gasenried to Europa Hut
The Europaweg trail is a two-day hike that completes the Walker's Haute Route. It has a few exposed sections, but it's also a fantastic way to end your journey! After leaving Gasenried, you'll face a difficult ascent to the Breithorn's shoulder. As the trail climbs, watch out for the loose rocks and scree. After reaching the day's high point, you'll descend across a spectacular suspension bridge before arriving at the Europa Hut.
* You can take a local bus from St.Niklaus to Gasenried to shorter your hike to 15.7 km
Stage 12: Europa Hut to Zermatt
The final stage of the Walker's Haute Route will take you across the world's longest suspension bridge, the famed and stunning Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge. While this is undoubtedly the highlight of the journey, don't forget to take in the breathtaking vistas of the Matterhorn as you make your way to Zermatt. As you near the end of the trip, you'll find yourself among Zermatt's many ski slopes and the increasing number of tourists who come there. Enjoy a final descent before congratulating yourself on an amazing accomplishment in Zermatt!
√ Booking the huts
We will take care of arranging accommodation for you. We will also provide you with a detailed itinerary for every stage and instructions on how to get to the trailhead.
We will arrange your accommodation in mountain huts and local hotels. There are several options to choose from along the trail. We have selected the accommodations on our trek based on the length of each stage and recommendations from trekkers who have done the trek before us.
√ Half-board in the Mountain Huts
Accommodation at the mountain huts includes dinner and breakfast. We will arrange this for you. This allows you to travel lighter and have one less thing to worry about. Bear in mind that lunch is not included, but it can be purchased at the huts.
√ Breakfast in Hotels
In the Hotels, we include Breakfast for you. Bear in mind that lunch and dinner are not included, but they can be most of the time purchased in or near the hotels.
√ Accommodation before and after the trek
We will arrange the accommodation for you the nights before and after your Walker's Haute Route. On those two nights, you will sleep in cozy hotels in Chamonix and in Zermatt. Breakfast is included.
× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Chamonix. The total amount does not include flights to France.
Once in Zermatt, you do have to arrange your own transportation back to Chamonix or of any of your further travels.
× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.
Half-board is included in the price of this trek. Lunch, however, is not. You can get something to eat at the mountain huts along the way.
× Personal expenses
Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks, and other similar expenses are for your own account.
During your Walkers Haute Route, you will spend your nights in mountain huts and local Hotels. If you book the Walkers Haute Route, the booked accommodations may differ from the below program here and there. A beautiful location and great food are at all times guaranteed. Before and after your hike, you will stay in a cozy hotel in Chamonix and Zermatt.
Auberge Mont Blanc (Trient)
Trient is on the stage of the Tour du Mont Blanc as well as on the international route between Martigny and Chamonix. Located at the entrance of the village, this Auberge is part of a traditional Swiss setting with its terrace, bar, and restaurant.
Hotel de la Poste (La Châble)
Located just right after the bridge of the village of Le Châble in the Bagnes valley, you find Hotel de la Poste. The hospitable staff is at your service so you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings carefreely.
Cabane du Mont Fort (Mountain Hut)
The well-known high mountain refuge and restaurant, the Cabane Mont Fort, boasts some of the most stunning views of the Alpine mountains visible from Verbier including the Mt Blanc and the Grand Combin. The traditional atmosphere in and around the cabane and their delicious local menu makes it a must-visit.
Cabane de Prafleuri (Mountain Hut)
At an altitude of 2662m, the Prafleuri Hut is located at the top of the Prafleuri valley not far from the Grande Dixence and Rosablanche dams. It offers a stopover in Verbier and Arolla during the high road Chamonix-Zermatt.
Grand Hôtel & Kurhaus (Arolla)
Located in the village station of Arolla, the hotel with its historic cachet is nestled at an altitude of 2070 meters in the heart of a forest. The Hotel welcomes you in the mountains at the bottom of the magnificent Val d’Hérens: a preserved valley of the Swiss Alps!
Hotel de la Sage (La Sage)
The Hotel de La Sage welcomes you to the heart of Val D’Hérens. This Charm and Authenticity Hotel with a peaceful alpine landscape will bring you a sense of well-being and happiness.
Hotel Besso (Zinal)
Built in 1893, Hotel Besso is located 350 meters from the Zinal gondola lift. It offers rooms with panoramic views of the 4,000-metre-high Alps. The restaurant serves seasonal dishes and a selection of tasteful wines, enjoy!
Hotel Schwarzhorn (Gruben)
You find Hotel Heimatlodge located in the heart of St. Niklaus, in the deepest valley of Switzerland. A beautiful, newly renovated Hotel at the crossing of two paths. A touch of nostalgia, as if time has stood still, is reflected in the magnificent village center.
Europa Hut (Mountain Hut)
Packing ListPacking List
It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long. Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For this trek, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack and comfortable trekking shoes. The size of your backpack will depend on how many days you will be spending on the mountain, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
- Walking boots (worn in)
- Walking socks
- Base layer tops – ideally thermal
- Mid-layer tops (eg. fleece)
- Trekking Trousers
- Hat for warmth or shade
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm layer.
- Casual clothes & footwear for evenings.
- Nightwear and underwear
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses & sun cream
- Small first aid kit
- Blister Plasters
- Insect repellent
- Electrical socket adapter
- Camera and charger
- Map and compass
- Book to read
- Energy snacks
- Walking poles
Where Is the Walker's Haute Route?
The Walkers Haute Route connects two of the most well-known mountain towns in the Alps - Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. Typically starting from Mont Blanc and finishing at Matterhorn, it crosses 11 mountain passes, covering about 200 kilometers - offering a multitude of variations and route options.
What Is the Best Season for Hiking the Walkers Haute Route?
The official season is from mid-June to mid-September, but when you hike the Walkers Haute Route between mid-July and late August the chances for good weather and snow-free mountain passes are better. It’s peak season, so make sure to book as much in advance as possible. If you decide to trek Walkers Haute Route in September, you’re still in for a treat and it’s not as busy on the trail. But this could also mean that some accommodations might be closed for the season already. Also, the days are shorter, the weather is colder and there is a chance of snow.
Is the Walker's Haute Route For Me?
To take it away, the Walker's Haute Route is an enormous challenge. The treks' distance of roughly 200 kilometers of rough terrain, its elevation gain, steep ascents, and descents make it more difficult than for example the popular Tour du Mont Blanc. The weather conditions as well as the at times unstable trail conditions add to the thrill.
The paths are well marked, huts are easy to navigate to and along the trails, and if you do get off the route, you'll quickly notice it. On the Walker's Haute Route, you can expect to be hiking 6-8 hours a day for almost two weeks. You will be overcoming steep mountain passes on a daily basis and will be exposed to altitude and steep ravines. Mountain experience is a requirement when debating doing the Walker's Haute Route. At Bookatrekking.com we believe with good planning and some training it’s a realistic one - and definitely worth it.
Before and After the Walker's Haute Route: Logistics
The Walker's Haute Route starts in Chamonix, (France) and ends in Zermatt (Switzerland). Fortunately, getting to Chamonix is quite easy. Chamonix is located only 103 kilometers away from Geneva international airport, the second-largest airport in Switzerland. Geneva is not only a good gateway for getting to the start, but you will also want to travel via Geneva after your trek. There are several transport options for you to get to Chamonix depending on where you are departing from.
Flying is the most convenient and fastest way to get to Chamonix. Although the Geneva international airport is indeed the closest one, you can also fly to Chambery Airport, Turin Airport, or Lyon Airport. Being Geneva's biggest airport in the area, it has more flight options available from more destinations than the other airports do. Also, from Geneva, you can take a direct shuttle from the airport to Chamonix.
If you are in France already or in any country near Chamonix, you can drive there. The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to reach Chamonix by car.
There is a train station right in the center of the city. Traveling to Chamonix by train isn't necessarily the easiest or fastest option, but it is definitely the one with the least impact on the environment. On your way to Chamonix, you will have to change trains a few times along the way. The silver lining is that you are allowed to carry more luggage without additional charges.
Coach or long-distance buses are another option to get to Chamonix. The good thing about these buses is that they tend to be quite cheap and are more environmentally friendly than flying. If you choose this option, however, you must know that the seats can be quite uncomfortable and the ride takes the longest of all the options.
Mountains are great, but they do make it hard to create direct connections between towns. The most straightforward way from Zermatt to Chamonix is to hike the Walker's Haute Route, but you if you are looking to get there via public transport, you should first take a train from Zermatt to Visp and from Visp take a train to Geneva Airport. From there, you can follow the same options as mentioned under By Plane above.
The Walker's Haute Route is quite well signposted along the way. Although the route is quite clear throughout the trek, it is important to carry competent navigation with a map and compass. Weather conditions can be unpredictable in the mountains and occasional snow, fog or storms can make navigation hard. A map and compass are a must when going on a self-guided trek. Also, make sure to always have enough water, snacks, and a good jacket.
What to do in case of an emergency?
A situation is defined as an emergency whenever human life (yours or someone else's) is endangered and there is nothing you can do to resolve the matter. You should call for help if there has been an accident, if there is somebody trapped, if you got lost or in trouble and are unable to continue because of the time of day or weather conditions, or if you are trapped because of technical climbing challenges that exceed your capabilities.
The most important thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm and survey the situation. Do not panic or take useless risks if the people in trouble are difficult to reach. In an emergency, first and foremost, call for assistance. When calling for help, make sure to provide your location, and the number of victims and type of injuries. Then, protect the victim from cold and other environmental threats and administer first aid, if you can.
Useful emergency phone numbers:
PGHM Chamonix (France): +33 0 4 50 53 16 89
The Corona pandemic has had its grip on us, and mountain huts in the Alpine region have had to take several preventive measures over the past two years. In the meantime, the first relaxations in the Alps are noticeable, yet it is definitely still a factor to take into account. Some Covid restrictions that are worth mentioning:
- Don't go to the huts if you have symptoms!
- Not all mountain huts are allowed to operate at full capacity yet, so make sure you book your stay in advance.
- To be on the safe side, always take a mouth mask with you.
- In some mountain huts it is still compulsory to bring your own sleeping bag, in others a sheet bag and pillowcase are sufficient. Your personal travel guide will tell you which rules apply to your route.
- Bring your own towel
How to Book
How to Book?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking your match? In that case, you can proceed with your booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 30% of the total amount. In the case of this trek, we will check the availability at the respective accommodations for you. There are two possible outcomes:
√ There is availability
We go ahead and make all necessary arrangements for your trip. Once confirmed, we will send you a confirmation and your personal hiking guide. The remaining 70% must be paid at least two (2) weeks before the start of the trekking.
X There is no availability
If there is no availability, we will look for other starting dates or another trekking in agreement with you. Are there no other options for you? Then your deposit of 30% will be refunded.
If all the accommodations of this trekking are booked and confirmed, you will lose your deposit of 30% at all times. If you cancel within 14 days of your start date, you will lose your full booking amount.
Is it not quite clear yet or do you have questions? Please contact us via email@example.com. We are happy to help you.
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