The celebrated Haute Route is a spectacular high-level hiking traverse across the French and Swiss Alps from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. Ten of the 12 highest peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc and the crooked spire of the Matterhorn, rise along this magnificent “high route,” along with plentiful glaciers, cool mountain tarns, and meadows full of wildflowers. Our wonderful version of this classic route provides a nonstop panorama of stunning alpine scenery and a quintessential hiking experience of the Alps. Perfectly paced hiking days are complemented by overnights in charming hotels in delightfully quaint villages, with two nights in hike-in lodges to savor sunset alpenglow on the high peaks. At the start and finish of our Haute Route, we enjoy full days in the two greatest mountaineering centers in the world—Chamonix, above which towers the highest massif in Western Europe, and Zermatt, dominated by the spire of the Matterhorn, the most recognized of all mountains.
Superbly organized and flawlessly delivered. Our guides were very experienced and went way out of their way to ensure this was a 'best ever' experience. Can't praise WT or our guides enough. We loved the entire experience. Thank you so much!
— Robin F., Bellingham, WA
Chamonix, France / Champex, Switzerland
Departing Chamonix, cross the Col de Balme and descend through pine forests to the Col de la Forclaz. A steep but gorgeous hike skirting the Trient Glacier brings you to the top of a rocky notch, the Fenêtre d’Arpette, then down to the wild and rugged Val d’Arpette.
Cabane Mont Fort to Val d’Arolla
From a mountain chalet set facing the enormous Mont Blanc massif, we take a “secret” trail past lakes and glaciers and cross three alpine passes en route to the remote Prafleuri Refuge. An ascent of the Col de Reidmatten (9,577’), with its dazzling mountain-and-glacier vistas, brings you down to Arolla, an ideal spot for an invaluable rest day (or more optional hikes!).
Grimentz / Gruben
Our trail leads through a traditional area of the Valais canton and across two passes, both of which offer tremendous views of icy peaks, including the Dent Blanche (14,290’)—this is one of the most outstanding vistas in the Alps.
A climb to the Augstbordpass (9,495’) grants superb views of the 14,000-foot-high Mischabel Range. We then head to Zermatt, surrounded by glaciers and a dozen 13,000-foot peaks, including the mighty Matterhorn. Options on Day 11 include a hike to the Hornli Hut, where climbers set out to scale the peak. Depart on Day 12.