The celebrated Haute Route is a 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 Matterhorn, rise along this magnificent “high route,” along with glaciers, cool mountain tarns, and meadows full of wildflowers. Our unique version of this classic route provides a nonstop panorama of stunning alpine scenery and a quintessential hiking experience of the Alps. En route, we hike over seven dramatic passes, including the wild and rocky Fenêtre d’Arpette (8,750'). We combine our well-paced hiking days with overnights in charming hotels, including the 4-star family-run Bella Tola, a spa hotel with delightful Old World ambiance.
Another great WT adventure! Great combination of demanding hikes, beautiful vistas, good food and drink, and great travel companions. We were fortunate to have three accomplished leaders, any of whom could have led the trip on their own.
— Bob F., Bethesda, MD
Chamonix, France / Champex, Switzerland
From Chamonix, we hike over the Col de Balme and descend to the Col de la Forclaz. A steep but gorgeous hike skirting the Trient Glacier brings us to the top of the Fenêtre d’Arpette, then down to the rugged Val d’Arpette.
Grande Dixence / Arolla
Our hikes lead to the Col des Roux, with good chances of seeing ibex and chamois, then along Lac des Dix and up to the Col de Reidmatten (9,577'), with its dazzling mountain-and-glacier views.
St-Luc / Gruben
Hiking through the traditional Valais canton, we cross the Col de Torrent (9,570'), where superb vistas include the Mont Blanc chain and the most impressive summits and glaciers in the Swiss Valais, including the towering limestone pyramid of the Dent Blanche (14,290'). We hike into German-speaking Switzerland by crossing the Meidpass (9,154') to descend into the peaceful hamlet of Gruben.
After our climb to the top of Augstbordpass (9,495'), we descend into the green Mattertal, where we catch a cable car and local train to storied Zermatt, surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks and famed for its awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn. Depart on Day 8.