High Alps Traverse from Chamonix to Zermatt

Overview

No trail in the Alps is more immersed in lore than the Haute Route, the celebrated high-level hiking traverse from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. This is where the sport of mountaineering was born in the 19th century, and just a glance at the 360-degree panorama explains why: 10 of the 12 highest peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, rise along this magnificent “high route.” Our unique way of hiking this famous route brings nonstop alpine panoramas as we cross seven dramatic passes, including the Col de Torrent (9,570'). Our team of Trip Leaders makes this a wonderfully fun mountain adventure, and we combine well-paced hiking days with overnights in charming hotels.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Chamonix, France / Champex, Switzerland

From Chamonix, we ascend through meadows where dairy cows graze as we hike up through woodlands to cross the Col de Balme (7,230'), which marks the French-Swiss frontier. From Col de la Forclaz (5,026'), we hike into alpine meadows with sweeping views of the Rhône Valley and descend to the Swiss hamlet of Champex d’en Haut.

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Days 3-4
Grande Dixence / Arolla

Our hike over the Col des Roux (9,197') reveals the summits and glaciers of the Valais Alps, where some locals still wear traditional dress. When we cross the Col de Riedmatten, we’ll have breathtaking views across the Arolla Valley to Pigne d’Arolla, Mont Collon, and the west face of Mont Blanc de Cheilon, with remarkable glaciers framing our route.

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Days 5-6
St-Luc / Gruben

A hike through the traditional Valais canton and over the Col de Torrent rewards us with superb vistas of the towering limestone pyramid of the Dent Blanche (14,290'). Entering German-speaking Switzerland by crossing the Meidpass (9,154'), we make our way down into the peaceful hamlet of Gruben.

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Days 7-8
Zermatt

After our climb to the top of Augstbordpass (9,495'), we catch a cable car and local train to car-free Zermatt. Surrounded by 13,000-foot peaks, this classic alpine town is famed for its awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn. Depart on Day 8.

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Highlights

Highlights

Experience one of the world’s great mountain realms—in WT style!
Hike to remote alpine hamlets, enjoy mountain inns amid the highest peaks in the Alps
Savor classic views of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and other giants of the Alps
Up to three Trip Leaders for the opportunity to hike at your own pace

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4595  
Arrive: Chamonix, France
Depart: Zermatt, Switzerland
Lodging: 4 nights in 4-star hotels, 3 nights mountain inns
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes between 6,000-9,600 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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