Hiking the Haute Route

High Alps Traverse from Chamonix to Zermatt

Overview

The celebrated Haute Route, a high-level hike from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland, is immersed in alpine lore. 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 path across this famous traverse brings nonstop alpine vistas as we cross seven dramatic passes—including the Col de Torrent (9,567') between two incredibly spectacular valleys—and our team of Trip Leaders makes this a wonderfully fun mountain adventure.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Chamonix, France / Champex, Switzerland / Arolla Valley

From Chamonix, we ascend alpine meadows past grazing cows to the Col de Balme (7,201'), which marks the French-Swiss frontier. The Col de la Forclaz (5,010') brings sweeping views of the Rhône Valley and a descent to the Swiss hamlet of Champex d’en Haut. Our trail over the Col des Roux (9,199') reveals the summits of the Valais Alps, and crossing the Pas des Chèvres, we’ll have sweeping views across the Arolla Valley to Pigne d’Arolla and Mt. Collon, with remarkable glaciers framing our route.

Hotel du Col de la Forclaz
Trient, Switzerland
Day 1 (1 night)
Martigny Boutique Hotel
Martigny, Switzerland
Day 1 (1 night)
Hotel du Glacier
Champex, Switzerland
Day 2 (1 night)
Grand Hotel Kurhaus
Arolla, Switzerland
Day 4 (1 night)
Days 5-8
Valais Canton / Col de Torrent / Meidpass / Gruben / Zermatt

We enter the ancient Valais Canton, where some locals still wear traditional Valais dress while working in the hay meadows. Our route brings us up over the Col de Torrent and rewards us with superb vistas of the towering limestone pyramid of the Dent Blanche (14,295'). Crossing the Meidpass (9,154'), we enter German-speaking Switzerland, and a long descent past lovely alpine Meidsee Lake brings us to the remote hamlet of Gruben in the peaceful Turtmanntal Valley. After our climb to the top of Augstbordpass (9,495'), our last pass, 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.

Hotel Bella Tola
St. Luc, Switzerland
Day 5 (1 night)
Hotel Schwarzhorn
Gruben, Switzerland
Day 6 (1 night)
Parkhotel Beau Site
Zermatt, Switzerland
Day 7 (1 night)

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
Experienced Trip Leaders who bring camaraderie and fun to each hiking day

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4695  
Arrive: Chamonix, France
Depart: Zermatt, Switzerland
Lodging: 4 nights in 4-star hotels, 3 nights in rustic mountain inns
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (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, team of up to 3 Trip Leaders

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