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Walker's Haute Route (East)

9 Days & 8 Nights 5 Read 7 reviews
  • Spot the Matterhorn coming into view as you reach Zermatt
  • Enjoy classic Swiss Alpine mountain scenery
  • Savor a relaxed picnic lunch in a wildflower filled meadow
  • Be part of the camaraderie on the Walker’s Haute Route
  • Wander through the greatest collection of 4000m peaks in the Alps
Take on the iconic Eastern section of the Walker’s Haute Route from Arolla to Zermatt. Six days of sublime mountain walking culminating at the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt. The Walker’s Haute Route is one of the World’s great treks and the eastern section from Arolla to Zermatt is filled with superlatives from start to finish. You can look forward to the best mountain hiking in Switzerland. Walking through alpine pastures filled with the sound of cow bells your journey takes you from the quiet town of Les Haudères through increasingly remote and beautiful mountain landscapes across famous Augustbordpass to St Niklaus. The final two days lead you to Zermatt, where the Matterhorn signals your journey’s end.

What To Expect

The eastern section of the Walker’s Haute Route is a tough but fine walk through some of Switzerland’s finest scenery. You do need to be physically fit and as this is a strenuous high mountain trek you should be happy navigating in poor conditions and have a head for heights.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Groups > 10, Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • National Parks & Trails
  • Mountains


  • Classic


The Walker’s Haute Route follows well-marked trails, although generally it is not marked as the WHR but rather to the next destination. The trail marking in Switzerland is particularly good. We supply you with detailed 1:50 000 Swiss Topo maps, a comprehensive guidebook and route suggestions for each day.

You will need to use your own experience to decide which route to choose each day and navigate the route from one overnight stop to the next. The Walker’s Haute Route does cross high mountain passes, snow can lie on the ground late into the summer and the weather can change quickly, with snow possible at any time of year. You should be able to navigate with a map and compass in poor visibility and be experienced in the mountains.

Experience & Fitness

The Walker’s Haute Route is a tough trek with considerable ascent and descent on each day. We have rated this tour strenuous. This is a challenging high mountain trek and the weather can be poor so you should have previous high mountain experience and good navigation and mountain skills. As this is a self-guided trek you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip. You must have an excellent level of walking fitness and can negotiate challenging terrain. The route can be affected by large snowfields on the highest passes early and late season.

The terrain is mountainous, exposed, rocky and rough underfoot. There are several sections that include the use of fixed ropes and handrails to aid ascent/descent over, particularly tricky sections.

Accommodation Information

5 nights accommodation in 2 and 3-star hotels,1 night in an auberge (private rooms/shared bath) and 1 night in a mountain hut (in a mixed-sex dorm) If you choose the variation via Cabane de Moiry you will spend another night in a mountain refuge in a shared dormitory.

We carefully select small friendly establishments that offer great value, food and welcomes. The accommodation we normally use is detailed on our website, but we may use alternative accommodation of the same or better standard depending on availability.

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is not available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available on 7 nights if you require single rooms in your party.


8 Breakfasts and 7 three-course dinners are included (not Zermatt). Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way. Allow about 10 - 15 CHF per day for lunch. Drinks are not included but available at all overnight accommodation.

  • 5 Nights in a combination of 2 and 3 star hotels (in twin/double room with private bathrooms)
  • 2 Night in an auberge (private twin/double room but shared bathrooms)
  • 1 Night in a mixed sex dorm in a mountain hut
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 7 Dinners (Zermatt not included
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes and guidebook
  • Organisational assistance and backup
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to start/from finish point
  • Overnight, breakfast and dinner at Prafleuri (payable locally)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Lunches (allow 10 to 15 CHF per day)
  • Local transfers and ski lifts
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue/emergency assistance
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk

When To Go

You can start your Walker’s Haute Route anytime between mid-July and the beginning of September. This short season is due to the weather and potential snow being on the trail. The is a chance of snow patches remaining into early July across the higher passes, and the chance of the weather deteriorating into late September.

Getting to the Start

By Air: Geneva is the best airport for getting to Arolla. Regular trains continue to Sion from where you can catch a connecting bus to Arolla. For more information, please refer to www.sbb.ch 

Getting from the End

From Zermatt regular trains connect to Zurich Airport (3h30) or Geneva Airport (4h00).

Optional ski-lifts and transfers during the walk

You can use ski-lifts/cable cars to skip several of big ascents/descents during the trip. These sections are as follows: Le Châble to Les Ruinettes, above Zinal to Zinal village, and Jungen to St Nicklaus. If you wish to skip a stage completely it may be possible to do so using public transport or taxis. We provide you with a detailed transport guide including alternative transport options and timetables for each section. Ski lifts and optional transfers are not included in the package price.

Baggage Transfer

Due to the remoteness of many of the overnight stops, bag transfer is not available. You will, therefore, need to carry your kit with you each day. You will need to bring a sleeping bag liner for when staying in dormitory-style accommodation. Bedlinen is provided when staying in private rooms. If you have excess baggage with you, it is possible to send this from Geneva ahead of you to Zermatt by train. For more information, please have a look here.


Our pre-departure information pack (and the supplied guidebook) have detailed advice and a kit list on what to take on the Walker’s Haute Route. This includes warm and waterproof gear, hats and gloves, a sleeping sheet and lots of other useful bits and bobs. Walking poles are recommended as the WHR is tough on the knees.

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Day 1 Arrive Arolla and overnight Day 2 Arolla to La Sage 6.5 miles / 10 km Day 3 La Sage to Barrage de Moiry/Grimentz 6.5 miles / 10 km Day 4 Barrage de Moiry/Grimentz to Zinal 5 miles / 8 km Day 5 Zinal to Gruben 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 6 Gruben to St Niklaus 10 miles / 16 km Day 7 Gasenreid to Europa Hut 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 8 Europa Hut to Zermatt 11 miles / 18 km Day 9 Onward Travel

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