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Walker's Haute Route

15 Days & 14 Nights 5 Read 5 reviews
  • The Matterhorn coming into view as you reach Zermatt
  • Classic Swiss Alpine mountain scenery
  • Enjoying a relaxed picnic lunch in a wildflower filled meadow
  • Being part of the camaraderie on the Walker’s Haute Route
  • Wandering through the greatest collection of 4000m peaks in the Alps
Trek the Walker’s Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Regularly voted as one of the world’s top walks the journey from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn on the Walker’s Haute Route is filled with breath-taking mountain panoramas, challenging mountain passes and Alpine scenes lifted straight from a storybook. The Walker’s Haute Route is a variation of the original Haute Route following alpine trails below 3000m and is a non-technical although a demanding high level walk, which explores the best of the Pennine Alps between Chamonix and Zermatt.

What To Expect

If you want to enjoy the rewards of taking on one of the world’s great treks than you can’t go wrong with the Walker’s Haute Route. But you do need to be physically fit and as this is a strenuous high mountain trek should be happy navigating in poor conditions and have a head for heights.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

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:

  • Personal Growth
  • National Parks & Trails
  • Mountains

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Navigation

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. The daily height gain is substantial and over the course of 13 days of walking you will gain approximately 12,000m. Therefore, 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.

Accommodations

14 nights* accommodation are included in your trip. 9 Nights in 2 and 3-star hotels, 2 nights in auberges (private rooms) 3 nights in mountain refuges (dorms). We carefully select small friendly establishments that offer great value, food and welcomes.

*Please note: we reserve Cabane de Prafleuri in advance for our customers, however, due to the hut's strict policy, the stay must be paid for by cash upon arrival by the customer.  

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is not available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available on 11 nights if you require single rooms in your party, but there is a supplement payable. 

Meals

14 Breakfasts and 11 dinners are included (Chamonix, Prafleuri & Zermatt not included). 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.

Included
  • 14 Nights accommodation
  • 14 Breakfasts
  • 11 Dinners (Chamonix, Zermatt & Prafleuri not included)
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes and guidebook
  • Organisational assistance and backup
Excluded
  • Mountain rescue/emergency assistance
  • 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
Extras
  • 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 the Chamonix.  To get from Geneva to Chamonix you can catch a train or bus but the best option is a pre-booked shuttle. Chamexpress  or Mountain Dropoffs are both good and cost around €30 each way.  

By Rail: TGV  to Saint-Gervais-Le Fayet and from here catch a regular train to Chamonix. More information on train times and schedules may be found on www.voyages-sncf.com

From Zermatt take a train to Zurich which will take 3-4 hours with one change. You can also return to Geneva if you wish and this train journey takes about 3 hours.

By Road: To get to Chamonix take highway A40-E25 Mont Blanc-Chamonix. More information at www.viamichelin.fr If you wish to return to Chamonix from Zermatt again you can check the Via Michelin website.

Parking: In Chamonix, free parking at the Aiguille du Midi & the parking Planards (Montenvers station).

 

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.

Getting from the End

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

If you wish to return to Chamonix from Zermatt at the end of your trip the train takes between 4h37 and 5h11.

Luggage 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.

General Information

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is not available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available on 11 nights if you require single rooms in your party but there is a supplement payable. 

Meals

14 breakfasts and 11 dinners are included ( Chamonix, Prafleuri & Zermatt not included). 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.

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.
 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Equipment

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.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Chamonix Day 2 Argentière to Trient 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 3 Trient to Champex 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 4 Champex to Le Châble 8 miles / 13 km Day 5 Le Châble to Cabane du Mont Fort 5.5 miles / 9 km Day 6 Walk to Cabane du Prafleuri 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 7 Cabane du Prafleuri to Arolla 10 miles / 16 km Day 8 Arolla to Les Haudères/La Sage 6.5 miles / 10 km Day 9 La Sage to Barrage de Moiry/Grimentz 6.5 miles / 10 km Day 10 Barrage de Moiry/Grimentz to Zinal 5 miles / 8 km Day 11 Zinal to Gruben 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 12 Gruben to St Niklaus 10 miles / 16 km Day 13 Gasenreid to Europa Hut 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 14 Europa Hut to Zermatt 11 miles / 18 km Day 15 Onward Travel

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