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The Walker's Haute Route

Walker's Haute Route

Highlights
  • Glimpse the iconic Matterhorn coming into view as you reach Zermatt
  • Hike through the most extraordinary collection of 4000m peaks in the Alps
  • Cross 11 famous mountain passes, each with panoramic views
  • Mouthwatering Croute au Fromage, wine-soaked bread topped with melted cheese
  • Exchange stories with fellow walkers in the alpine huts and enjoy camaraderie on the trail
  • Walk through delightful hamlets as the snow-capped mountains surround you

Every mountain lover should tackle the Walker’s Haute Route. Historically a ski tour route but today, one of the world's great hikes. It is the most scenic route through the Alps, starting at the foot of the famous Mont Blanc in Chamonix and ending in the village of Zermatt, with views of the Toblerone mountain, the Matterhorn. 

Witness the most exhilarating mountain views, spectacular valleys, delightful villages and remote alpine hamlets whilst being overshadowed by the highest mountains in Western Europe. Experience Swiss hospitality and the friendly atmosphere of the huts as you take on the entire route. Alternatively, split it and embark on the East section, starting in Chamonix, following portions of the Tour du Mont Blanc or explore the quieter West section as you walk through Valais and into Zermatt.

Since 2012, Macs Adventure has been offering trips on the Walker's Haute Route. Read some of our 5-star reviews to find out why people love this tour! The route was traditionally one for guided groups, but we wanted to give you the freedom to choose your itinerary and be guided by the knowledge of our expert team when booking your trip.

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Discover Walker's Haute Route

  • Essential Walker's Haute Route Facts

    Walk between two of the greatest mountaineering centres in the world, Chamonix and Zermatt. Walk amongst the great 4000m peaks in the Alps. The tour is more demanding than the well-known Tour du Mont Blanc but does cover some of the same days when leaving Chamonix.

    How long is the Walker's Haute Route (WHR)? The complete route is around 201km. We recommend taking 13 days to walk the route, but if you do not have that length of time, we offer the East or West section, and if you want to take a little more time to do it, we can add in suitable rest days. Whatever your desire, Macs Adventure can sort out the perfect WHR for you. 

    The time of year is all-important, and the route is at a high altitude, so snow is an issue. Therefore we only operate the trip between mid-July and mid-September and keep a constant eye on the conditions to get our customers out walking as soon as it is safe to do so.

    How high does the Walker's Haute Route go? The highest points on the official route are the Col de Riedmatten which sits at 2919m and the Augustbordpass (2894m), but there are alternative walks that take you equally as high, such as, Forceletta (2874m), Col de Sorebois (2847m) and the impressive Tete Noir (2981m). On the trip, you will gain around 10,600m which is a good bit higher than Mt Everest. However, don't let this put you off. It is a lot more straightforward, safer, and more fun than climbing Mt Everest.  

    Most challenging sections

    The Walker's Haute route is a visually spectacular trail, but it has many exposed sections that have been safeguarded with fixed rope handrails. On several occasions, the way crosses rockfall areas, and warning signs have been set to urge walkers to walk quickly past these sections.

    • Trient to Champex - The descent from Fenetre d’Arpette to Champex is a skree descent.
    • Cabane Mont Fort to Cabane de Prafleuri - Col de Louvie and the Col de Prafleuri, where you cross large areas of rocks and boulders
    • Cabane de Prafleuri to Arolla – Crossing the Col de Riedmatten, the highest section of the trip
    • Europahutte to Zermatt - The final leg into Zermatt, along the Europaweg, is commonly affected by rockfall.
    Essential Walker's Haute Route Facts
  • Best Hiking Regions in Switzerland

    Valais – Deep in the alps you find Valais, in the south-west corner of Switzerland. The region is split between German and French-speaking villages. Walk amongst some of the most dramatic alpine scenery Switzerland has to offer, with fifty peaks, including the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Dom, soaring over 4,000-meter, more than any other region in the Alps. It is filled with an intricate network of hiking trails, the most famous being the Walkers Haute Route, creating endless opportunities for hikers to explore the high peaks, cross panoramic passes and travel through scenic alpine valleys. With a little luck, hikers may encounter marmots, chamois or mountain goats.

    Graubünden – Explore the German-speaking Alps, including the Engadine, Davos and St Moritz. This region offers a multitude of great hiking trails from easy walks along beautiful lakes to moderate jaunts between the rustic villages. Strenuous hikes climb over scenic passes with stunning views of glacier-clad peaks and travel up tranquil valleys amid rugged peaks. Discover the local beauty on our St. Moritz & The Engadine Valley tour.

    Bernese Oberland - The Berner Oberland is a stone through from the capital, Bern, an easy train ride takes you into the mountains which are dominated by the spectacular mountain trio, the Eiger, Monch and the Jungfrau. This region is filled with walks for all abilities if this is your first walking holiday or you are a veteran. There are multiple trips which will take you through this region, such as our Best of the Bernese Oberland or the Via Alpina. Each takes you through breath-taking scenery and wanders through lush meadows sprinkled with wildflowers. Along the way, hikers are treated to a diversity of Swiss villages from small hamlets, such as of Lauterbrunnen, the car-free Murren or to the popular ski resort of Grindelwald.

    Best Hiking Regions in Switzerland
  • Why book your Swiss Hiking Vacation with Macs?

    Since 2008 we’ve organized thousands of hiking tours in Switzerland. Each year our staff spend time here ensuring classic routes run smoothly and seeking out the best hiking trails, accommodations and restaurants.

    As in all of our self-guided hiking tours we transfer your luggage and you can travel on your terms by choosing your own departure date and who you travel with. We provide route info packs, maps in our easy-to-use app which even works offline. Sustainable travel is important to us, and traveling with us supports local small businesses.

    Our specialists are here to help connect you with your perfect adventure. Just get in touch if you have any questions.

    Why book your Swiss Hiking Vacation with Macs?

  • Walker's Haute Route

    Andy walked the Walker's Haute Route, the stunning self-guided trip in the Swiss Alps. This is his short video showing the highlights of the trip and how much fun it can be to push yourself past your limits.

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We use independent suppliers to support communities along our routes, as well as work with organizations to help maintain & restore paths.
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