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(Walker's Haute Route) Entering Gruben (Walker's Haute Route) Up to the Moiry hut (Walker's Haute Route) A marmot chewing (Walker's Haute Route) Swiss flag flying (Walker's Haute Route) On the Europaweg

Walker's Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt) East
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Walk the Eastern Haute Route stages from Arolla to Zermatt
+ Cross a succession of passes into new mountain worlds
+ Excellent, charming hotels booked for you

Latest news October 2017
Booking is open for 2018! Please ask us any questions; thank you.

Trek the second half of the Walker's Haute Route, from Arolla to Zermatt. It's a week of Alpine walking with spectacular high-mountain scenery.

The Walker's Haute Route is a trekking route, as opposed to the original, Classic Haute Route that takes to the glaciers and is often made as a ski tour. This Eastern section comprises a main stretch of 4 stages each with a new pass to cross, plus an easier valley stage at the start, and finishing with the 2-day Europaweg traverse high above Zermatt's valley. The passes are high, typically 2,800m or 2,900m, making for a lot of climbing. The views compensate for this!

This being a self-guided holiday, you're free to complete the walks as you choose; we book your huts and hotels and give you our detailed routecards for the walking, and then it's up to you to carry out the walks yourself.

We book your accommodation in a mix of friendly hotels, auberges and huts, to give a range of experiences from the simple to the luxurious.

Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Walker's Haute Route East self-guided walking holiday

Alternative routings

This Eastern half has many variations possible - more so than the Western half - which we're pleased to book as follows.

Visit Grimentz
Instead of the Cabane de Moiry, drop to Grimentz which is a pretty Valaisian village. From Grimentz you still reach Zinal the next day, or can walk across Val d'Anniviers to Hotel Weisshorn or Cabane Bella Tola...

Stay high at Hotel Weisshorn or Cabane Bella Tola
Instead of Zinal, clients who prefer to sleep high sometimes opt for the venerable old Hotel Weisshorn in its high position, or Cabane Bella Tola in the same area. Alternatively, instead of substituting these for Zinal, keep Zinal and make them an extra night.

Detour to Grachen
Grachen is a superb village on a sunny shelf above St Niklaus. It's a treat. We can advise on replacing St Niklaus with Grachen, either as an extra night (for a relaxing day) or as a straight swap thanks to our cunning logistics in this area. Please ask us about the ins and outs.

Finish through the Mattertal
Instead of the tough two-day Europaweg finale, walk the Mattertal valley in one day. This is an interesting and modest (compared with what's come before) walk through the valley to Zermatt.

Other variations fit within the day and can be chosen whatever your itinerary, according to how you feel on the day; all variants are described in our routecards.

The Europaweg in 2018

We are thrilled that in 2017 the Europaweg's suspension bridge re-opened. This allows the 2-day high-level finish into Zermatt without diversions. However, since our first Haute Route season in 2009, the solidity of the Europaweg trail has reduced and the risk from rocks overhead has increased. We will have full details, as every year, after our June and July recces, and will advise clients in full if the trail or the bridge force diversions and perhaps make it better to swap accommodation.

Alternative schedules and pacings

Rest days
The Haute Route East is worth adding a rest day to, and Grimentz, Zinal and Grachen make excellent places for this. Days at the end in Zermatt are always valuable; Zermatt is one of our very favourite Alpine towns with so much going on.

A quicker trek
If 7 stages is too many, we can make it 4 or 5 while still walking the whole route from Arolla to Zermatt. For example, for clients wanting faster treks we have planned a stage direct from La Sage to Zinal bypassing Cabane de Moiry and Grimentz... and the Mattertal valley finish saves a day too. Please ask us to adapt things to your time available.

Alternative accommodation

More comfy?
As standard our itinerary is fairly comfy, using charming hotels except where auberges and huts are essential or preferable. There is only limited scope for upping the comfort levels, but these options start with moving to Grachen. Private rooms at the huts aren't really possible on this stretch, but the huts can be swapped for hotels by using different routes.

More basic?
We can swap hotels for auberges in order to keep things simple - an approach favoured by some of our families and groups of friends. At the extra auberges you can still have private rooms, but to economise further we can book plenty of dorms. We have come to know some buzzing, friendly options at all levels. Please just ask.

Happy clients

"Very good hike notes and instructions."

"Wonderful views of sunrise on the Matterhorn from our bed!"

"The entire itinerary worked perfectly and was just what we wanted. Many thanks."

Sarah de Crespigny, Australia
(Walker's Haute Route East)

Key information Summer 2018


Classic mix (hotels, auberges & huts)
£980 per person (£160 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Comfier mix (smarter hotels)
£1,020 per person (£180 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Basic mix (more auberges & huts)
£890 per person (£110 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

We take 7 stages as the norm; please ask us for a shorter or longer trip

7 days' trekking
Swiss Alps
 Grade (Explained)
Starting in Arolla
Ending in Zermatt
Typical walk 14km, 1010m ascent
Highest altitude 2,916m

Research 2017
July 2017 (Keith)

Lac de Moiry from the climb to Col de Sorebois
Lac de Moiry (Photo gallery)

8 nights, staying in:
4-star hotels (1)
3-star hotels (2)
Auberges (3)
Mountain huts (2)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 4 evening meals
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards, maps, local info
Emergency card, language card

Season for self-guided treks
22 July to 16 September 2018
22 July to 15 September 2019 (TBC 1 Oct 2018)
Trek on your ideal dates

Jungen, a hamlet on a hillside high above St Niklaus
Jungen, a hamlet (Photo gallery)

Baggage transfer
Let us move your bags between stops. Please contact us for a price

Arolla to Zermatt in the Alps

Map of the Walker's Haute Route East within the Alps

How hard is the route?


This trip fits our Black4 grade, plus please note:
+ Ladders to Pas de Chevres (optional)
+ Sustained rocky and loose terrain

Find out more

Holiday Notes - our full trip dossier (PDF)
A guide to the trek - our background page
About our walking holidays - general FAQs
Contact us - please ask us any questions

Ready to book?

Book - to get things started!

alpine exploratory

Alpine Exploratory provides a uniquely detailed and up-to-date coverage of trekking routes in the Alps and the UK. This knowledge lets us book superb holidays for our enthusiastic trekkers.

We are a small team based in Edinburgh in the UK. 2018 will be our 14th Summer in the Alps, the 12th on our UK routes, and our first in Norway.

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83 Princes Street
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+44 (0)131 247 6702

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