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

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

+ Walk half-way to Zermatt in one week
+ Rugged Alpine trekking with remote stretches
+ Expert planning to find your ideal itinerary

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

Trek the first half of the Walker's Haute Route, from Chamonix as far as Arolla, in a week's Alpine trekking of the highest order.

The Walker's Haute Route is a trekking route, as distinct from the Classic Haute Route which crosses the glaciers. The trek calls for no rock climbing or technical skills but is nevertheless a very tough trek even by the standard of Alpine walks. Many sections need self-reliance, strong fitness and good navigation; cols at nearly 3,000m take much climbing to reach and the terrain is often rocky and rugged. The crucial stretch is the 3 stages to Arolla, covering remote ground and staying in 2 huts.

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 our intriguing mix of hotels, auberges and mountain huts. The huts are high, remote, yet quite comfortable.

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

Alternative starts, routes and pacings

A quicker trek
If 7 stages is too long, we can make it 5 or 6 while still walking the whole route from Chamonix to Arolla. For example, our quicker clients sometimes ask to walk straight from Chamonix to Trient, or walk the Chamonix to Argentiere stage on the afternoon they arrive. Further mergings of stages are possible down the line. Please ask us to adapt things to your time.

Route variations
At some points in this Western half, our routecards describe variations to the route. These include the Bovine Alp route to Champex instead of the high and steep Fenetre d'Arpette, and the Col de Termin route instead of Col de la Chaux (also our high, rocky, main route) on the way to Cabane de Prafleuri. Choose on the day according to energy and weather.

Rest days
We recommend adding a rest day or two if you have time. Champex is a good location for such a day. Perhaps of more interest would be a day or two in Chamonix before your trek, where there is a great buzz and where local walking abounds. We can advise. Please contact us to discuss what would suit you best.

Alternative accommodation

More comfy?
As standard our itinerary is fairly comfy. A simple way in which we can add luxury is to swap some 2* hotels for our lovely 3*s. If you're not keen on dorms then we can request private rooms at the huts, but these are only sometimes possible. The two huts are fairly essential to the crossing to Arolla, so can't be avoided altogether... and they are great fun.

More basic?
We can add huts and swap hotels for auberges. 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.

Key information Summer 2018


Classic mix (hotels, auberges & huts)
£960 per person (£180 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Comfier mix (smarter hotels)
£1,040 per person (£200 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Basic mix (more auberges & huts)
£900 per person (£100 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
French and Swiss Alps
 Grade (Explained)
Starting in Chamonix
Ending in Arolla
Typical walk 14km, 1,110m ascent
Highest altitude 2,987m

Research 2017
July 2017 (Keith)

Lac des Dix from Col des Roux
Lac des Dix (Photo gallery)

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

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 3 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

From above Trient, looking towards Glacier du Trient and Fenetre d'Arpette
Glacier du Trient (Photo gallery)

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

Chamonix to Arolla in the Alps

Map of the Walker's Haute Route West 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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Alpine Exploratory
83 Princes Street
United Kingdom
+44 (0)131 247 6702

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