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(Walker's Haute Route) Up to the Moiry hut (Walker's Haute Route) Entering Gruben (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)
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Trek the full Chamonix to Zermatt route in two weeks
+ High passes, rocky corries and verdant valleys
+ Complete the trek in your own style

Latest news February 2017
Bookings are open for 2017! Please ask us any time. Thank you.

Trek the Walker's Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, thus completing one of Europe's most challenging and thrilling treks.

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 trek calls for no rock climbing or technical skills but is nevertheless right at the hardest end of the spectrum of Alpine treks. Many sections call for self-reliance, strong fitness and good navigation. Passes at nearly 3,000m take much climbing to reach; the terrain is rugged and wild.

This being a self-guided holiday, you're free to complete the walks as you choose: we arrange everything for you, including booking accommodation and providing you with our detailed routecards for the walking, and then it's up to you to carry out the walks yourself.

We book your accommodation in an intriguing mix of hotels, auberges and mountain huts (cabanes). The huts are high, characterful, yet comfortable.

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

Alternative routings

The Walker's Haute Route has a few possible variations along its length, which we 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 2017

Since our first Haute Route season in 2009, the solidity of the Europaweg trail - the last 2 days into Zermatt - has reduced and the risk from rocks overhead has increased. The last stage into Zermatt is likely to be subject to two diversions in 2017. We will have full details, as every year, after our June and July recces, and will advise clients in full - and swap the Europahutte to our Zermatt hotel for only the difference in cost, if necessary.

Alternative starts and pacings

Walked the Tour du Mont Blanc?
The first 3 days of the Haute Route, to Champex, take the same trails as the TMB. If you'd like to skip these, please ask us about starting from Champex.

A quicker trek
If 14 stages is too many, we can make it 10, 11, 12 or 13 while still walking the whole route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Fewer than 10 gets tricky. 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 available.

Rest days
The Haute Route has two relatively easy valley days which reduce the need for full rest days. However, rest days can be welcome, as can days at the end in Zermatt. We recommend adding a rest day or two if you have time. Please contact us to discuss your approach.

Alternative accommodation

More comfy?
As standard our itinerary is fairly comfy, using charming hotels except where auberges and huts are essential or preferable. A simple way in which we can add luxury is to swap the 2* hotels for our lovely 3*s. If you're not keen on dorms then we can request private rooms at some huts, and swap other huts for hotels; however, there has to be one dorm night at least.

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.

Happy clients

In Zermatt: "Perfect end to a perfect trip, we felt like royalty staying here. The breakfasts were superb, the staff were so friendly, amazing service."

"Thank you again for another well organised trip. Some excellent accommodation and we loved the friendliness of people along the Haute Route and all the people we met in the hotels and cabanes."

Jacquie & Jeff, UK (Walker's Haute Route)

Key information Summer 2017


Classic mix (hotels, auberges & huts)
£1,550 per person (£330 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Comfier mix (smarter hotels)
£1,640 per person (£440 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

Basic mix (more auberges & huts)
£1,330 per person (£220 single supp)
Walkers Haute Route (self-guided)

We take 14 stages as the norm; please ask us for a shorter or longer trip

14 days' trekking
French and Swiss Alps
 Grade (Explained)
Starting in Chamonix
Ending in Zermatt
Typical walk 14km, 1,050m ascent
Highest altitude 2,987m

Research 2017
July 2017 (Keith)

The Matterhorn from a good vantage point in Zermatt
The Matterhorn (Photo gallery)

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

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 7 evening meals
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards, maps, local info
Emergency card, language card

Season for self-guided treks
22 July to 17 September 2017
22 July to 17 September 2018 (TBC 2 Oct 2017)
Trek on your ideal dates

The Cabane des Dix, a hut passed on the Haute Route
Cabane des Dix (Photo gallery)

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

The Haute Route in the Alps

Map of the Walker's Haute Route 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. 2016 will be our 12th Summer in the Alps and the 10th on our UK routes.

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83 Princes Street
United Kingdom
+44 (0)131 247 6702

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