The renowned walker’s Haute route is considered one of the best hiking routes in Europe. This route guarantees a wealth of beauty and diversity as it travels across glaciers, lush valleys, and attractive communities over 10–14 days.
Here, you’ll discover what trekking in the Alps via the walker’s Haute route entails and uncover the rewards of this journey.
The Haute Route in Summary
Here is a breakdown of what the Walker’s Haute Route entails.
- A Length of 200 km (ca. 124 miles)
- The average inclination is 15,200 metres
- The highest point during the journey is 2,987 metres
- It features 12,000 metres of ascent
- The length of descents totals 10,000 metres
- The highest pass is 3000 metres
- An average day comprises 10-15 km of hiking over 6-8 hours
How Long Will it Take to Hike the Walker’s Haute Route?
The hiker’s trail of the walker’s Haute Route runs across the Alps of France and Switzerland from Chamonix, France, until Zermatt, Switzerland. The distance is around 120 miles (ca. 193 kilometres).
For most trekkers, opting for the Alpine wild Haute route typically takes 10 to 14 days to finish. Everything depends on how quickly you intend to go and if you will take breaks or rest days.
Consider how many kilometres and hours you can manage each day comfortably before making plans. Remember to account for steep inclines that might make you go more slowly. If you’re pressed for time, you may avoid some parts of the journey by using a cable car or boarding a train.
When is the Best Time to Undertake this Hiking Journey?
The peak hiking period typically lasts from mid-June until mid-September because this time has the best weather for hiking. The majority of the trail is covered with snow throughout the winter, making it too risky to travel. You can see below what it is like to ply the Haute Route in the recommended months.
- June: Watch out for ice areas in June since they might lead to accidents.
- July: Enjoy the quiet roads, but be ready for midday storms.
- August: Due to the people attracted by the more excellent weather, this month is busier. But it’s worth the effort to see the wild mountain flowers blossom.
- September: Although it’s a calmer month, be ready for chilly nights.
- October: Early October is a splendid time to hike the trail, but some lodging choices close September ending.
Hiking the Haute Route with a Guide
There are several tour guides to pick from when it comes to trekking in the Alps via this path. If you want to utilise a guide, ensure you get the best value by doing your homework in advance and reading the evaluations.
Plying the Walker’s Haute Route without a Guide
If you plan on hiking the trail without a guide, the track is adequately marked. It is possible to tackle the trek on your own. To keep on course, pay attention to the red and white stripes! Since it’s a well-travelled trail in the summer, you won’t be stuck on your own if something goes wrong.
To stay on the safe side on your Haute route self-guided trip, you should have a Walker’s Haute Route map that clearly shows the trail (this is vital if you’re travelling solo), a compass, and safety gear. Never hike alone, be in the company of other hikers, and be aware of warning signs for rocks that might fall or narrow pathways on the trail.
Feeding and Accommodation for Your Haute Route Hiking
Walkers Haute Route accommodations are positioned at critical locations along the route. These accommodation options primarily provide food for their guests. Here is a description of the types of lodging available for solo travellers and those who plan on taking the trek with family or groups:
- Camping: Camping is the most affordable choice for hikers on a tight budget. You may camp out in the open and appreciate your surroundings.
- Mountain huts: Although these traditional huts are simple, they are a terrific spot to connect with other hikers and take part in the trail’s atmosphere.
- B&Bs: Bed and breakfasts are a step up from huts and may be found along the route.
- Hotels: There are plenty of hotels in every price range for people who want a bit of additional comfort.
We advise booking your lodging in advance for the best Walker’s Haute Route walking experience. This is because the nicest spots often fill up quickly during the popular hiking season.
How Much Would it Cost to Hike the Walker’s Haute Route?
The Haute Route may be completed on a tight budget. It all boils down to where you stay, what you eat, and whether you travel in a guided group.
Guided tours may be expensive and include meals and lodging. It’s easy to keep prices low if you trek alone. Travelling solo is less costly than family but less fun. Having family and friends around makes the experience wholesome. Travel throughout the week to significantly reduce costs. Trips to the Alps in the middle of the week can cut prices in half!
Preparing for the Haute Route Hike
While this is obtainable with any hiking journey, people tend to ask, “how difficult is the Haute route?” This journey is challenging; we won’t lie to you about that. But it doesn’t imply you need to be an expert hiker to finish it. This walk will be excellent for someone with previous hiking experience.
You’ll walk for six to eight hours each day, including steep inclines for two weeks. Start preparing early with lengthy hiking, running, gym time, and climbing.
Packing for the Walker’s Haute Route Hike
Your luggage may be carried for you on some guided Walker’s Haute Route Hiking trips. You’ll need to bring your gear if you’re camping or trekking in the Alps without a guide; this is why it’s crucial to travel light.
Here are some essential and fundamental things to pack for the journey;
- Sturdy hiking boots plus a daypack
- layered clothes
- Additional underwear and hiking socks
- PJs and casual evening attire
- A bottle of water
- Sun shades and sup protection lotions
- Hiking sticks (optional)
- A Headlamp
- Portable towel
- First aid kit and toiletries
- Sleeping packs
- Mobile device and a camera
- A Journal
- Navigational aids like a compass and maps
Always remember that for these kinds of journeys, less is more!
The Alpine Haute Route Hike Itinerary
Carefully read our walker’s Haute route itinerary and see the timeline and path your Walker’s Haute route trekking exercise will take for each day of the entire duration.
- Arrival in Chamonix – The French town of Chamonix is situated in the Haute-Savoie area, which borders the Italian Massif of Mont Blanc and the Swiss Monte Pass. Take the day to explore and get ready for your climb.
- Hike from Argentière to Trient – Before beginning your journey in the bowels of the Trient Valley, ascend Col de Balme near the Swiss border for stunning views of the Mont Blanc.
- Trient-Champex – To access lush alpine meadows and woodlands, go across the Fenêtre d’Arpette amid freezing glaciers.
- Champex to Le Châble – You must pass through Swiss agricultural communities to get to Le Châble.
- Le Châble to Cabane du Mont Fort – To get to your overnight accommodation, hike up through towns and woodlands.
- Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane Prafleuri – The difficult day is worth the stress for the breathtaking panoramic vistas. As you pass the Col de Louvie, you can see the majestic Grand Massif.
- Cabane Prafleuri to Arolla – Before plunging into Arolla, you will travel across two mountainous terrains amidst some of the tallest mountains in the Alps.
- Arolla to La Sage – This walk segment is more leisurely since it passes a gorgeous blue lake, tiny medieval towns, and forested areas.
- La Sage to Cabane de Moiry – You cannot miss the spectacle of Moiry icefall from the Cabane de Moiry.
- Cabane de Moiry to Zinal – After passing over mountain meadows above azure lakes, descend quickly to Zinal.
- Zinal to Gruben – Pass through woodlands and alpine meadows to get to the Gruben Hamlet.
- Gruben to Europahutte – After ascending the steep Augstbordpass, proceed to Europpahutte for the night. The Europaweg stage is well-known for its tremendous incline.
- Europahutte to Zermatt – For fantastic views of the Matterhorn, choose a high mountain trail. Your final stop is Zermatt. Cross the longest suspended bridge on the planet to get there!
With all the information in this article, you can prepare for a Walker’s Haute Route hike, knowing you’re well armed for the journey. In all things, always make sure you plan early so that the entire trip can be fruitful and hassle-free.