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13-Day Full Summer Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt)

13 days

13-Day Full Summer Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt)
from $2795 USD

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Enjoy this prestigious tour from one legendary peak to another, Mont-Blanc and the Matterhorn. This "green" moderate version of the glacier high route between Chamonix and Zermatt leads through forests and alpine pastures to the high passes linking the range's characteristic and authentic mountain valleys. With one spectacular vista after another, savor this serene approach to one of the most sought after journeys through the Alps.

There is an average of 6 hours of hiking per day on well-marked trails or off trail, and/or 700 to 1000 meters of vertical gain, and/or distances of 15 to 18 kilometers.

This trek is best July - September.

Luggage transfers included for 8 of 12 nights. The price is for 3-star hotels and mountain huts, but upgraded hotels are also possible.

Geneva is the closest international airport.

Full Itinerary DETAILED ITINERARY >> ITINERARY IN BRIEF >>

Day 1: Arrive in Chamonix

Arrive in Chamonix (on your own), check into your hotel where you will receive our travel pack with all of the information you need for the 13-day traverse.

Meals included: n/a
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel in Chamonix

Day 2: Chamonix - Col de Balme Pass - Trient (BD)

Distance : 13.5 km (8.5 mi.) - Ascent : 900 m. Descent : 1050 m. Hiking : 6 hrs.

From Chamonix, take a local bus to Tré-Le-Champ (1416m). Hike up the flanks of beautiful Posettes Ridge, a spectacular way to start your trip, on an ascent positioned between the gneiss spires of the Aiguilles Rouges and the glacier covered (and scoured) terrain of the Mt. Blanc Range. Make the quick descent to Col des Posettes Pass, followed by a short ascent to Col de Balme Pass (2199m) and the French-Swiss border. Looking west towards Chamonix, the views of the entire valley are simply breathtaking (an understatement). From the pass, head off the very beaten Tour du Mont Blanc path, down the less traveled Catogne trail. Hike past Croix de Fer's summit, through Tseppes where the trail heads into the forest, and then down into the quaint Swiss village of Trient (1326m).

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 3: Trient - Bovine (Fenetre D'Arpette optional) - Champex (BD)

Distance : 15.5 km (9.5 mi.) - Ascent : From 900 to 1350 m. Descent : From 750 to 1250 m. Hiking : from 5 to 8 hrs.

On today's hike, you have two options for hiking to Champex based on how you feel and the weather.

The classic, more "pastoral" Tour du Mont-Blanc trail via Col de la Forclaz Pass takes you through the forests and alpine meadows past Bovine (1990m). Finish the day walking along a scenic mountain road that leads through small hamlets and typical Swiss chalets all the way to Champex.

Or enjoy the more strenuous alpine hike up and over Fenêtre d'Arpette, an amazing high-mountain notch that offers safe passage from one side of the granite-spire ridgeline to the other and a worthy objective for the experienced hiker. From Trient, hike to and follow "Bisse" creek and then start your ascent up the steep, narrow, and sometimes exposed trail to Fenêtre d'Arpette notch (2665m). This hike should only be attempted in dry weather when the notch is clear of snow. From your high perch, descend through scree and then the lush green alpine meadows of Arpette Valley on your way to Champex

  • Bovine route: Vertical gain: 900 m. Vertical drop: 750 m. Hiking time: 5 hrs.
  • Fenêtre d'Arpettr route: Vertical gain: 1400 m. Vertical drop: 1200 m. Hiking time: 6 hrs 30 min.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 4: Champex - Col de Mille Pass - Cabane Brunet (BD)

Distance : 15 km (9.5 mi.) - Ascent : 1050 m. Descent : 400 m. Hiking : 5 hrs.

From Champex, take a local bus to Orsières and then Chadonne (1454 m), where the day's hike begins. Start by climbing to Col de Mille Pass (2471 m) to the foot of Mt. Brulé. Enjoy views of the world-renowned Swiss ski resort, Verbier. Take the leisurely descent into Bagnes Valley (Val de Bagnes), contouring along the mountainside until you reach Brunet Hut (2103m).

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 5: Brunet Hut - Fionnay - La Louvie Hut (BD)

Distance : 10.5 km (6.5 mi.) - Ascent : 900 m. Descent : 800 m. Hiking : 5 hrs.

Just this once, your day starts by hiking downhill. When you reach the bottom of Val de Bagnes, hike 2km towards the upper end of the valley and through several hamlets until you reach Fionnay. From there, hike up the west-facing slopes above the village along a trail takes you on a steep, direct, and of course picturesque path to the Louvie Hut (2230m), located along a beautiful lake of the same name.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 6: La Louvie Hut - La Lourvie Pass - Prafleuri Pass - Cabanne de Prafleuri Hut (BD)

Distance : 11 km (7 mi.) - Ascent : 1000 m. Descent : 550 m. Hiking : 6 hrs.

Enjoy a rarely traveled section of trail through the mineral topography of the high-alpine environment. Near the foot of the glaciers descending from the summit of Rosablanche Peak (3336m), cross Col de Louvie Pass (2921m) and Col de Prafleuri Pass (2987m). The legendary trek between the two capitals of the Alps more than lives up to its reputation on this particular day. Hike downhill to Prafleuri Hut (2624m).

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 7: Prafleuri Hut - Roux Pass - Riedmatten Pass - Arolla (BD)

Distance : 16.5km (10.5 mi.) - Ascent : 750 m. Descent : 1350 m. Hiking : 7 hrs.

Get an early morning start for the day's first ascent to Col des Roux Pass (2804m). Hike along a balcony trail above Lake Dix to reach the foot of the next ascent, this time to Col de Riedmatten Pass (2919m). Once over the pass, hike down to Arolla (2067m), a picturesque village with typical flower-decorated Swiss chalets, located in the spectacular Herens Valley.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 8: Arolla - Les Hauderes - Col Torrent Pass - Moiry Lake - Zinal (BD)

Distance : From 11.5 km to 23 km (7 to 14 mi.) - Ascent : 1200 m. Descent : 700 m. Hiking : 5.5 hrs.

Transfer to Les Haudères. From Villa (1730m), hike through the flower-covered alpine meadows to Col de Torrent Pass (2918m), past Lake Autannes, and then all the way to Lake Moiry (2250m). You have the option of continuing on foot via Corne de Sorebois or simply transferring by bus from Moiry dam to your accommodations in Zinal (1675m).

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 9: Zinal - Col de la Forcletta Pass - Turtmanntal - Gruben (BD)

Distance : 19 km (12 mi.) - Ascent : 1200 m. Descent : 1050 m. Hiking : 7 hrs.

Take your leave of Anniviers Valley (Val d'Anniviers) on your hike towards the Forcletta ridgeline and Col de la Forcletta Pass (2894m). This vantage point is located high above Turtmanntal's pastures and Gruben Valley (1822m), and is located down valley from the Turtmann and Brunegghorn glaciers, offering views of a few of the area's many spectacular 4000-meter peaks.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 10: Gruben - Augstborg Pass - Jungu - S. Niklaus (BD)

Distance : 15 km (9.5 mi.) - Ascent : 1150 m. Descent : 900 m. Hiking : 5 hrs.

Start by hiking to the mountainside chalets above Grübou. Augstbord Pass (2894m), an easy pass and high perch, is the trip's last section at altitude. Further downhill, take the aerial tram from Jungu to St. Niklaus, the first village as you enter the valley that leads to Zermatt.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 11: St. Niklaus - Europahutte (BD)

Distance : 21 km (13 mi.) - Ascent : 1350 m. Descent : 350 m. Hiking : 6 hrs.

You will spend the last 2 days of your trip in the same valley, with several of Switzlerland's highest peaks towering above as you make your way to Zermatt. Start the day's hike in Herbriggen (1250m). The trail makes a steep ascent beneath a few of the area's legendary 4000-meter peaks. The 1300-meter climb takes you to the Europaweg (aka "Europa Trail"). Once on this trail, traverse below the high summits, contouring south all the way to the Europahütte (2264m), the last rustic accommodations of your trip.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mountain Hut / Hiker's Guest House

Day 12: Europahutte - Zermatt (BD)

Distance : 17 km (10.5 mi.) - Ascent : 1050 m. Descent : 1850 m. Hiking : 6 hrs.

On the final hike to Zermatt, spend the day hiking along the Europaweg, with the Matterhorn as your constant companion. Start your hike by crossing the world's longest suspension footbridge (494-meter span). Once across the bridge, the trail continues over a series of short climbs and descents as it contours along the mountainside. At a trail junction just above Täsch, you have the option descending to the village and taking the train to Zermatt. Otherwise, if you are motivated to continue on foot all the way to your final destination, stay on the Euroweg via Täschalp and then Tuftra. From there enjoy an easy descent to Zermatt, the capital of the Swiss Alps.

Meals included: Breakfast
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel in Zermatt

Day 13: Zermatt - Zmutt - Zermatt - Depart (B)

Distance : 9 km (5.5 mi.) - Ascent : 450 m. Descent : 450 m. Hiking : 3.5 hrs.

Hike to the hamlet of Zmutt, with its picturesque chalets at the foot of the Matterhorn. Return to Zermatt via a series of balcony trails. The trip ends in Zermatt in the afternoon.

There are many options for excursions in Zermatt. Please feel free to ask for recommendations. We can also help with transfers back to the airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Pricing

13-Day Full Summer Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt)

Prices are Per Person and Valid for Trips through December 31, 2021

# People in Group: 2+
13-Day Haute Route (3-Star Hotels + Mountain Huts): $2795
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Accommodations as described for 12 nights (3-star hotels + mountain huts)
  • Meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 dinners
  • Baggage transfers (not available for days 4, 5, 6 and 12)
  • The detailed trekking book, maps, and reservation vouchers
  • Emergency hotline 24/7
  • Access to the mobile phone application (including GPS guidance)
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Upgrade to 4-star hotels where possible (approximately $700/person)
  • Private guide
  • Transportation to the meeting point at the start of the trip and from the point where the trip officially ends
  • Dinner on Day 1 in Chamonix and Day 12 in Zermatt
  • Picnic lunches (about CHF10-CHF15 per lunch depending on the location)
  • Showers in some huts that charge a fee
  • Public transportation and chairlifts during the tour:
    • Day 2: local bus from Chamonix to Tré-le-Champs: free
    • Day 4: local bus from Champex to Chadonne: CHF 10
    • Day 8: local bus from Arolla to Les Haudères: CHF 4
    • Day 8: optional local bus from Lake Moiry to Zinal: CHF 8.
    • Day 10: Jungu aerial tram: CHF 12.
    • Day 11: train from Saint Niklaus to Herbriggen: CHF 4,5

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