Alpine Hikers - Switzerland Haute Route Alpine Hikers - Haute Route hiking tour
Self-guided Hiker's Haute Route (Inn-to-inn hiking tour)
near Arolla in the middle of the Hiker's Haute Route
Length: 11 days, 10 nights
Hike Rating: Very strenuous
Dates:   July-September
Tour Cost:   $2690 per person
$400 single supplement
Luggage transfers:   optional (see below)

Swiss tour reservation

The Hiker's Haute Route consists of a spectacular series of trails linking Chamonix to Zermatt, marked by high, steep passes, quiet trails, and stunning mountain scenery. It's one of the world's classic hikes, with a wild beauty deserving of it's name. The Haute Route is also a very strenuous tour, with many high passes to cross and very few easy options for shorter days or bad weather. It's a commitment, but one that repays you with remote, rugged scenery. Our 11-day tour starts in Chamonix and finishes in Zermatt, while the 9 day options starts in Verbier, cutting off 2 days in the beginning of the tour but still covering the heart of the tour. There are many ways of breaking up this hike, and in our itinerary, we've linked the most spectacular sections of the Haute Route with some of our favorite huts and inns into a spectacular trip!

On our standard, 11-day Haute Route tour, you'll have 7 nights in hotels with private rooms, and 3 nights in mountain huts with shared accomodations. The 9-day version starting in Verbier, you'll have 5 nights in hotels with private rooms with the same 3 nights in mountain huts. Showers are available all nights.

Our standard self-guided Haute Route tours do not include luggage transport. Private luggage transfers are available between villages however. For 2 or more people, add $280/person for luggage transfers to all villages (you'll have it in Chamonix, Champex, Arolla, Zinal and Zermatt). Please ask if you're interested in adding luggage transfers to your tour.

The Matterhorn is our destination on the Hiker's Haute RouteOur typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at your inn - delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice - which gives you the energy needed for a full day of inn-to-inn hiking. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Most of the hotels and mountain inns will sell picnic lunches if they are ordered the night before. Reminders will be included in your route notes. Soon you'll be out on the trail for 7-9 hours, with detailed directions to get you to your next stop.

You should finish your hike around 4-5 pm, giving you time to wash up and relax followed by dinner at your inn. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring local French and Swiss specialties, and will definitely be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious.

Day 1 Arrive in Europe and transfer by train or airport shuttle to Chamonix, France, the stylish mountaineering village at the base of Mont Blanc. The trip is easy and very scenic. If you arrive early, you might consider a couple days on your own in Chamonix at the start of the trip. Dix, a favorite lunch stop along the Hiker's Haute Route Relax in the evening at our cozy village hotel. (Chamonix)
Day 2 On your first hiking day of the tour, cross the Col de Balme into Switzerland, with sweeping views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley. Finish the day at a small hiker's inn at Forclaz. Double rooms available, but not guaranteed for all dates. (Col de la Forclaz)
Day 3 An undulating trail leads through alpine pastures and pine forests, with sweeping views of the Rhone valley. Weather permitting, a more rigorous possibility leads up to the high pass of Fenetre d'Arpette, one of the highest points along the tour and along the Trient glacier. Finish at the pretty, lakeside village of Champex and stay in a comfortable hotel. (Champex)
Day 4 After a morning transfer by bus and train to Verbier, you'll hike high above the valley, through meadows filled with mountain goats to the lakeside Louvie hut, a small traditional alpine club hut high in the mountains. Spend the evening gazing upon the snowy white crown of the Grand Combin mountain across the valley. (Louvie hut)
Day 5 A rugged day brings you across 2 passes and through a remote, wild region filled with glaciers and rocky peaks known as the Grand Desert. Finish the day at the popular Prafleuri hut. Note, you will have reservations at Prafleuri, but will need to bring cash to pay for the night and meals at the hut when you arrive. (Prafleuri hut)
Day 6 The Haute Route continues past the Grand Dixence, a huge reservoir filled with turquise glacier water, and then up to Dix hut, spectacularly perched on a lonely rock outcrop and surrounded by glaciers and mountains. After lunch at the hut, continue with a short, easy glacier traverse, cross the steep Col du Riedmatten pass, and descend to the tiny village of Arolla and a comfortable village hotel. (Arolla)
Day 7 Another morning bus transfer brings you to la Sage, where a long, steep hike leads to the beautiful Val d'Anniviers and more stunning mountain scenery. Descend to the Moiry reservoir and then up to the newly renovated Moiry hut, a gorgeous base camp surrounded by a sea of ice. (Moiry hut) Grimentz is a beautiful village in the Anniviers valley along the Haute Route
Day 8 A slightly easier day leads you over a minor pass and gives you a chance to further explore the Val d'Anniviers, an unforgettable valley with a great blend of ancient villages, quiet trails, and breathtaking views. Descend to the village of Zinal, a postcard-perfect village of dark timbered houses bursting with colorful geraniums. (Zinal)
Day 9 Another day, another high pass, as your Haute Route itinerary continues over the Meidpass to the Turtmann valley. Capped by the stunning Weisshorn mountain, this is a quiet, wonderful valley with surprising views around every corner. We'll stay at a hiker's inn at the base of the valley. (Gruben)
Day 10 Your final pass brings us up to more grand views of the Weisshorn and Dom, two of Switzerland highest mountains, before dropping down to the valley where you catch a short train ride to Zermatt. Zermatt is a lively village, filled with energy and history, and dominated by the towering presence of the Matterhorn. It also retains its alpine charm, with quiet back alleys, scenic nearby hamlets, and classy shops. Check out the town, take a short walk around Zermatt, or enjoy the local Matterhorn museum or the spa, before settling in for dinner at your friendly village hotel. (Zermatt)
Day 11 After breakfast at your hotel, depart for your post-trip destination.


hiking near Forclaz along the Haute Route

Swiss tour reservation

Arrive: Plan to arrive the day your tour starts at the latest (flights from the US usually depart the day before). The closest airport is Geneva, but Zurich would be fine also.
Depart: Plan departure for the day after your tour ends at the earliest from either Geneva or Zurich. Plan on 1 night at a hotel in your departure city (we can help with this). The Swiss Card rail pass is useful for this tour, and is especially recommended if you have extra time in Switzerland planned before or after this tour.

Prefer a guided tour? Check out our guided Hiker's Haute Route, our shorter Haute Route Highlights, or similar Bernese Oberland Traverse tour, or ask about a private guided Haute Route tour.


Self-guided Haute Route tour, 9 day

Length: 9 days, 8 nights
Hike Rating: Very strenuous

On this express version of the Haute Route, we've dropped the first three nights in Chamonix, Col de la Forclaz and Champex, and start with a first night in Verbier. Your first hike, on day 2, would be up to Louvie hut, exactly as on day 4 of the 11-day tour, and continuing along the same itinerary to Zermatt. If you don't have time for the full 11-day tour, this 9-day tour is a great option for hiking the heart of the Haute Route. Luggage transfers can be added for 2 or more people for $200/person, and you would have your luggage in Verbier, Arolla, Zinal and Zermatt

Dates:   July-September
Tour Cost:  $2290 per person
$350 single supplement
Luggage transfers:   optional


Self-guided Haute Route Tour, details:

Our self-guided prices are per person, based on two people sharing a standard double room, and include:
11 day tour: 7 nights prepaid hotels with private room, 2 nights prepaid huts, 1 night hut reservations only (you will pay at Prafleuri hut upon arrival), 9 breakfasts, 8 dinners (dinner not included in Chamonix), 2nd class Swiss Transfer Ticket railpasses good for 2 free days of travel in a 30 day period, Geneva-Chamonix airport transfer, optional luggage transfers between villages.
9 day tour: 5 nights prepaid hotels and inns, 2 nights prepaid huts, 1 night hut reservations only (you will pay at Prafleuri hut upon arrival), 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners, 2nd class Swiss Transfer Ticket railpasses, optional luggage transfers between villages.

find the best tortes on a hiking break near Verbier along the Haute Route self-guided tour All self-guided tours include hiking maps, detailed route descriptions (including longer, shorter, and rainy day options), sightseeing suggestions, and lots of useful information to help ensure a successful trip. In the simpler inns, we book private rooms if at all possible, and dorms with waitlist for a room if they are not available. Col de la Forclaz and Hotels Schwarzhorn and Waldesruh in Gruben both have limited space in private rooms.

Not included are lunches, dinners in Chamonix, drinks with dinners, extras (such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc), the cost of the night or meals at Prafleuri hut (about CHF 80-100 per person), luggage transfers (if not added at additional cost), or transportation outside the itinerary.

If you'd like to lengthen or shorten your self-guided Haute Route Tour, add destinations, or create a customized tour from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience all over the Alps, and will be happy to work with you to build the hiking vacation that best suits your needs.

Learn more about custom and self-guided tours


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