Guided Hiking Tours

France | Hiker’s Haute Route

Walk the famous "High Level Path" from Chamonix to Zermatt.

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  • Hiker's Haute Trek
  • Hiker's Haute
  • Aiguille Chardonnet and Verte
  • The Mer de Glace and Mont Blanc above Chamonix, France
  • hiker's haute trek
  • "Everything! I loved the daily physical challenge with the reward of incredible scenery and views- most especially because it was with a group that was very supportive and compatible. Our guides were wonderful and made the trip seamless and enjoyable for everyone. I loved that we had such an variety of terrain, sometimes all in one day! The hiking routes and places chosen to overnight were excellent and I liked the variety in them as well. The times that we were transported by vehicle were well thought out as well."- Brenda P.
  • "This was our 8th trek with RW, so clearly you are doing right by us and the friends we have referred over these past 10 years."- Andrew G.
  • "You are the best! Subtle, no branding, a quiet fluent presence, good rapport with the local hotels and support teams, and very helpful with any ancillary travel. Great guides, and all nice and low key, yet totally safe and perfectly planned. Makes it so easy for us overworked souls, just pick a trip and go!"- Margot G.
  • "The pace was wonderful. The simplicity and yet elegance of everywhere we stayed on the trip. Staying at St Luc was amazing though and welcome after multiple nights in the simpler options. Daniel is also really great at reading the group and giving you a boost when needed. The scenery was great and unmatched. Living under the Wasatch we are pretty spoiled, but they do not compare to the Alps!"- Liz Lockette

Trip Highlights:

  • Hike through the Pennine Alps, the highest mountains in Europe.
  • Sip wine beneath the Alps’ famous icons, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
  • Experience Valasian culture including fondue, chalets and tucked away villages.

The world famous Haute Route crosses the highest mountain range in Western Europe, the Pennine Alps, and links the Mont Blanc region in France with the rugged canton of Valais in southwestern Switzerland. Starting in the bustling alpine center of Chamonix, France, beneath the mighty massif of Europe’s highest summit, Mont Blanc (15,781 feet), the trail crosses eastward into Switzerland and finishes in the famous resort village of Zermatt, set beneath the soaring pyramidal flanks of the Matterhorn.

First walked in 1903, and dubbed the “High Level Route” by early explorers, the path from Chamonix to Zermatt connects two distinct cultural regions, the French and German speaking Alps. The Haute Route also passes beneath Europe’s highest glaciated mountains, Mont Blanc, the Grand Combin, Obergabelhorn, Weisshorn, Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn, and the Matterhorn, just to name a few. A network of trail systems connects sleepy little villages, with their lush pastures, blackened timber houses and slate roofs, while lonely mountain passes lead to a stunning world of glaciers, aguilles (rock needles), and sparkling tarns.

Despite the fame of Chamonix and Zermatt, the trails remain largely untraveled. Quiet mountain paths lead to rough, remote sections with superb vantage points, while ancient trade routes wander in the shade of Arolla pines and larches. Accommodations range from three and four-star inns, as well as two nights in simple hiker’s hotels offering south-facing decks and unforgettable views.

Trip Itinerary

Independently transfer to Chamonix. Overnight in a grand, old world hotel. Meet your group and guide(s) for dinner and drinks at 7 pm.

Enjoy a gentle introductory hike with spectacular views over the Mont Blanc range. Our hike along the Grand Balcon Sud offers some of the best photo opportunities of Mont Blanc, the Mer de Glace, and the Aiguilles, or rock needles, of the Chamonix Valley. Overnight in a three-star inn in Argentière.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1000/3500 ft.

Hike from Argentière to the village of Trient over the Aiguillette des Posettes, with spectacular views of the Aiguilles of Chamonix, its glaciers, and Mont Blanc. Overnight in a lively, but simple inn in Trient. Private rooms are subject to availability.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3000/3500 ft.

Enjoy awesome views of the Rhone Valley as we find our way through high alpine meadows. Descend through a gorgeous side valley to the lovely little resort village of Champex and our Swiss chalet.

Distance: 10.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3200/2500 ft.

Transfer to Verbier, ascend the Les Ruinettes cable car and enjoy a lovely and gentle walk to the beautifully situated Cabane du Mont Fort. Overnight in this well-appointed hut with a very good kitchen.

Distance: 4 miles. Elevation gain: 860 ft.

Hike through remote alpine terrain to the base of the Rosablanche (10,945 feet). Overnight at the Cabane Prafleuri, which sits at an impressive 8,734 feet.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3000/2340 ft.

A short trip up to the Col de Roux offers great views of the terrain to follow. Descend to the banks of the Lac Des Dix, where we follow a new trail to the Col Reidmatten, or Pas des Chevres. Climb to the Col and enjoy a relatively gentle descent into tiny Arolla.

Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500/4450 ft.

A spectacular hike lies ahead with views of Mont Collon, L’Evêque, the Pigne d’Arolla, and the Aiguilles Rouges. Descend to the little village of La Sage, with its blackened timber homes. Overnight in an antique hotel.

Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3300/3800 ft.

Descend to the head of the Val d’Anniviers and transfer to St. Luc. Overnight in a special country inn filled with antiques and old world charm.

Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 4500/2500 ft.

Enjoy views of the Aiguilles Rouges and the Dent d’Hérens, as well as the famous peaks above Zermatt: the Matterhorn, Obergavelhorn, Dent Blanche, and Weisshorn.

Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain: 3000/3200 ft.

Another pass lies along a medieval trading route with views of the Mischabel range separating Zermatt from Saas Fee and the peaks of the Oberland to the southeast. The descent ends in a tiny village perched high above the Mattertal and accessible only by cable car. A short bus transfer takes us to Zermatt and a lovely hotel.

Distance: 11.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 5000/4500 ft.

We recommend spending an additional day or two in Zermatt. Otherwise, enjoy one last delicious breakfast, then depart. The transfer from Zermatt to Geneva Airport takes about four hours by rail.

Hiker’s Haute Route | France

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