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The Walker's Haute Route

The Walker's Haute Route

Excerpt:
Route options


Table of Contents | Introduction | When to go | Route options | Swiss food and drink | Sample route guide


You will need a full two weeks to complete the whole Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt.

Once you've reached the end, you can reward yourself with some time in Zermatt to explore the head of the Mattertal (valley) or tackle the fantastic one-day walks that are accessible from the town.

The Walker's Haute Route follows a fairly standard itinerary, traversing the ridges and valleys of the Western Alps in day-sized chunks. In total it takes 13 days to complete the entire trek, stopping at the towns and mountain huts outlined below:

Day
1 Chamonix to Trient
2 Trient to Champex
3 Champex to Le Ch�ble
4 Le Ch�ble to Cabane du Mont Fort
5 Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane du Prafleuri
6 Cabane du Prafleuri to Arolla
7 Arolla to La Sage
8 La Sage to Cabane du Moiry
9 Cabane du Moiry to Zinal
10 Zinal to Gruben
11 Gruben to St Niklaus
12 St Niklaus to the Europah�tte
13 Europah�tte to Zermatt

Within this structure there are several options, usually designed to circumvent high passes or track sections that are likely to become difficult during bad weather.

Thus there is an alternative route from Trient to Champex, from Cabane du Prafleuri to Arolla, La Sage to the Barrage du Moiry (rather than the Cabane du Moiry), and Zinal to Gruben.

Should you be lucky enough to have excellent weather all the way round and the time to enjoy it, there are also options to extend the trek or stay additional nights in the mountains at places such as H�tel Weisshorn or huts such as Cabane des Dix.

With less time, it's possible to shorten some sections by catching buses between towns. If you have the time though, do try to trek the entire route.

Equally, if you want to walk the entire way but are short of time, you can shave a day off the trek's end by avoiding the Europaweg and the overnight stop at Europah�tte and instead walk from St Niklaus along the valley floor to Zermatt.

It is of course possible to pick up the route at any point along its length, as long as there's public transport to the town.

Champex (bus links with Orsi�res and Martigny), Le Ch�ble (bus and train links to Martigny, Orsi�res and Sembrancher), Arolla (bus links to Les Haud�res and Evol�ne) and Zinal (bus links to St Luc and Sierre) are all straightforward to access by bus or train.

Equally, St Niklaus (bus and train links to Visp) is simple to reach if you just want to walk the final sections to Zermatt.

The Walker's Haute Route

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