Haute Route Q&A

Haute Route

How long does the Walker’s Haute Route take?

The Walker’s Haute Route takes most people between 9 and 14 days. Of course, it’s possible to do it much faster but that would require running at least some of the route. The classic Haute Route itinerary that most hikers follow takes two weeks and travels 125 miles from Chamonix in the East to Zermatt in the West.

Haute Route

How far do I need to hike each day?

A typical day on the Haute Route is 9 miles of hiking with around 3280 feet of ascent and descent. This will take a fit hiker seven hours without any rest. Some of the longer stages include as much as 6135 feet of ascent over 11 miles which would take nine hours.

Is the Haute Route difficult?

When compared to other classic long-distance hikes in the Alps, such as the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Haute Route is more technically difficult. The individual stages of the Haute Route are longer and the ascent and descent each day is greater. The terrain is also more difficult under foot with a long ladder section at the Pas de Chevre. Navigation is also difficult, particularly between the Louvie and Prafleuri Hut. If you aren’t an experienced hiker with good navigation, then it is definitely worth considering a guided Haute Route trek.

Can I make the Route shorter?

By using public transport, it is possible to skip out sections of the Haute Route. For example, it’s very easy to take a bus from Chamonix to the Col de Montets and walk a short distance to Trélechamp which misses the first day of the tour.

Some stages are much more difficult to miss out, particularly from Cabane de Louvie to the Cabane de Prafleuri. Unfortunately, this is also the stage that is the most technical and difficult to navigate in bad weather. If in doubt, call refuges ahead of time to check on trail conditions.

Guided or Self-Guided Haute Route?

Alpenwild runs both self-guided and guided Haute Route treks. Our self-guided trips include meals, all hotel bookings and baggage transfers, leaving you to enjoy your break. Our guided trips also include two professional hiking guides who will lead the way and share their knowledge of the local culture and nature.

Haute Route Trail Marker
Haute Route Trail Marker.

We offer two itineraries for our Haute Route trips

Deluxe Haute Route: Shorter version of the Haute Route which misses out the back-country stage where staying in mountain huts is obligatory. It also includes a rest day in a spa hotel in the village of Saint Luc. This is perfect for hikers with less time, or who want a bit more luxury on their vacation.

Guided Haute Route: A more physically demanding version of the Deluxe Haute Route. It includes the back-country section of the Haute Route where we stay in mountain huts for two nights. The rest of the time we stay in luxury hotel accommodations.

Jennifer Stretton

About Jennifer Stretton

Jen grew up about as far from the mountains and nature as you can get—in Birmingham, UK. When she first visited the Alps on a university climbing trip, she immediately fell in love with the place. After graduating with a degree in Geography, Jennifer spent the next few years travelling the world, volunteering with conservation charities and freelance marketing to fund her adventures. In 2015 she settled full time in the Chamonix Valley and began training to become an international mountain leader. An avid climber and environmentalist, Jen’s passion for the mountains and the natural world is contagious. When she’s not guiding, Jennifer spends her free time climbing, skiing, travelling and trying to keep up with her dog on trail runs. Sociable, caring and always smiling, Jen is the perfect guide to keep you laughing and motivated on your journey. She looks forward to meeting you next summer!

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