Testimonials

It was such a great experience from the moment we opened the Alpenwild website to the final goodbyes in Zermatt. Our guides were a fun, knowledgeable, energetic, all around fantastic team! The trek itself was completely as advertised and the assortment of accommodations made for a perfect overall experience. - D.A., Salt Lake City, UT

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Chamonix

Arrive in the beautiful Chamonix Valley and enjoy an afternoon excursion to the Aiguille du Midi (or similar mountain excursion) on the world's highest vertical ascent cable car. Group orientation and dinner. (D)

Ascent: 200 feet | Descent: 200 feet | Distance: 2 miles

Day 2 – Trient to Champex

Our first day on the trail instantly captures the sweeping views, forests, and alpine meadows which you'll find throughout the Haute Route. We ascend Alp Bovine for commanding views up the Rhone Valley. We enjoy a picnic lunch beside a stream cascading from the eastern flanks of the Mont Blanc range. Evening at our lakeside hotel in Champex-Lac. (BSD)

Ascent: 2500 feet |    Descent: 2300 feet |    Distance: 8.5 miles

Day 3 – Champex to Verbier

A gentle descent through valley farms, orchards, vineyards and traditional Swiss farming villages before arriving at the exclusive alpine resort of Verbier on the sunny eastern side of Mont Blanc. (BSD)

Ascent: 350 feet | Descent: 2457 feet | Distance: 8 miles

Day 4 – Verbier to Cabane de Louvie

Today’s route ascends steeply above the Val de Bagnes along the Sentier des Chamois with commanding views of the Bagnes valley below. You’ll arrive at the Cabane de Louvie on the shore of the beautiful Lac de Louvie with dramatic views of the Grand Combin. Excellent wildlife viewing is expected. (BSD)

Ascent: 2100 feet    | Descent: 1970 feet | Distance: 6 miles

Day 5 – Cabane de Louvie to Cabane de Prafleuri

Today the terrain becomes rugged and we cross two challenging passes, Louvie and Prafleuri, the highest pass on the Hiker's Haute Route. You’ll dip into a rocky glacial section and ford a runoff stream—a perfect setting to study glacial retreat. This evening we stay at the lively Cabane de Prafleuri. (BSD)

Ascent: 3609 feet | Descent: 2247 feet | Distance: 10 miles

Day 6 – Cabane de Prafleuri to Arolla

After cresting a small pass, where edelweiss flowers dot the rocky slopes, you’ll follow the lakeshore of the Lac de Dix. Heading down to the Grand Dixence dam, a private shuttle will speed your ascent to La Gouille. Hike up to an enchanting glacial lake, Lac Bleu, colored a vivid blue by the combined effects of algae and clays. Finally, arriving in Arolla, one of the most charming alpine villages along the route and a popular base for day hikes in the Swiss Alps. (BSD)

Ascent: 2082 feet | Descent: 2139 feet | Distance: 6 miles

Day 7 – Arolla to Grimentz

You'll enjoy a gradual and relaxing ascent over the Col de Torrent. We start at Mayens de Cotter, a May pasture just above treeline. The views are spectacular. Snowcapped peaks like Dent Blanche (14,380) are nearby as you descend into meadows of wildflowers before arriving at Lac de Moiry. You’ll stay in the ancient village of Grimentz one of the most picturesque and historic villages in the Alps and a favorite of hikers on the Haute Route, where you’ll stroll the cobblestone paths and visit the mill on the Marais. (BSD)

Ascent: 2800 feet | Descent: 2198 feet | Distance: 6 miles

Day 8 – Grimentz to St-Luc

A forest ascent leads above treeline to offer views of the Val d'Anniviers and then a crown of four 4,000-meter peaks, including the Matterhorn. We'll either enjoy lunch at the picturesque Hotel Weisshorn or a wonderful picnic lunch, perched high above the valley floor. We will spend the evening in St-Luc at the exquisite Hotel Bella Tola. (BSD)

Ascent: 2378 feet | Descent: 2236 feet | Distance: 9 miles

Day 9 – St-Luc to Gruben

A funicular speeds our ascent to a point above the treeline. As we pass the Lac de l'Armina and ascend the Meidpass where we leave the French-speaking region of Valais and enter the German-speaking Turtmanntal. Hiking along sparkling mountain streams you arrive in the quiet seasonal hamlet of Gruben where you’ll spend the evening. (BSD)

Note: You will spend this evening in a 1-star hotel. You will have a private room, but shared bathrooms. 

Ascent: 1981 feet | Descent 3175 feet | Distance: 8 miles 

Day 10 – Gruben to Zermatt

Crossing the final pass of the trip, the legendary Augstbordpass, you’ll have sweeping views of Dom, the highest peak entirely within Switzerland, Weisshorn, and the curves of the Aletschgletscher. As you descend into Jungen, an exciting gondola ride takes you to the valley floor, where the train to Zermatt awaits. (BSD)

Ascent: 3517 feet | Descent: 3079 feet | Distance: 8 miles

Day 11 – Zermatt

After completing the Haute Route, you'll enjoy a rest, but you won't want to miss a chance at some of the best dayhikes Zermatt has to offer including walks to quaint villages like Zmutt and Findeln, or panoramic hikes along the Höhbalmen overlooking the north face of the Matterhorn. (BSD)

Ascent: ~1900 feet | Descent: ~1900 feet | Distance: ~6 miles

Day 12 – Zermatt to Geneva

We say goodbye and continue an onward journey or return to Geneva for homebound flights. (B)

Ascent: 700 feet | Descent: 1100 feet | Distance: 6 miles

Trip Videos

Haute Route

Activity Level

Alpenwild trips are designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this trip as strenuous. You should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. You should be capable of walking 6 to 9 hours per day on good, but occassionaly rugged trails with some steep ascents and descents (averaging 3,000 to 4,000 vertical feet per day) at an elevation up to 10,000 feet above sea level.  

  • Assume 2.5 miles/hour on the flat.

  • Assume 1200 feet of up per hour.

  • Assume 2000 feet of down per hour.

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