Haute Route Trek Guided 11 Days
The Haute Route trek is one of the world’s great multi-day treks. The route links two world famous alpine mountains, Mont Blanc in France and the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
July - September
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TREK FROM MONT BLANC TO THE MATTERHORN
The Haute Route trek is one of the world’s great multi-day treks and is possible only in July, August and early September each year. The route links two renowned alpine mountaineering centres, Chamonix in France, home to Mont Blanc and Zermatt in Switzerland, home to the Matterhorn. The trail passes through breathtaking alpine scenery and you will enjoy stunning mountain panoramas every step of the journey.
Spectacular views are standard on this trek and it is a great challenge for trekkers to experience the High Alps and its glaciers. The summer haute route trek is for hill walkers and trekkers keen to get stuck in to the the mountains, travel through some picturesque valleys and go over some high alpine passes.
The route follows a network of well-marked and signposted trails that stays below 3000m and takes advantage of the popular mountain huts and small inns and hotels in the charming villages along the way. In the summer the route is non-technical and while being a challenging experience because of its daily elevation gains and distances, it is achievable by any hiker in very good physical condition.
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE
WHO IS THIS FOR?
The summer haute route trek is recommended for hill walkers and trekkers with a very good level of fitness who are keen to get stuck in to the mountains and experience one of the world's great treks. You should be capable of carrying a rucksack (~10kg) for 6-8 hours a day for 11 days in a row. You will be crossing high passes on most of the days and traversing valleys with sometimes uneven hiking terrain.
Not sure whether you're ready? No sweat! Get in touch and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.
July - September
You have a fair amount of experience climbing, hiking or skiing more technical terrain. You’re comfortable on sustained adventures and you call yourself a ‘hardened’ adventurer. You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it there' attitude.
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Trekking in the Alps - People00:13
Trekking in the Alps - Trails00:13
Trekking in the Alps - Glaciers00:18
Kit & equipment required for this adventure
Please note this is a guide only and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary. You can pre-book luggage drop offs if you would like your main luggage back to be delivered to your accommodation each night (excluding mountain huts). One luggage transfer from Chamonix to Zermatt is included as part of your package.
For the full downloadable Haute Route Trek kit list please click here.
Mountaineering-specific 35-40L backpack
Sturdy hiking boots
Solid hiking boots ideally B1 rated
Side-leg zippers are helpful
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
Something light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Keep them light and thin.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
Good walking socks are required
Good to have for approaches to the mountain huts especially in warmer temperatures
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Foldable or telescopic poles are best
Rated to -15 °C comfort temperature
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
ID and documents
Passport / Driver's license, Visa, Insurance
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
Midweight thermal underwear bottoms
Bandana / Buff
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Highly recommended for the mountain huts
"I’d recommend Adventure Base 100%. I want to be an Adventure Base guide!"
"The route was stunning and the guides were great. Logistics were really seamless which makes a huge difference. All this contributes to a stunning experience for the participants."
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
The trek starts from the Chamonix Valley and ends in Zermatt, Switzerland. If you would like to book post trek accommodation in Zermatt with us please let us know well in advance.
- 11 nights accommodation
- 11 Breakfasts
- 11 Dinners
- Accommodation in Chamonix the night before the trek
- Fully qualified trekking guide
- Luggage transferred from Chamonix to Zermatt
- All planning and logistics
What's not Included?
- Airport transfers (request in advance)
- Personal drinks, snacks and lunches
- Post trek accommodation (pre-book with us in advance)
- Luggage transfers between stops (pre-book with us in advance)
- Any uplifts or deviations from the route
This Trip is running on the following dates
july 20241 Date
Sun 14 Jul, 2024
Thu 25 Jul, 2024
7 spots available
august 20241 Date
Sun 11 Aug, 2024
Thu 22 Aug, 2024
8 spots available
september 20241 Date
Sun 01 Sep, 2024
Thu 12 Sep, 2024
10 spots available
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ACCOMMODATION
We know the importance of having comfortable accommodation on this trip. After a long day of trekking it's vital to have a comfortable bed and good food to enjoy. We've handpicked hotels and mountain refuges along the way that we're sure you're going to love.
- + 2
Hotels and Auberges
During this trek you will typically spend 5 nights in hotels, 2 nights in auberges, and 3 nights in refuges. All of the accommodation is chosen with comfort in mind as well as practicability for you to complete the trek as best as possible.
Twin / triple / quad / dorm rooms
- + 6
During this trek you will typically spend 3 nights in mountain huts, all of which are beautifully located up in the mountains. The mountain huts are run by full time staff who cook, clean and manage guests during the summer months. Blankets or duvets are provided.
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
Whilst you will try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible to help you make any changes necessary.
Arrive in Chamonix
Arrive in Chamonix, France and check in to the accommodation we've provided. You will meet with your guide in the evening to discuss the itinerary and plan ahead with the other group members. You will have the opportunity to check any last minute kit items and we will run though a final packing list based on the current weather and conditions. Dinner is provided at the hotel on a set menu basis.
Chamonix to Trient
Leaving Chamonix behind on the Mont Blanc Express train, we ride up the valley to Montroc on a beautiful 20 minute journey. We then begin the hike by ascending to the Aiguillette des Posettes which provides stunning panoramic views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix valley. After descending a little to the Col des Posettes we traverse along the Le Tour ski area and head over the Col de Balme and down to Trient, having officially crossed over into Switzerland at the Col de Balme. There is a lovely refuge on the Col de Balme which makes a great lunch or coffee and cake stop, or both!
14km / 1058m up / 1157m down / 5-6 hours trekking
Trient to Champex
The trek begins with a short but steep climb up to the Col de la Forclaz, famous for being on the Tour de France. From here we steadily climb the ‘Bovine Trail’ to the traditional summer retreat of the ‘Alpage’ which makes a great lunch, coffee or cake stop. Next up is a descent through the gorge to a rustic cafe at Plan de L’Au and a final descent down to the lakeside town of Champex-le-lac.
14.7km / 980m up / 813m down / 4-5 hours trekking
Champex to Cabane Mont Fort
Today is more of a relaxed day as you wonder down through the forests to Sembrancher. Onwards along the river towards Le Chable and then up to Verbier by cable car. From Verbier we have the choice either to take another cable up to Les Ruinettes or hike up along the trails. A little further and we arrive at Cabane du Mont Fort, a wonderfully located mountain hut with views spreading out across the Swiss / French peaks.
21km / 1213m up / 934m down / 7-8 hours trekking
Cabane Mont Fort to Cabane Prafleuri
The Col de Prafleuri is the main goal for today, taking us to 2987m. Not too far down below is the Cabane de Prafleuri (2624m), where we spend another peaceful evening in the mountains. Staying up at high altitude provides us the best chance to see families of ibex ('bouquetins' in French) grazing. The mountain hut is once again beautifully located and will provide a warm, heart evening meal before you slip of to bed tired and content.
11km / 1013m up / 819m down / 4-5 hours trekking
Cabane Prafleuri - Arolla
Today once again starts with a climb to gain the the next col, the Col de Roux. We will be rewarded with views of the Pigne D’Arolla and Mont Blanc de Cheilon, before descending gently to follow the lake to its end, usually passing a few whistling marmots on our way. An exciting part of the trek is up next, with a steep ascent to the Col de Riedmatten or the ‘Pas de Chevre’ (translating to Goats’ Path) and its brand new ladders, which having been replaced in 2015, make for a much easier crossing than in previous years. The rest of the day is all downhill to the alpine village of Arolla.
17km / 753m up / 1375m down / 5-6 hours trekking
Arolla - La Sage
Today is a shorter day to allow you to rest your legs from the previous challenges. We head up to the beautiful Lac Bleu above Arolla, before wondering down the valley through the forest to Les Hauderes. From here its a short climb up to La Sage where you roll into the hotel for the night.
11km / 463m up / 849m down / 4-5 hours trekking
La Sage to Zinal
This day involves crossing two high cols so we will start nice and early and ascend to the Col de Torrent at 2912m. The subsequent descent takes us to the green waters of the Lac de Moiry, where there is a café at the dam (hurrah!). Now you can see some of the giant peaks of the Pennine Alps, including the magnificent Dent Blanche (aptly named white-tooth). The demanding Col de Sorebois is up next – slightly shorter than the Col de Torrent so it shouldn’t present any difficulties but not to be underestimated so we will give ourselves plenty of time. From the high point we are rewarded with fabulous vistas across to the Weisshorn, the Dent Blanche and the Zinalrothorn before descending to Zinal. There is usually a cable car option to take ride down to Zinal from the mid-station, during peak dates which saves us 700m of descent.
21km / 1876m up / 1890m down / 8-9 hours trekking
Zinal to Gruben
With just one col on the itinerary today we can relax on the gentle ascent and look out for nutcracker birds which are found in these woods. Upon gaining the summer alpine meadows we traverse the mountainside on a nice undulating trail until reaching the junction of the path for two Cols; the Col de la Forcletta (2874m) and the Meidpass (2790m). Normally, we will take the Forcletta as it offers great views of the glaciers and peaks of the Turtmann valley as well as being a little more direct; however the decision lies with the guide on the day and depends on conditions. We usually arrive at the col around lunchtime just in time for a welcome picnic. On the descent to Gruben there is often an opportunity to see the increasingly rare edelweiss flower.
17km / 1267m up / 1106m down / 6-7 hours trekking
Gruben to Grachen
Today we take on your final high pass, the Augstbordpass at 2894m. Behind the pass is a descent into a bowl where we follow a rocky trail which clings to the mountainside. We will stop at the Twära viewpoint for a magnificent view into the Mattertal (although the Matterhorn mountain remains elusive until we reach Zermatt!). We then begin the descent to the pretty hamlet of Jungu, followed by a final steep section to the town of St. Niklaus. There is an option to save your knees and take the “characterful” cable car down from Jungu which eliminates the final 1000 metres of descent. From St Niklaus we take a short bus ride up to Grachen where you'll find a quiet, charming village overlooking the Weisshorn on the other side of the valley.
17km / 1124m up / 1821m down / 7-8 hours trekking
Grachen to Europahutte
On this penultimate day of the trek we begin the 'Europaweg' a famous 2 day section between Grachen and Zermatt. After leaving Grachen behind, we traverse alpine meadows and deep gorges along the mountainside to the Europahütte, a beautifully located mountain hut which towers high above the valley. This is your final night in the mountains so make the most of it!
15.7km / 1244m up / 597m down / 5-6 hours trekking
Europahutte to Zermatt
Our final day of the full trek as well as the finale of the short 'Europaweg' section. Today we cross the impressive Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge which scales over a gorge for a whopping 494 metres! Known as the longest suspension bridge in the Alps this will certainly get your heart racing and what a way to finish your trek. Onwards to Zermatt, where again we can take a cable car down from Sunnegga to save around 700m of descent. This signals the end of the trek as you are reunited with your luggage bag from Chamonix. A quick goodbye drink with your guide and we bid farewell and wave you off on your onward journey.
21km / 955m up / 1568m down / 8-9 hours trekking
Frequently asked questions about this adventure
What are the mountain huts like?
We stay 2 nights in mountain huts on this trip. They are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories Read more
We stay 2 nights in mountain huts on this trip. They are fairly basic but comfortable. You will sleep in dormitories on a shared basis, sometimes up to 6-8 per room. The lodges offer breakfast and dinner as well as a few snacks.
What kind of fitness level do I need?
What size backpack should I bring?
Your backpack should be between 20-30l. This will be your day pack and must be a comfortable fit, you’ Read more
Your backpack should be between 20-30l. This will be your day pack and must be a comfortable fit, you’ll spend many days with it on your back. It must fit your essentials like water, snacks, extra layers, camera, etc. Your other luggage will be transported by vehicle to each hotel.
What type of boots do I need for the trek?
You will need comfortable, durable trekking boots. Something like the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 Gore-Tex boot. Gore-tex will ensure your Read more
You will need comfortable, durable trekking boots. Something like the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 Gore-Tex boot. Gore-tex will ensure your feet stay dry and warm. Trail shoes are also OK, although make sure they fit well and are durable.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather is. We’ll always aim to continue the trek Read more
This depends on a few factors and how bad the weather is. We’ll always aim to continue the trek even if it’s raining/snowing as long as it is safe to do so. The weather in Summer is generally very reliable with clear skies and dry conditions following the monsoons. If the weather is truly terrible for a day or two we will rest in the lodge until it passes or use our vehicle to move you along to the next stop.
Will I definitely make it from beginning to end?
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you along the trek safely, sometimes the weather or other Read more
In short, no. Whilst we will always strive to get you along the trek safely, sometimes the weather or other factors like your personal fitness will prevent you from completing the trek. The lead guide will always conduct a meeting with the clients and other guides each evening to check how everyone is doing and to field any questions or concerns. All decisions will have client wellbeing as a top priority. But in 99 out of 100 cases you’ll make it! We will always provide vehicle support if necessary.
Ben is a fully qualified British UIMLA International Mountain Leader with Swiss and French equivalence and he is also a fully-qualified Swiss Brevet Fédéral Ski Instructor and an ISIA card holder and an accomplished outdoor educator and a qualified Outdoor Education and Geography teacher. He has been based in the Alps for a long time and has extensive knowledge on a whole variety of treks and adventures. Ben brings a whole bunch of experience to our guiding team, having worked as an Expedition Leader in challenging environments around the world in countries such as Borneo, Mongolia, Morocco and Costa Rica and at home in the European Alps, responsible for the safety and success of expeditions for many years. His passion for the mountains is infectious and he loves sharing a summit photo or long-distance trek with our community.
As well as being a fully qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide, Alistair is also a qualified Wilderness Medical First Responder (WEMSI), and spent 15 years working as a ski instructor. His passion for the outdoors has made him realise we all have a personal responsibility to lessen our impact on the planet. He eats a plant-based diet, has not owned a car for over 7 years and has gone from a career of travelling the world incessantly to staying in one place and connecting with nature that can be accessed from his home in the Alps. Alistair brings a well of life experience to our trips and is a joy to share the trails with. He believes it is his duty to share his passion for the mountains and a simple life and to encourage people to reconnect with nature and all that this brings in the way of health benefits both mentally and physically - working as a hiking guide provides a perfect outlet for this.
Emily is a British UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as one of our lead trekking guides. She has a strong teaching background with Geography being her speciality which combined with her passion for adventures in the outdoors makes her a highly enjoyable person to spend time with on our trips. She fills our trips with positive energy alongside her vast experience and super skillset of navigating the alpine trails she knows so well. She's one of our most experienced guides and is based full time in the Chamonix valley and also a fluent French speaker. She is a passionate runner and has taken on some mega challenging races such as the Marathon du Mont Blanc and the CCC ultra marathon du Mont Blanc. We're sure you'll have a great time on one of Emily's trips.
Becki is a British fully qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as one of our lead trekking guides. She is highly experienced and super fun to trek with. Alongside here UIMLA leadership she is also a BASI ski instructor and an experienced international mountain leader having led groups on expeditions China, Bolivia, Morocco, Ecuador, Costa Rica and more. She has a passion for trail running and has also undertaken some incredibly challenging races. She's extremely modest about her achievements so you will have to bug her on one of our trips for all the stories. Her energy is infectious and alongside her attention to detail and well thought out guiding approach she always finds ways of bringing everyone together to create memorable experiences.
Pablo is originally from a small mountain village in Spain and came to Chamonix with only one dream to become a mountain guide. Based in Chamonix since 2013, Pablo made the Alps his playground as a guide and as an alpinist and has climbed many of the classic alpine routes. He combines mountain guiding with helicopter rescue work in Spain during the off seasons.
Are you ready?
Our adventures are attributed a difficulty level from A to E. This Haute Route Trek Guided 11 Days trip is rated Level C, for accomplished adventurers We recommend you only book a trip that reflects your ability.
For beginners and newcomers
- You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure
- Little / no prior experience
- Shorter time duration
- No technical skills required but keen to learn
- Basic level of fitness
For those with some prior experience
- You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing, and are keen to build on that
- You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more challenging environments
- Some basic skills
- Moderate fitness
For accomplished adventurers
- You enjoy challenging yourself physically and mentally
- You’re comfortable on multi-day adventures and you call yourself an avid adventurer
- You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it is there' attitude
- Strong level of fitness
Think you've got this?
This trip is at this level
For the pros
- You're ready to test your skills on the next challenge
- You're comfortable in most types of alpine environments
- Some level of technical skills
- Strong level of fitness
For the experts
- You’ve been on multiple adventures and have built up a solid skillset to tackle most challenges out there
- Good technical skills and knowledge
- Experienced in alpine/mountains environments
- Very high level of fitness
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READY TO TREK FROM AROLLA TO ZERMATT?
We hope this page has described all the information you need, but don't hesitate to ask us if you require a little more. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.Deposit/Book Now