Hiking the Haute Route with Alpenwild – Chamonix to Zermatt

January 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel information

Hiking the Haute Route with Alpenwild

Nature lovers are also world explorers. The goal is often to find a singular nirvana-like experience amongst the Earth’s natural beauties. One of the most sought after hikes in the world, and particularly in Europe, is the Haute Route high in the Swiss Alps. The hike begins in the Chamonix valley in France and finishes in Zermatt, Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn. Depending on whether the hike is attempted by ski or foot, the Haute Route will take anywhere from 12-14 days to complete. Though there may be higher hikes in the likes of places like Colorado, the Haute Route is considered by many experienced hikers to be one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding.

The route now features many signs and posts along the trail. The trail also gives hikers the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful mountain huts and villages throughout their hike. The Haute Route will showcase to travelers a side of Europe that most tourists do not bother to see.

The hike, while challenging in terms of elevation gains and its long distance, is also welcoming to all types of hikers that are in fairly good physical condition. Whether you are experienced, inexperienced, old, or young, the Haute Route does not require much more than the desire to explore. If you are to undertake the hike during the winter, then ski touring gear is required and additional hiking/avalanche gear may be necessary depending on weather conditions and the paths that you take.

The Haute Route covers nearly 177 kilometers (or 110 miles). The hike will consist of both strenuous days and more relaxed days. Regardless of the difficulty of a given day’s adventure, you are sure to be surrounded by great company and even better vistas.

Nicki Preece (Alpenwild Trip Leader) has been hiking in the Alps for over eight years and she does not hesitate to declare the Haute Route as the most beautiful hike she’s ever been on. The Haute Route is known for the wide variety of landscapes along the route. Hikers are exposed to fantastic peaks and glaciers throughout their journey. Mountain forests, green valleys, rich blue skies, Swiss villages, and cool mountain lakes are all found along the Haute Route. The hike contains a variety of both challenges and scenery with some rich exposure to some fantastic foods and cultures. The beauty that is found on the hike is ongoing and there are spectacular vistas found around every corner and bend. Be sure to bring a camera with either lots of extra film or with extra memory if you are shooting digitally. This hike will have you take pictures in the hundreds.

There is also a great camaraderie formed among fellow hikers. Hikers become close friends with those from the same group as well as others found along the trail. You will meet plenty of new friends from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. All will experience something personal and unique along with memories they will all share forever.  The Haute Route will leave you wanting to make the effort to come back again just so you can experience this majestic journey over and over again.


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