#9 best hike in the world is …

The Haute Route

Also known as:

• The Walker’s Haute Route
• Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route
• “High Route”
• Mt Blanc to the Matterhorn
• Chamonix to Zermatt

It’s official. The Haute Route in the Alps replaces the Tour de Mont Blanc at the #9 position in our list of the top 10 hikes in the world. The TMB is awesome, … but too crowded.

Long live the Haute Route!

“the greatest collection of 4000m peaks in the alps!”

Why we love it:

  • the best hike in Europe!
  • Alpine charm: valleys, lakes, glaciers
  • great food, history, culture
  • from Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe (4810m, 15,781ft)
  • … to the Matterhorn, the most beautiful peak in the alps
  • staying in huts, and eating your meals there, you can hike with a very light pack
  • see ibex and chamois in the wild
  • finishes with the 2-day Europaweg – a true high-level path opened in recent years (and sometimes closed due to avalanche)
  • some mountaineers use this trek for altitude acclimatization, climbing Mt. Blanc, the Matterhorn or, best, Weisshorn, after they finish
  • Considerations:

  • Rain is highly likely. It can even snow on high passes any day of the year.
  • mid-July through August accommodation may be full
  • mountain huts can be crowded & noisy (we prefer tenting, to be truthful)
  • in 2009 cost was around $70 for bed, bedding, breakfast and an evening meal
  • iron ladders bolted into the mountain en route, though there is a way to bypass them
  • cable-cars and chair-lifts are cheating, but you certainly may want to use them to shorten some hiking days
  • German is the main language of the Haute Route though French is useful too. Anglophones may struggle.

    statue of St. Bernard on the Euroweg section

    Get our preferred guidebook long in advance of your trek – Cicerone – Chamonix to Zermatt: The Walker’s Haute Route by Kev Reynolds.

    Details on our Haute Route information page.

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