Distance from Chamonix to Zermatt
Difficulty and Options
180km (112mi) is typically promoted as the total distance of the Walker’s Haute Route. It does entirely depend on which route you take because the longest official combination of trails can take 207kms (~128mi) and shortest at 160km (~100mi). There are 10 main variations to the shortest route that will add more than a marathon of distance to your hiking plan. Regardless of the route chosen, hikers will be required to cross 11 mountain passes and climb up to 12kms (40,000ft) in high alpine terrain. While it is possible for most hikers to complete this trail with adequate time, preparation and planning, sometimes there is a need to take a shortcut. This could be due to avoiding wet weather, painful blisters, body fatigue, frequent photography or stopping to smell too many wild flowers along the way! As most Haute Route hikers are coming in from international locations and have pre-booked their daily accommodation, it is important to keep up with their pre-determined itinerary.
Whatever the reason, it is possible on most days for hikers to take a more direct path, either via a road, skipping steep climbs and descents in a gondola or cut out entire sections by catching buses and trains.
Unfortunately, these shortcut options are not marked on the trail signs or topographic maps of the region. Most guidebooks do not have opening hours or timetables which is critical information when some of the buses and gondolas only run a few times a day.
Without an awareness of where the shortcuts are or when they are operating, hikers run the risk of missing key shortcut opportunities which could impact their pre-booked accommodation schedule, or worse, completion of the Haute Route.
Haute Route Shortcut Details
I want every Haute Route hiker to complete the trail! Providing shortcut opportunities so hikers feel confident with alternative options available and well supported if they need to make a change aligns to this goal.
The information on shortcut locations, opening hours and timetables (examples below) for the 2018 hiking season has been assembled and is available in our mobile maps. An update will be provided to all our Haute Route customers in the Spring of 2019 to load in the new timetables and prices into the mobile maps.
Because the mobile maps are tailored to each hiking itinerary, you can only gain access to the shortcut information by first selecting an itinerary for your epic journey. Click below to determine what your hiking style is and find the best Haute Route itinerary for you.