Self-Guided Hiking Plans for the Haute Route
The standard 14-day Haute Route self-guided itinerary found in guidebooks is not suitable for most hikers, especially those that are young, fit or experienced. Everyone moves at different speeds and have time constraints or preferences that should be considered when finalising your hiking plan. When my wife and I were planning to hike the Haute Route for the first time, many hours were invested in gathering and analysing trail information from different sources to build a 9 day itinerary. We established an itinerary in the end, however, were not confident that it was feasible. We've since met lots of fellow Haute Route hikers that had the same problem...so we decided it was a problem worth solving!
Over the past two years, I've recorded 1,000s of GPS coordinates and trail details on points of interest for the entire Haute Route journey, including 10 alternate routes. This information has been used to create a database of up-to-date information that breaks the trail into over 80 subsections containing the distance, elevation change, estimated hiking time, accommodation locations and other facilities (such as water re-fill, toilets) for each segment. The itinerary builder program I’ve developed then combines a hikers itinerary preferences with the trail information to create the best plan to meet their needs.
What information should a Self-guided Itinerary Contain?
Creating a hiking itinerary is the most important step you take in preparing for a multi-day hike. To the design the itinerary for Haute Route Hiking, I surveyed other multi-day hikers to find out the details they wanted in an itinerary. Using these responses, I set the following guidelines to design the itineraries for Haute Route Hiking customers;
Highlight the hiking preferences used to create the itinerary so it’s transparent to hikers how they’ve influenced the route and length
Highlight the key trail and hiking statistics so hikers can confirm overall the achievability of the journey
Divide the trail into daily sections with key trail and hiking statistics to ensure that no one day is beyond the abilities of the hikers and set expectations on which will be the most challenging and easiest
Provide a map to help hikers visualise the journey
Break each day into subsections with key trail and hiking statistics to allow breaks to be planned
Haute Route Hiking Self-Guided Itineraries
The final itinerary design has 3 distinct sections that aim to achieve the guidelines set out above.
Please note: don’t let the 6-day Elite itinerary below scare you from hiking this trail…95%+ of hikers will complete the Haute route between 10-14 days! Other itineraries that may be more suitable for your trip can be found here.
This section aims to satisfy the first 3 design profiles by providing the following details
Hiking preferences used to create the itinerary
Key hiking and trail statistics to determine overall achievability of the journey
A breakdown of key hiking and trail statistics by day to ensure each is achievable
Highlight whether there is water re-fill, bathrooms, food and shortcut options available during each day
Provide commentary on the itinerary with some tips and highlights to prepare for
2. Map Summaries
This section allows hikers to visualise the journey
A high-level map of the area with the route highlighted
Points marked on the map which correspond to the subsections that the trail been broken into
Finish locations for each day to visually show how far each day is relative to the others
An elevation profile with finish locations listed to help hikers visualise which days will be the most challenging and easiest
3. Daily Breakdowns
Show the breakdown of each day by section (places of interest) with the key hiking and trail statistics listed for each segment
Highlight which sections have water re-fill points, toilets, food options (restaurants and supermarkets) and shortcuts available to allow daily debrief sessions for hikers to plan their day. Details on location (and schedule, cost for shortcuts) are in the mobile map.
Provide an elevation profile of the day to help hikers visualise where the challenging climbs and cruisy descents are located
Provide a trail note on each subsection to help hikers visualise what that section of trail is like and any key points. Please note, these are not meant for navigation - that’s what the GPS trail markers in the mobile map is for, which is specifically aligned to your itinerary.
Would you like a Self-guided ITINERARY for your hike?
Since August 2018, I’ve been creating itineraries for Haute Route hikers. Over this time, I’ve worked with hikers from around the world to create over 30 different itineraries variations based on their hiking style, number of days and accommodation preferences and trail highlights. There has been 7 main itineraries that most hikers have been requesting which I’ve turned into instant downloadable products. If none of these 7 itineraries fulfil your hiking preferences for the Haute Route, you can still request a personalised itinerary. Click below to determine what your hiking style is and find the best Haute Route itinerary for you.