Walker’s Haute Route Offline Mobile Maps

Instructions on how to use

Now that you've chosen your itinerary and received the mobile map GPS file, it's time to load them onto your mobile phone so you are ready to go.  Don’t worry if this is the first time you are using a mobile map program, we’ve created the following step by step guide to to take you through the process and show you all of the great features to use when you’re on the trial!

Please note: it will depend on your phone whether it looks exactly the same as these, however, the steps remain the same.


1. Download the Mobile Phone App

Download MAPS.ME on the Google Play App Store or Apple App Store for free. Maps.me is a mobile app that provides offline maps using Open Street Map data.


2. download the GPS file

If you have received an email from info@hauteroutehiking.com with the GPS (.kml) file attached, open your email on your mobile phone and click on the attached file to download.

Otherwise, the map file will be in your My Hike portal. Log into your portal from your mobile phone and click on offline mobile map button (Image 1 and 2) to trigger the download it.

Image 1: Click on the Offline mobile maps button in your portal to download the file. Select Open

Image 2: The file will start downloading on your phone

If you have two ‘Offline Mobile Maps’ buttons in your portal, it may not be clear which you should select when your screen is in portrait mode (Image 3). Rotate your phone to landscape mode so you can see which file is for metric and imperial to select the right one for you (image 4).

Image 3: Rotate your screen to landscape if you have two offline mobile map buttons in your portal

Image 4: When you phone is positioned in landscape, you’ll be able to see which offline mobile map is for Imperial measurements and Metric measurements.

If the downloaded file disappears from your screen before you have a chance to open it, drag your screen down from the top (image 6) as it’s likely listed in recent item or check your downloaded files folder.

Once you select to open the file (image 5 and 6), you’ll be asked to choose an application to open it with. Select Maps.Me (image 7)

Image 5: Once it has downloaded, you should receive a prompt to open it

Image 6: If the download bar at the bottom disappears, look for it where you normally find your downloaded files

Image 7: Once you click to open file, you will be prompted to choose a program to use. Select Maps.Me

In some cases, usually when you already have Google Earth or another GPS map application installed as your default option on your mobile phone, the Maps.Me icon won’t show up as an option to select. If so click on the ‘more’ button for Apple OS (Image 8 and 9) and scroll up (image 7) on Android OS to find and select Maps.Me.

Image 8: Example of Google Earth being the default GPS map program. Select ‘More’ to find Maps.Me.

Image 9: Find Maps.Me (select ‘more’ again if necessary) and click to open the file

Upon selecting Maps.Me, the application will open and you’ll a notification that the maps have been loaded successfully (image 10). If you receive a notification that the bookmark upload has failed (image 11), try following the steps below in the section ‘deleting an old map version’ to remove the file if it loaded. If it isn’t listed in the bookmarks section, try downloading the file again by repeating these steps. If you receive the same notification, uninstall the Maps.Me application and start the steps again. If that doesn’t work, email me at info@hauteroutehiking.com and I’ll help to resolve the problem.

The map will be focused on your current location. Pinch (to zoom out), spread your fingers to zoom in and scroll the map to find the location of the Haute Route trail where you will see a collection of pins (image 12).

Image 10: Notification when you have successfully loaded the GPS file into the Maps.Me application

Image 11: Screen when it hasn’t worked correctly. If so, uninstall the Maps.Me application and start the steps again.

Image 12: Move the screen to the Haute Route trail where you will see a collection of pins which make up your route and places of interest


3. dEleting an old map version (If Necessary)

If you’ve received an email from info@hauteroutehiking.com notifying you that an updated version of the map file is available, you will need to delete the old map file to ensure there is no confusion when navigating the trail.

To delete the old map file, first select the bookmark icon which can be identified by two stars and three lines (image 13 below) to see the different map files you have loaded into Maps.Me. In the email you’ve received, I will notify you of the new file name. - for example, starting with ‘2019 final_’. This file is the only bookmark for the Haute Route which should keep. Identify the old file(s) and select the 3 dot icon (image 14 below) beside them. A pop-up list will display various options (image 15 below) and you need to select ‘Delete’ from the list to remove the file. Repeat the delete process as many times as necessary so you are left with only one map file for the Haute Route.

Image 13: Select the bookmarks icon which will be in the bottom right land corner identified by two stars and three lines

Image 14: Identify which is the new file. For all other map file(s) for the Haute Route, select 3 dots button on the side to see options

Image 15: Select the option to delete the file and repeat the steps as many times as necessary so you are left with just the new map file.

It is no problem if you accidentally delete the new file. Just complete the download steps in section 2 to load it again.


4. download offline maps

The mobile trail map works offline, which is necessary as there is no mobile reception on parts of the trail.  For international travellers that won't have internet or cell service, your location will still be visible on the map as GPS function on your smartphone does not require cell signal to work. The GPS receiver in smartphones use positioning satellites to identify your location which works in flight mode. 

Search or scroll to a location on the Haute Route to see the trail marked by a series of pointers. You will notice that there is no underlying map detail.  As you scroll along and zoom in on the route, MAPS.ME will ask you to download the maps for Haute-Savoie (image 16) and Lake Geneva Region (image 17).  You must do this so you can use the maps offline.  There is no cell reception on some parts of the trail so without the underlying map downloaded, you will not be able to see the trail. Once downloaded, you will see the underlying detail of the trial (image 18).

Image 16: You will be prompted to download the ‘Haute-Savoie’ Map for the first part in France

Image 17: You will be prompted to download the ‘Lake Geneva Region’ Map for the Swiss section to Zermatt

Image 18: This is how it will look when the underlying map has been downloaded


5. Review detailed trail markers

After the maps have been downloaded, you will now see the detail of the trail with your route marked, as well as key points of interest such as bathrooms, water re-fill and restaurants. 

Your Location and Itinerary Information on Map

Once you start the Haute Route, your location will be marked on the map provided you have your smartphone GPS turned on.  Remember that your smartphone GPS runs independently of your smartphone signal, so provided you have downloaded the underlying maps for the entire route beforehand, you can use the app offline. The trail information for each section and day in your itinerary can also be found in the map.

Image 19: Your location will show up on the map provided you have your mobile phones GPS turned on

Image 20: Click on a yellow or red trail marker and drag this arrow up to see trail information

Image 21: This trail information is the same as what can be found in your personalised itinerary


Map markers have been coloured differently so you can easily identify which to lead you on the trail and which are for services you may need. The colours represent;

  • Red & Yellow: Your daily itinerary alternates between red and yellow trail markers, and links back directly to your personalised itinerary. I.e Day 1 = Red, Day 2 = Yellow, Day 3 = Red .....

  • Pink: Toilet / WC

  • Blue: Water Refill

  • Brown: ATM

  • Purple: Food / Restaurant

  • Green: New Update for 2019

    • Hiking and transport shortcut options with timetable (for 2019 hiking season) and prices for Train, Gondola, Bus.

    • Alternative routes for bad/whether and conditions

  • Orange: New Update for 2019

    • Identify the end of each section and day with trail/hiking statistics

    • Identify where it is possible to leave the trail or skip ahead

    • Identify campgrounds and where wild camping is permitted/recommended (for camping packages only)


Calculating distance & Elevation between two points

Maps.Me allows you to calculated the distance between any two points on the map. This feature works very well over small to medium distances and is great to see how long until the next water re-fill point or you reach your accommodation.

However, there are two limitations of this Maps.Me feature to be aware of;

  • It shows the net elevation change rather than the total gain and loss for the section you are mapping. I suggest using the itinerary and information in the GPS markers to estimate how much more total gain and loss you have.

  • Over long distances, it may not pick your route when calculating how far it is between two points. Rest assured that the trail combination I have selected for you to complete the Walker’s Haute Route is the best way to go, so don’t follow where the Maps.Me algorithm wants to take you. In these circumstances, I would suggest waiting until you are further along on the trail and try again

With the new updates for the 2019 hiking season, The trail, end of section and end of day markers contain measurements to help you plan and monitor progress.


Switching between Map files

With the new map add-ons I’ve released to give customers the choice of which detour route they’d like to take, here are a few screenshots showing how to select/deselect map files so you can just be navigating with one route at a time.

Walker's Haute Route_Changing maps 1.jpg
Walker's Haute Route_Changing maps 2.jpg
Walker's Haute Route_Changing maps 3.jpg

I would encourage you to have a play with the maps prior to starting the Haute Route so you are comfortable with the information contained in there and how you’ll use it for navigation. If you have any questions or issues with using the maps, please let me know at info@hauteroutehiking.com

For those that have come to this page but do not yet have your own itinerary or map, head over to our Get Started page now to choose the right plan and package for you.