Self-Guided Haute Route FAQ

This article contains the answers to frequently asked questions about the Alpenwild Self-Guided Haute Route Tour.

What is the difference between self-guided and guided?

Just as the wording suggests, on a self-guided trip you will be given the tools needed to complete your trip on your own; without a guide. 

How does it work?

We arrange and prepay all your accommodations, transfers, and most meals, and give you detailed trail notes, topographical maps, hotel vouchers and supporting travel information.

What’s included in a self-guided trip cost?

That is entirely up to you! However, it generally includes all hotel accommodations, transportation to and from the trek, most meals, and of course incredible hiking! 

Are luggage transfers extra?

Yes, luggage transfers are an extra cost that can be added to your proposal. For the full trip, luggage transfers can cost about $1800. This cost is then split between the number of people in your party, it becomes increasingly economical the more people you have join you. If you don’t need your luggage every night, we can even customize how often you get them. Many people enjoy luggage transfers every other day or every few days. We are able to deliver your luggage to all hotels, but we are NOT able to deliver luggage to the mountain huts.

What’s not included?

Flights, dinners in Chamonix, Verbier, and Zermatt (there are many options for meals in these towns), mountain trams, cableways, buses, and items of a personal nature (laundry, telephone calls, room service).

What is the minimum amount of days you need to hike the Haute Route?

The standard route that we offer is a 14-day itinerary, however this can be adapted to be less if you don’t have that much time to devote to hiking the Haute Route. Ten days is the minimum amount of days we recommend to complete the full Haute Route.

Can I do the guided Haute Route itinerary as self-guided?

Yes, in fact many people like to adapt the Deluxe Haute Route guided itinerary for a self-guided itinerary. The Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route itinerary is also great for doing the full route while cutting out some not-as-scenic days. 

Do I have to stay in mountain huts on the Haute Route?

If you want to complete the full Haute Route then you do have to stay two consecutive nights in mountain huts. If you do not want to stay in mountain huts, this section of the trail can be avoided. The Deluxe Haute Route is an itinerary that skips over the mountain huts. 

What type of accommodations do you stay in along the trail? Are they different accommodations from the guided tours? 

You will stay in carefully chosen inns, small 3- and 4-star hotels, and (when chosen) classic mountain cabanes (huts) that capture the authentic charm of the Alps. There is a one night hotel stay with shared bathrooms. 

Can you change the daily route to adapt to different mileage preferences?

No, the Haute Route has very set trails. Although most days vary between 8-10 miles, there are some that have less. There is no way to add on mileage to a shorter day, the listed mileage and trail is generally the only trail.

Can you choose to stay at only mountain huts along the Haute Route?

No, there are a limited number of huts you can stay in along the route. We recommend only staying in about 2-3 of the huts along the route, with the rest of the accommodations being hotels. 

I already bought my airfare, will I be able to get the exact dates I need to do the trek?

While we try our best to accommodate your specific travel dates, it all depends on hotel availability. For this reason, we recommend purchasing your flights after you have paid a deposit so that we can make sure the hotels are confirmed for your self-guided trip.

How do I do my laundry?

Most hotels along the route have a laundry service that they offer for an extra charge. Another way that guests in the past have done laundry is to bring a small bag of detergent to clean clothes in the sinks of your hotel rooms. 

How far in advance do you need to book?

We take bookings up to a year and a half in advance. Most people book between September and December for the following year. This ensures that you are able to get the dates that you want, or within a few days of the desired dates. Once we can no longer get people into our hotels then we close self-guided booking for the season, this can vary from year to year but in the past we have closed self-guided bookings around March due to availability. 

Can I bring my kids on this trek? 

Yes, you can bring kids on the Haute Route. We recommend that the child be at least 8 years old. The Haute Route is an extremely strenuous trek, and they will need to complete the exact same trail as everyone else.

What kind of gear do I need?

See our packing list on our website with a complete checklist of what you will need to take with you on the Haute Route.

Which airport should I fly into? How do I get to the start of my self-guided tour?

We recommend flying into the Geneva airport, as it is about a 90-minute shuttle ride to Chamonix for the start of the trek. The shuttle we provide will take you from the Geneva airport directly to your hotel in Chamonix. For the end of your tour you can fly out of Geneva or Zurich as both are about a 4-hour train ride from Zermatt. 

What do we do if the weather is bad and we cannot hike? 

While we cannot accept responsibility for weather, we will be happy to help reroute you.

How do I book my self-guided trip?

First, you should contact us to come up with an itinerary and tour dates that you are happy with and then you can submit a booking through our website. We require a $500 per person deposit to guarantee your spot and then we will contact all accommodation providers to check availability for the dates you’ve chosen. If any hotel is fully booked, we’ll contact you to discuss alternatives. The final payment will be due 90 days prior to your tour start date.

What if I need to cancel?

You can refer to our terms and conditions which also includes our cancellation policy. Trip Insurance is available through a link on our website to protect against certain unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to have to cancel.

Haute Route self-guided FAQ


We hope this self-guided Haute Route FAQ is beneficial. Please do not hesitate to contact us at or 801-226-9026 for more information,

Jamie Cheney
Latest posts by Jamie Cheney (see all)

Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest Alpenwild news. You're free to opt out at any time.