Expect increasingly cooler weather and fewer crowds in September; this can be a wonderful time to hike. Trekkers typically take 14 days to complete the trek, give or take a day or two. Tip: there are only a couple of showers for a whole bunch of campers, so try to get in there early if you want to avoid a long wait. I’ve updated the guide to include that there are only basic toilets in Grimentz. There are very long, steep descents on nearly every stage of the Haute Route, and these can create problems and irritate chronic injuries for those with sensitive knees. From the bus stop in Champsec, follow the signs and walk about 10 minutes to the campground. The route is usually marked with red and white paint flashes at frequent intervals. Check out this thorough post in which we break down exactly what you can expect to pay for food, accommodation, transportation, and more. Tip: There are two options for your descent from the gondola station into Zinal. Services: Toilets (TP and hand soap), several covered sinks for washing up, potable water (hot and cold), showers, outlets, restaurant, small shop selling snacks and essential items, pool, hot tub, ping pong, playground, recycling, and trash (bag purchase required). All of the hotels, gites, and campgrounds provide potable water. You might be able to pick up a few bars at high points and unobstructed areas (like the top of a mountain pass), but definitely don’t count on it. Price: 5 CHF per person + 4 CHF tourist tax per person, Camping Availability: Camping Relais de la Tzoucdana. If that happens, don’t despair. Generally speaking, wild camping may be allowed in France at high altitudes between sunset and sunrise, but it is strictly forbidden in Switzerland. However, bad weather forced us to reroute after spending the night at Cabane du Mont Fort. On the other end, Zermatt is easily accessed by train from Geneva and many other Swiss cities. Unlike many other long-distance hikes, the Haute Route is almost exclusively walked in the Chamonix to Zermatt direction. Tour du Mont Blanc. We’ve structured this camping guide for a 12-stage version of the trek, but we’ve noted places where you can adapt your itinerary to combine stages or choose other variants. The Matterhorn, your final destination on the Haute Route. This van-packed campground is located conveniently next to the train station and grocery store. A large patch of snow lingers below Refuge Col de Balme in mid-July. This means that you should bring a pair of boots or shoes that you know from experience don’t cause problems for your feet. If you’d rather stick with camping instead of having to stay at the Europa Hut, or you want to cut out the sketchier parts of the Europaweg Trail, or if you just need to shorten your hike by a day this option is for you. We camped nearly every night on the Haute Route, but we made exceptions on three occasions. Don’t forget to check out our complete packing list for the Walker’s Haute Route here. Services: Toilets (TP, no soap), sinks for washing up (hot and cold potable water), showers (1 CHF for 4 minutes), shop at the reception (limited hours) which sells snacks, beer/wine/soda, camper meals, toiletries, but no stove fuel, morning bread available for order, outlets in the bathrooms, wifi near the reception building, recycling (need to purchase bag for trash items), tent and camping gear rentals. There’s no need to be too intimidated by this trek, but it’s a very good idea to train ahead of time, be realistic about your abilities and expectations, and use good judgement in the mountains. How much it costs to hike the Walker’s Haute Route is one of the most common questions I’m asked. If you’re worried about getting a good pitch, try to get to the campground before 5:00pm and you should be just fine. 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