Note: The Hinteregasse, Bärentrek and Haute Route are not trails to be undertaken independently by inexperienced hikers, and detailed additional route information will need to be sourced before setting out. The alpine climate is incredibly unpredictable, and conditions can change in instant. Hiking in Switzerland’s mountains is usually only possible between June and September, but even within that window of opportunity it’s absolutely essential to check current weather forecasts and the state of your chosen track before setting boot on the route – snow cover can quickly make the alpine passes described here completely impassable. Prepare for all eventualities: always carry extra layers – including waterproofs – in your backpack, along with sunscreen, sunglasses and some high-energy snacks. On-the ground operators such as Eurotrek (www.eurotrek.ch) offer guided treks on the Bärentrek, and you can source self-guided packages for the Haute from Alpine Hikers (www.alpinehikers.com).
The Saas Valley in canton Valais boasts a 350km long network of hiking trails for everyone: easy strolls, high level routes lasting several days, special themed trails for children and all surrounded by 4000m peaks. In the background the Allalin (4027m). Pic: Switzerland Tourism/Christian Perret