Tour de Matterhorn
Arolla to Zermatt
Circa: 145KM – 90 Miles
Phase 1: Arolla to St. Niklaus July 2006
Stage 1: Arolla – Les Hauderes – La Sage – Villa
NOTE: The route from Arolla to Zermatt was done in several separate sections. Some were done west to east and some east to west. Each section is shown in west to east order with the correct dates of the sections indicated.
7/22 Left the main village square of Arolla about 8:00a and walked down the side road towards the Hotel de Glacier. Shortly before coming to the hotel a footpath broke to the left which climbed and then bore right along the hillside before reaching the Centre Alpin. I continued along on the wooded hillside gradually ascending and traversing northward before crossing a stream below an alp hamlet. From here the trail continued as a traverse of the now open hillside across several more streams and then onto an open grassy bluff overlooking the Lac Bleu (2089m – 6855ft) (9:15a). From the Lac the trail descended from the eastern outflow of the Lac along a path to the alp hamlet of Louche where cheese and milk is produced. From Louche the trail once again dropped into the forest and continued to La Gouille (1844m – 6050ft) (9:45a), on the road between Arolla and Les Hauderes. After walking down the road a short distance the trail went right and descended below the road, traversing the hillside above the Arolla River for a little more than an hour before reaching the town of Les Hauderes (1451m – 4760ft) (11:00a). From Les Hauderes I followed the signs along alternating road and pathway to La Sage (1375m – 4510ft) and then on to Villa (1730m – 5676ft) (12:45p). Once at Villa I took the trail down to Evolene (1375m – 4510ft) where I caught the bus to Scion, then the train up the Rhone valley to Sierre-Siders and then the bus to Zinal where I spent the night before starting the hike back to Villa to complete the Arolla to Zinal route.