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Self-guided Tour of the Monte Rosa Trek

Self-guided Tour of the Monte Rosa

  • Stunning views of the Swiss Alps & 4000m peaks

  • Views of the iconic Matterhorn

  • Overnight in Zermatt

  • Exciting trekking on spectacular paths

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Good mix of huts and quality hotels

  • Private rooms wherever possible

  • Excellent, little-travelled route variants

  • We can book your evening meals in advance

Self-guided Tour of the Monte Rosa Trek: Overview

The circuit route around Monte Rosa (4634m), is one of the best and most demanding long-distance treks in Europe. The Monte Rosa Massif is part of the Pennine Alps which straddle Switzerland and Italy. It has multiple peaks above 4000m. Your Self-Guided Tour de Monte Rosa Trek starts in the pretty Swiss village of Saas Grund, then takes you on a circular route through Italy, then back into Switzerland. This is a nine-day trek that takes in pine forests, hidden valleys, towering alpine peaks, high passes and glaciers. Highlights include the Teodulo pass, a glacier descent, stunning views of the Matterhorn, and a night in the iconic mountain town of Zermatt. 

This Self-Guided Tour de Monte Rosa Trek is graded as 'extremely tough', which means that you and all members of your group should have a good level of fitness and experience of hill walking for extended days. The terrain is sometimes difficult, including glaciated sections, and you'll spend lengthy days at altitude. If you need any help at all deciding if this is the right trek for you then don't hesitate to ask, and we will be glad to help. 

What is the accommodation like?

In Saas Grund, at the beginning and end of your trip, you will be in private rooms in a hotel. For the rest of the trip you will be in a mixture of mountain refuges and small hotels, where you are likely to be in shared rooms and dormitories. Some refuges may have limited washing facilities, however they are in stunning locations in the heart of the mountains, and have an authentic charm that more than makes up for any lack of luxury! The nights spent in huts can be a highlight of the trek, with more chance of seeing local wildlife, and an opportunity to meet like-minded people. Because of the remote nature of the refuges there won't be any luggage delivery on this trip so you'll need to carry your own kit. 



10 nights

9 days' trekking


Join: Saas Grund


Nearest Airports: Geneva, Zurich & Basel


5 nights in hotels

5 nights in refuges





Extremely tough

Self-guided Tour of the Monte Rosa Trek: Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrive in Saas Grund

Your trip starts in the village of Saas Grund, just next to the well-known ski resort of Saas Fee. 


Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access


Day 2 - From Saas Grund to Macugnaga

The day starts with a short bus ride to Mattmark, where you start gently, following the side of Lake Mattmark. It is a good warm up before you tackle your first col; the Monte Moro at 2853m. On the way you'll enjoy stunning views of the Weissmies (4023m) and the Rimpfischhorn (4198m). On arrival at the pass you are greeted by Monte Rosa itself. You then have a steep descent through boulder fields, to the village of Macugnaga. 


Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 15km

Altitude gain / loss: +750m / -1600m


Day 3 - Hike from Macugnaga to the Rifugio Pastore

Today is one of the longest climbs of the trek, but it is a lovely walk. You'll start by following the torrent of Anza towards the lake at Quarazza. You then climb steadily through the spruce forests to Alpe Plana, with views of impressive waterfalls behind you. As you pass over the Colle del Turlo you'll lose sight of Monte Rosa, but the dome of the Weissmies takes its place. From here you have a long steady descent to your overnight stop at the Rifugio Pastore.  


Accommodation : Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 8 hrs

Distance: 23km

Altitude gain / loss: +1510m / -1300m


Day 4 - Hike from Rifugio Pastore to Rifugio Gabiet

From the refuge you'll climb to the Vallon delle Pisse. Your route follows the waterfall underneath the glacier of the Piramide VIncent, which is one of the smaller peaks of the Monte Rosa Massif. After passing the disused cable car station at Alpe la Balma, you'll take a steep and rugged path over the Bocetta delle Pisse, followed by a descent to Alpe Pianlunga. Another winding ascent takes you through the Valle d’Olen, then back down to your next refuge at Lake Gabiet. 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 7-8 hours

Distance: 15km

Altitude gain / loss: +1800 / -650m


Day 5 - Hike from the Rifugio Gabiet to Resy

After the strenuous uphill yesterday, you start more gently today as you cross the Colle d'Olen, then descend through the larch forests to the Rifugio del Lys. From here a nice trail through forests and meadows brings you into Gressoney Stafal. From here you head up to Alpe Sitten, and take a good path to your only pass of the day; the Colle di Bettaforca. You'll then take an easy trail down to the pretty hamlet of Resy, where you'll spend the night, high above the Ayas Valley. 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 16km

Altitude gain / loss: +970m / -1200m


Day 6 - Hike from Resy to the Colle del Teodulo

You begin the day with a short descent towards the meadows of Alpe Varda and Alpe Mase. This is one of the highlights of the trek, as you climb steadily to the Colle Superieur delle Cime Blanche (2982m), with the Breithorn above you. From this vantage point you can enjoy your first unforgettable views of the Matterhorn at 4478m. After descending through the glacial moraine you then have a steep final climb to your highest point and base for the night, at the Colle del Teodulo (3317m).

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 7-8 hrs

Distance: 18km

Altitude gain / loss: +1550m / -300m


Day 7 - Hike from the Colle del Teodulo to Zermatt

Today you will meet and be guided by an IFMGA qualified guide, as you descend the Theodule glacier (the spelling has changed now that you are back into a German-speaking area!). The group will be roped up, but no other specialist equipment is needed, other than your hiking boots and trekking poles. The angle of the glacier is relatively easy, and the views are fantastic - the Matterhorn is the focal point of course, but from here you also have views of the Alphubel, Dom, Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn, on both sides of the Mattertal. At Gandegg you leave the ice of the glacier behind, and traverse the glacial moraine down to the famous mountaineering town of Zermatt.  

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 4-5 hrs

Distance: 16km

Altitude gain / loss: +460m / -2070m

Day 8 - Hike from Zermatt to the Europahütte

You leave Zermatt today, following the Mattertal towards the Rhone Valley. You'll stroll through meadows and larch forests. After Täsch is the village of Randa, at which point you start a steady climb on a steep zig zag trail. You'll pass under the rugged peaks of the Täschorn and the Dom, before reaching your base for the night. The Europahütte is a relatively new hut, in a stunning location, and with spectacular views of the Weisshorn. The alternative route from Zermatt to the Europahütte, via the Europaweg, has been closed in recent years due to substantial rock fall. It has opened again now and has the longest pedestrian bridge in the world at 500m long. The most suitable route for you to take will be decided upon booking, as your personal self-guided itinerary is finalised with Cloud 9. 

Accommodation: Mountain refuge, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 4-5 hrs

Distance: 16km

Altitude gain / loss: +890m / -300m

Day 9 - Hike from the Europahütte to Grächen

Today your traverse continues across boulder fields, with rugged cliffs towering above, and the Breithorn and Matterhorn behind you. Enjoy stunning views as you tackle the cables and bridges on this exciting trail. The Riedgletscher lies in your path, so you'll descend steeply and drop down through the woods to your overnight stop at the village of Grächen. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

No luggage access

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 17km

Altitude gain / loss: +600m / -1180m

Day 10 - Hike from Grächen to Saas Grund

On your final day you'll take the Hohenwegg path to Hannigalp, high above the Saastal. It is a stunning path, a little lower and greener than previous days, but still with exposed sections that need your full attention. Directly ahead are views of the snow-topped Weissmies, and the Lagginhorn. Your trek comes to an end as you arrive back into Saas Grund, where you can look forward to a well-earned rest and your final group dinner. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Walking: approx 7-8 hrs

Distance: 21km

Altitude gain / loss: +1220m / -1270m

Day 11 - Depart Saas Grund

Your trip finishes after breakfast today. 


  • All accommodation 

  • All meals

  • Qualified IFMGA guide on Day 7
    (for the glacier section)

Not Included

  • Flights and airport transfers

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

  • Luggage delivery

Self-Guided Tour of the Monte Rosa Trek: Book Online

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