Trek Switzerland’s Via Alpina


Global Adventure - Trek Switzerland’s Via Alpina

This 25 day Swiss trekking adventure features "Backpacker" magazine's "The World's Best Hike": Alpine Passes Route (renamed Via Alpina). Hike 340 kilometers and 18,000 meters elevation gain (similar to California’s John Muir Trail) amid spectacular Alpine scenery, European culture and delicious food, carrying just a daypack.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Mon, Sep 1, 2014 — Thu, Sep 25, 2014
  • Global Adventures Committee
  • Global Adventures, Day Hiking, Backpacking
  • Adults
  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 211.0 mi

We will fly from the USA to Zurich Sept 1-2, tour Zurich, train to Sargans Sept 4, trek Switzerland’s Via Alpina (Swiss Alpine Pass Route) from east to west Sept 4-23, train from Montreux to Geneva Sept 24, tour Geneva, and then fly home Sept 25. To help conserve the environment, the leader will clean the trails.  

Download a detailed itinerary here.

Itinerary Highlights:  Our traverse, which includes lovely Grindelwald and the imposing Eiger North Face, features glaciated 4,000-meter mountains, 16 alpine passes, deep valleys and high waterfalls, plus edelweiss, clean charming villages, cheese, pastries, and chocolate. 

Time of Year: September is a wonderful month for climate, less snow, lower creek crossings, fewer people, and no bugs.

Lodging: Hotels (double occupancy), hostels, and dormitories.

Food:  Most meals are provided. They are a nutritious variety of Swiss cuisine including raclette, rosti, fresh breads, meats, cheese fondue, pastries, and chocolate!

Leader’s Experience:  Craig Miller lived in Switzerland a year, learned to ski in Murren, ski mountaineered four Swiss Alps traverses, hiked and climbed the Swiss Alps, led The Mountaineers’ Austria Zillertal trek in 2013, and speaks some German and French (

Participant Requirements: You will need excellent cardio-vascular fitness, endurance, balance, and confidence ascending and descending unstable rocky terrain.

Trip Price Detail: $4,000. The price includes September 4 train from Zurich to Sargans, some buses and cable cars, lodging, most food, September 24 train from Montreux to Geneva, The Mountaineers administrative expense, and a portion of leader cost. The price excludes your international airfare (about $1,100), valid passport, some meals, drinks, and personal items.

Registration Instructions:   Please answer the application questions, and email them to the leader. After the leader’s approval, please telephone The Mountaineers at 206-521-6001; give them your credit card number, and $1,000 deposit. After your deposit is received, the leader will send you a series of many email letters with information to help you prepare for this outing. Your balance is due May 1.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel because of an emergency, you may receive a refund less expenses incurred and a $100 administrative fee.


Trek Switzerland’s Via Alpina

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

After your deposit is received, the leader will send out a series of letters to help participants prepare for a successful outing, including recommended gear, maps, guidebooks and other information.

Trip Reports