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Hiking in March

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Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 9
Hiking in March

Hello!

My husband and I are eager to go hiking, and see the beautiful sights of Switzerland. Does anyone know what hikes we could do in March? Are there really big risks of avalanches now? We are flying in to Geneva but are willing to travel a bit. We are going soon and are getting worried because we can not find any information on this!! thank you!

Middle England
posts: 2,230
reviews: 82
1. Re: Hiking in March

First thing first - define what you mean by hike. Are you talking backpack and walking across hills or are you talking walking along paths? Are you looking to hike from place to place taking your kit with you or stay in one place in a hotel? Do you want to see mountains or lakes? How far do you want to walk each day?

Edited: 9:51 am, March 03, 2013
Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,920
reviews: 364
2. Re: Hiking in March

The questions above are surely worth an answer. If you are thinking meanwhile about going to the mountains, well, given the quantity of snow we have this year, I guess that all paths above 1000 - 1500 metres will be still quite white...

And regarding information on avalanches, slf.ch/lawinenbulletin/lawinengefahr/index_EN is the right place.

bern
posts: 3,488
3. Re: Hiking in March

<? Are there really big risks of avalanches now?> If you haven't had any avalanche training get a guide (not cheap) or stay on trails and places opened by the ski area. There are still plenty of choices.

Pretty much every ski area have trails for winter walks and snowshoeing. Not too far from Geneva and good for winter walks are for example the Gstaad area www.gstaad.ch or Villars www.villars.ch

The only places without snow are usuallly very low altiude area. For example walks along lakes or through wineyards. More details about "normal" hiking go to www.wanderland.ch

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 9
4. Re: Hiking in March

thank you so much for your immediate response. Preferably walking from place to place- with accomodations on the way. We looked at the Chamonix- Zermatt route, but we were not sure if it was too early in the year to do that. We would love to see mountains, lakes are a plus! We are willing to do a 6-8 hour hike/walk. We want to backpack and walk across hills!

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 9
5. Re: Hiking in March

Thank you this is so helpful!

Lucerne, Switzerland
posts: 2,523
reviews: 11
6. Re: Hiking in March

Chamonix-Zermatt is more a mid July to early September route; earlier or later in the season there is likely to be too much snow.

As said above, in March you need to look at low altitude routes. Everything above 1,000 metres is still snow-covered as of today, although they are forecasting a warm, sunny week which will melt some of it. Also, overnight accommodation higher up will be a problem as most huts and many small mountain guesthouses will be closed. It's not the best season for hiking to be honest - there will be no spring greens yet, just dirty browns and greys where the snow has retreated.

On the Wanderland site mentioned above by mule, have a look at the "Alpine Panorama Trail" (www.wanderland.ch/en/routen_detail.cfm…). This crosses the whole country from one side to the other and never goes very high, as it keeps to the foothills. You could certainly do a section of this in March, and accommodation should not be an issue as the route passes through numerous villages and small towns.

You could pick one of the larger lakes and walk along/around it. I walked round Lake Lucerne in spring last year, sections of this walk would definitely be doable in March (the whole thing took me ten shortish days).

Another option - but it's a long way from Geneva - would be to look at Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. I can't offer any specific advice as I have never been there myself, but the climate is generally warmer than north of the Alps.

7. Re: Hiking in March

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