Snow Hiking in the Alps

Updated August 15, 2020.

It’s Motivation Monday! I’ll admit that I’m a little bit of a contradiction: I hate the cold, but I love the snow! My sweet husband and I both enjoy hiking anywhere we find ourselves in the world. And since this is the Year of Active Travel, I thought I’d do a little write up on the ins and outs of snow hiking!

Many of the photos below contain affiliate links via Amazon. This means if you purchase a product from one of these links, you will be helping me grow my business!

Gear Up

1. Base Layer

Before you go, make sure you’re appropriately prepared for the chill. You will warm up on the hike, and while it may be counter-intuitive, your best bet for staying warm and cool enough is a moisture-wicking base layer for both your upper and lower body. Click the photo below to get yours!

2. Snow Pants

I got these snow pants from L.L. Bean just a couple of weeks before our trip, and I am so glad I did! They really came in handy in both Zermatt and St. Moritz where the snow was up to my waist or higher! They kept me both dry and warm because of the moisture-resistant outer fabric and the super cozy flannel lining! Click the photo below to get yours!

3. Sweaters

You will be glad for your base layer, but you definitely also need a nice warm sweater to trap your own body heat. It doesn’t have to be very thick, just warm. Click the photo below to get yours!

4. Hiking Boots

This is not a job for walking shoes, my friends. This is a job for snow boots! These are made by Tundra, and the style is Aurora. When choosing snow boots, go for a pair with a rubber forefoot to keep moisture off your toes, an over-the-ankle shaft, and laces to tighten as needed. Moisture can slip through a zipper! Click the photo below to get yours!

5. Coat

Don’t head out without your coat! Steve and I both have puffy coats (his from L.L. Bean and mine from North Face), which are fantastic for warmth and packing light (they pack right into their own pockets and are light as air), but a waterproof coat that’s just as warm may be even better. It depends on how much you plan to be directly in the snow! Click the photo below to get yours!

6. Accessories

The list up to here is mostly common sense–of course you need a coat and boots! But just as important are your accessories. I’ve found that if my ears and neck are warm, the rest of me stays warmer, too! Double up if you think you might need to; you can always take something off if you get too warm. But no matter what, start out with at least one of each: a scarf, an ear warmer, and a pair of gloves! And if it’s a sunny day, don’t forget your sunglasses. The glare off the snow can be blinding! Click the photo below to get yours!


Toboggan Hat



Water-resistant Gloves


Stock Up

Don’t forget some food and water! You may not think you need much water when hiking in the cold, but your body needs it no matter the temperature. We both take at least one 32-ounce refillable bottle of water wherever we go. Use your own judgement for how much food to take, but protein bars, sandwiches, trail mix, Jerky, and fruits are all good options. Click the photo below to get yours!


Cliff Bars

Head Out

Now you’re ready! Use the bathroom before you go, and perhaps bring some tissues or toilet paper with you in case you need to go in the woods. Don’t forget your camera on your way out the door! Get ready for some unbelievable scenery.

Off we go!
It’s almost as tall as me!
Always take a trekking buddy!
The sun came out, and so did the glare! And the Matterhorn is just coming out of the clouds!
Traversing St. Moritz
Making a snow angel!
More here: The Ultimate List of Hiking Tips

Are you ready for a wintry hike through the fluffy white stuff? Check out my Switzerland Page for more!

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One response to “Snow Hiking in the Alps”

  1. […] of well-maintained hiking and biking trails become their ski trails! Not a skier? Try snowshoeing, snow hiking, build a snowman, make snow angels, or have a snowball fight! Need some snow gear? Check out Gear […]

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