The map is not the territory. -- Alfred Korzybski

The first, and most important thing I have to say about maps is that Maps Are Not Optional (see Safety). The route descriptions I have given for each stage are NOT a substitute for maps: they are meant only to help you identify which of the many trails and/or roads indicated on a map are the ones that the H2H uses. My route descriptions are in fact intentionally sketchier than they could have been in order to minimize the risk of them being used as map substitutes. I have only added details when a map did not match the reality on the ground (see quote above), and thus there was a risk of you going astray even when using a map.

There are many excellent suppliers of maps for the Alps. You'll want to get either 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 scale topographic maps with hiking trails indicated clearly upon them. The suppliers I used were:

  • Kompass -- primarily for Germany and Austria.
  • Swisstopo -- primarily for Switzerland.
  • IGN -- primarily for France.


In total, the H2H goes through 47 maps (if you use the same ones I did). If you were to carry them all with you, the initial weight would be over 3.5kg. This is clearly unwise, even if you were to discard the maps as you go along.

It is neither safe nor sensible to assume that you can buy maps as you need them along the way. Nor is it wise to cut them them up so that you are only taking "corridor" maps, for a couple of reasons:

  • What happens if your trail is blocked and you have to take another route?
  • What if you get lost and need reference points to position yourself? Usually reference points are further away rather than up close to your trail.

So, some sort of restocking policy is advisable. If you have friends joining you along the way, you could arrange to have them bring new sets of maps with them (and at the end, take back the used ones). Or you could have someone mail them post restante to villages along the H2H, and then send the old ones back when you pick the new ones up. However, either way, it is necessary to think about logistics.

Maps Used

Each stage page on this site lists the map(s) used for the stage, and the maps are also listed in the itinerary. For reference purposes, I've included the complete list of maps by supplier below:


  • K-180 Starnberger See
  • K-182 Isarwinkel
  • K-6 Walchensee
  • K-5 Wettersteingebirge
  • K-4 Füssen
  • K-3 Allgäuer Alpen
  • K-32 Bludenz
  • K21 Feldkirch - Vaduz


  • ST-237T Walenstadt
  • ST-247T Sardona
  • ST-246T Klausenpass
  • ST-245T Stans
  • ST-255T Sustenpass
  • ST-254T Interlaken
  • ST-264T Jungfrau
  • ST-263T Wildstrubel
  • ST-262T Rochers de Naye
  • ST-272T St. Maurice
  • ST-282T Martigny


  • IGN-3530ET Samoëns
  • IGN-3531ET St.-Gervais-les-Bains
  • IGN-3531OT Megève
  • IGN-3532OT Beaufortain
  • IGN-3532ET les Arcs
  • IGN-3633ET Tignes
  • IGN-3534OT les Trois Vallées
  • IGN-3535OT Névache
  • IGN-3536OT Briançon
  • IGN-3537ET Guillestre
  • IGN-3637OT Mont Viso
  • IGN-3538ET Aiguille de Chambeyron
  • IGN-3639OT Haute Tinée 1
  • IGN-3640OT Haute Cians
  • IGN-3641ET Moyenne Tinée
  • IGN-3741OT Vallée de la Vésubie
  • IGN-3741ET Vallées de la Bévéra et des Paillons
  • IGN-3742OT Nice / Menton
  • IGN-3642ET Vallée de l'Estéron
  • IGN-3542ET Haute Estéron
  • IGN-3542OT Castellane
  • IGN-3442OT Gorges du Verdon
  • IGN-3342ET Plateau de Valensole
  • IGN-3342OT Manosque
  • IGN-3242OT Apt
  • IGN-3142OT Cavaillon
  • IGN-3143OT Salon-de-Provence
  • IGN-82065 Provence -- Les Alpilles