ArvenwegHiking trail

This path through the shady forest of Swiss stone pine and larch is wonderfully relaxing. It’s peaceful; depending on time of day there’s hardly anyone around. There’s even the chance of spotting roe deer.

Best season

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Description

The Vorderi Wälder region is a nature reserve, home to numerous roe deer. The Swiss stone pine, “King of the Alps”, is as much a feature of the Zermatt landscape as the Matterhorn and the glaciers. The wood, resin and needles of the Swiss stone pine contain a volatile substance called pinosylvin whose scent has a beneficial effect on humans. When a forest of Swiss stone pine is bathed in strong sunshine, the air is full of this soothing aroma.

The forests of Swiss stone pine and larch offer a treat for the eyes, too: endless different shades of green all around, offsetting the copper colour of the forest floor due to the soft pine needles that cover the path. Another delightful surprise is the sight, at a bend in the path, of a waterfall plunging into the Findelbach river.

  • The Swiss stone pine is also known as the Swiss pine, Arolla pine or cembra pine
  • Swiss stone pines can grow to an age of 1,000 years and a height of 25 m
  • Swiss stone pine needles grow in bunches of five
  • At Riffelalp, in summer: Europe’s highest-altitude tram
Riffelalp - Findelbach - Winkelmatten (chapel)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 40)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
The mountain landscape around Zermatt, with 38 summits above 4,000 metres, offers breathtaking panoramic views and is home to a wealth of fauna and flora.

Additional information and recommendations are available from the guest information centre on Bahnhofplatz (by the railway station).
  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes; do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
  • Take note of the warning signs drawing attention to the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs.
Zermatt is car-free. Private vehicles are permitted only as far as Täsch (5 km before Zermatt). The Täsch–Zermatt road is closed to the public.

Onward travel to Zermatt is either by private taxi or shuttle train. Trains depart every 20 minutes; the journey takes about 12 minutes, and ends at the Bahnhofplatz in Zermatt.
Täsch has car parks with both covered and open-air parking – e.g. at the Matterhorn Terminal or privately operated facilities.

Onward travel: see “Getting there”.
By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).
A walking map (1:25,000) is available from Zermatt Tourism’s guest information centre, along with brochures containing tips and recommendations.

Map and arrival

Condition 

Technique 

Experience 

Landscape 

Difficulty easy
Distance 3.07 km
Ascent 10 m
Descent 547 m
Duration 1,10 h
Lowest point 1667 m
Highest point 2209 m

Starting point of the tour:

Riffelalp (2'211 m)

Destination of the tour:

Winkelmatten (1'650 m)

Properties:

  • Nice views
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Tour route
  • With refreshment stops
  • Botanical highlights
  • Mountain railway ascent/descent

Download


Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth
GPS-Track