Botanischer LehrpfadTheme trail

Edelweiss, gentian, different orchids: numerous rare alpine flowers grow along this botanical path. Depending on the course of the weather, the blossoms along this trail can change quickly, to the delight of nature lovers.

Best season

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


Up on these high alpine pastures, the variety of colours among the flowers is endless. Spring gentians bring bright shades of blue, soon followed by various species of anemone and pasque flower, including Haller’s pasque flower (Pulsatilla halleri), a very rare species typical of Zermatt. Later still, the edelweiss appear. A special feature along this walk: you can observe edelweiss comfortably at eye level, just a couple of hundred metres after crossing the Triftbach river.

Because so many different flowers blossom here, the variety of butterflies and other insects is also enormous. These include the beautiful but threatened Apollo butterfly (strictly protected).

  • Special feature: small areas of “flat bog” located on steep slopes (one of the paradoxes of the botanical world)
  • In flat bog areas: various orchids
  • Right beside them, in dry areas: edelweiss
  • Children from age 8
  • Ibex colony in the vicinity of the Pension Edelweiss / Alterhaupt
  • Information panels in German, English, French, Japanese
Zermatt (station) - Trift (extension possible via Edelweissweg trail)

(Hiking time for the walk back: approx. 1h 30)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
  • Camera with close-up lens
Allow plenty of time: the variety of flowers is tremendous.

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).
"Bergblumenwelt von Zermatt – Alpine Flowers around Zermatt", Hanspeter Steindle, edition punktuell, CH-9101 Herisau, 2009, zweisprachige Ausgabe Deutsch und Englisch. ISBN 978-3-905724-15-8 "Unsere Alpenflora", Elias Landolt, SAC-Verlag, Deutsch, ISBN 3-85902-218-0 „Flora Helvetica“, Konrad Lauber / Gerhart Wagner, Haupt Verlag Bern, Deutsch, ISBN 3-258-06313-3
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





Difficulty medium
Distance 3,9 km
Ascent 868 m
Descent 144 m
Duration 2,10 h
Lowest point 1608 m
Highest point 2333 m

Starting point of the tour:

Zermatt (1'620 m)

Destination of the tour:

Trift (2'337 m)


  • Nice views
  • Geological highlights
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Tour route
  • With refreshment stops
  • Suitable for families and children
  • Botanical highlights


Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth (.kml)
GPS-Track (.gpx)