GletschergartenwegTheme trail

The Gorner Glacier sculpted this landscape over many millennia. Today, hikers marvel at the polished rocks and boulders, the ice of the glacier that still remains in the valley floor, and the larch trees that are inexorably reconquering the landscape.

Best season

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

Description

The trail leads from Riffelberg, which today lies on the treeline, into the rocky landscape along the former edge of the Gorner Glacier. First of all, though, hikers should pause to admire the view of the Matterhorn, before following the path down into the mysterious world carved out by the mighty forces of the glacier. At the Gletschergarten Dossen (Dossen glacier garden), visitors can see what a glacier normally conceals: boulders polished smooth, glacial mills and strange rock formations.

  • “Furi – a world full of experiences”: free leaflet from Zermatt Tourism with details of the glacier garden, also available online
  • July and August: edelweiss
  • In the Dossen glacier garden: information panels
  • Variant from Furi: through the Gornerschlucht gorge to Zermatt (fee payable)
  • Picnic areas, barbecue sites and children’s playground close to the Dossen glacier garden
Riffelberg - glacier garden - Schweigmatten - Furi

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h 35)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
Zermatlantis, the Matterhorn Museum in the centre of Zermatt, displays reliefs depicting the glacial landscapes around the Gorner Glacier.

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 hard
Distance 6.18 km
Ascent 123 m
Descent 838 m
Duration 1,50 h
Lowest point 1826 m
Highest point 2579 m

Starting point of the tour:

Riffelberg (2'582 m)

Destination of the tour:

Furi (1'867 m)

Properties:

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

Download


Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth
GPS-Track