HöhenwegLong distance hiking trail

The Höhenweg (high-altitude trail) brings hikers to the most beautiful locations in the mountains around Zermatt. Highlights include Höhbalmen and Gornergrat, where the Alpine views seem to go on for ever.

Best season

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

Description

Zermatt – the ultimate in alpinism. This long-distance trail, which takes about 35 hours in all to hike, links the beautiful mountain balconies overlooking Zermatt. With total climbs and descents of 7,000 vertical metres, the route promises an unforgettable experience.

The decision of where and when to stop for the night is down to taste and fitness. The choice of welcoming mountain huts offering a real sense of mountain adventure is plentiful. One of the best features of this hike is the way the mountain landscape and the views of the surrounding 4,000-metre peaks change all the time.

  • Views of the highest mountains in the Alps
  • Photo subject: the Matterhorn from different angles
  • Photo subject: the Monte Rosa massif from different angles
Route stages with accommodation options:
  • Zermatt - Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) (1h) > Pension Edelweiss
  • Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) - Trift (1h 10) > Berggasthaus Trift
  • Trift - Schönbiel hut (4h 10) > Schönbiel hut
  • Schönbiel hut - Schwarzsee (3h 10) > Hotel Schwarzsee
  • Schwarzsee - Gandegg hut (2h 35) > Gandegg hut
  • Gandegg hut - Furi (2h 10) > Hotel Silvana
  • Furi - Riffelalp (1h 30) > Riffelalp Resort
  • Riffelalp - Riffelberg (1h) > Hotel Riffelberg
  • Riffelberg - Rotenboden (45 min) > Kulmhotel Gornergrat
  • Rotenboden station - Monte Rosa hut* (4h) > Monte Rosa hut
  • Monte Rosa hut* - Rotenboden (4h) 
  • Rotenboden - Gornergrat (50 min) > Kulmhotel Gornergrat
  • Gornergrat - Grünsee (1h 40) > Berghaus Grünsee

 

Alternative 1 (Täsch)

  • Grünsee - Fluhalp (1h 40) > Berghütte Fluhalp
  • Fluhalp - Pfulwe - Täsch hut (Alpine Route, 4h 15) > Täsch hut
  • Täsch hut - Europaweg hut (Täschalp) - Täsch (2h 15) > Europaweg hut

 Alternative 2 (Zermatt)

  • Grünsee - Sunnegga (1h 15)  > Rest. Sunnegga
  • Sunnegga - Tufteren (30 min) > Rest. Tufternalp
  • Tufteren - Zermatt (1h 45)

 

 * alpine trail in parts, leads over glacier

Remark: The section currently closed because of rock fall is Tufteren - Täschalp. Alternative: Fluhalp - Pfulwe - Täschalp (white-blue markings, for experienced alpine hikers only).

We recommend:
  • Good, sturdy footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
  • Food and water
  • Reservations recommended in mountain huts
  • Variants with and without use of mountain railways / cable cars
  • Stage to Monte Rosa hut: mountain guide recommended (glacier hike)
  • Täschalp: cheese and Ziger soft cheese for sale

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).
"Themen erwandern in Zermatt", Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Eigenverlag, ISBN 978-3-905756-68-5. Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch. Erhältlich bei den Zermatt Bergbahnen AG im Shop auf Matterhorn glacier paradise. "Zermatter Sagen und Legenden", Karl Lehner, Neuauflage von 1982, ZAP CH-3900 Brig, ohne ISBN-Nummer "Der Wächter des Matterhorns – mein Leben auf der Hörnlihütte", Kurt Lauber. Droemer Verlag 2012. Deutsch, evtl. Japanisch. ISBN 978-3-426-27573-3. "Der Wahrheit näher – die Katastrophe am Matterhorn von 1865", Hannes Taugwalder und Martin Jaggi, Glendyn Verlag Aarau, 2013. Deutsch. Ohne ISBN-Nr. Erhältlich in der Buchhandlung ZAP, Zermatt. "Das Matterhorn aus Afrika – die Entstehungsgeschichte der Alpen in der Erdgeschichte", Michel Marthaler, A4, 2013, Ott Verlag AG, Deutsch und Französisch. ISBN 978-3-7225-0133-8 "Scrambles Amongst the Alps – in the Years 1860–1869". Edward Whymper, National Geographic Adventure Classics, Washington D.C., Englisch. ISBN 0-7922-6923-3. „Erste am Seil – Pionierinnen in Fels und Eis“, Caroline Fink und Karin Steinbach, Tyrolia Verlag Innsbruck, 2013. Deutsch. ISBN 978-3-7022-3252-8, auch als E-Book ISBN 978-3-7022-3253-5.
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 83,9 km
Ascent 5674 m
Descent 5868 m
Duration 32,10 h
Lowest point 1434 m
Highest point 3148 m

Starting point of the tour:

Zermatt (1'620 m)

Destination of the tour:

Täsch (1'450 m)

Properties:

  • Stage tour
  • Nice views
  • Geological highlights
  • Faunistic highlights
  • With refreshment stops
  • Botanical highlights

Download


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


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