Larch TrailTheme trail

The Lärchenweg (Larch Trail) leads across alpine pastures, along sparse forest that is home to numerous gnarled and ancient Swiss stone pine trees and tall larches. The theme trail is devoted to the nutcracker, an emblematic local bird species.

Best season

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


In autumn, this hike promises a very special experience. The larch needles change colour from green to yellow and then rust-red. Here, it’s easy to understand why walkers talk so enthusiastically about golden autumn walks. In winter, the trees are bare.

For centuries, local people hunted nutcrackers. These birds were considered pests: because their diet consists mainly of pine seeds, it was thought they prevented regeneration of the forest and hindered growth of new trees.

Only in the 1950s did scientists discover the secret of the nutcracker. On balance, these birds are of great benefit to the forest: the relatively heavy seeds of the Swiss stone pine are not dispersed by wind, as with other species of conifer, but through the activities of the nutcracker. Each bird gathers between 30,000 and 100,000 seeds a year, which it buries in the ground as a food supply. In winter, it has to dig up to 1 m deep in the snow to retrieve them. However, it does not find all the seeds again…

  • Larch wood is extensively used as a building material in Valais
  • Larches are resistant to vermin (because of high levels of resin)
  • Larches lose their needles in late autumn
  • Information panels in German, English, French, Japanese
Schwarzsee - Hermettje - Furi

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h 25)

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).
"Themen erwandern in Zermatt", Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Eigenverlag, Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, ISBN 978-3-905756-68-5. Erhältlich bei den Zermatt Bergbahnen AG im Shop auf Matterhorn glacier paradise, via E-Mail oder per Telefon auf +41 (0)27 966 01 01.
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 4,4 km
Ascent 62 m
Descent 773 m
Duration 1,40 h
Lowest point 1864 m
Highest point 2579 m

Starting point of the tour:

Schwarzsee (2'583 m)

Destination of the tour:

Furi (1'867 m)


  • Nice views
  • Geological highlights
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Tour route
  • With refreshment stops
  • Suitable for families and children
  • Botanical highlights
  • Mountain railway ascent/descent


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

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