Matterhorn TrailTheme trail

The Matterhorn, the ultimate mountain… This trail explores its many facets: its physical origins, its stories and legends, its very essence.

Best season

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

Description

All kinds of stories are told about the Matterhorn: folk talks, legends, amusing anecdotes… This trail, which presents the world-famous mountain from quite close up, features a series of information panels that cover many different aspects of the iconic peak.

Did you know that the Matterhorn was made by giants from Valtournenche? Or that there were once plans to build a lift to the summit of the Matterhorn (see literature note)? Carved wooden sculptures beautifully depict different themes and stories.

  • Idyllic chapels at Schwarzsee and in Zmutt
  • Good view of the north face of the Matterhorn
  • Information panels in German, English, French, Japanese
Schwarzsee - Stafelalp - Zmutt - Zermatt (station)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 3h 45)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
Stafel cheese dairy: visitors can buy cheese and Ziger soft cheese on the spot in summer. The alpine meadow, with its simple benches and tables, is a good place to stop for refreshments.

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 info@matterhornparadise.ch oder per Telefon auf +41 (0)27 966 01 01. "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 Buchhandlugn 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
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 medium
Distance 9.80 km
Ascent 112 m
Descent 1077 m
Duration 2,55 h
Lowest point 1608 m
Highest point 2579 m

Starting point of the tour:

Schwarzsee (2'583 m)

Destination of the tour:

Zermatt (1'620 m)

Properties:

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

Download


Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth
GPS-Track


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