Riffelalp - Winkelmatten

This winter hiking trail leads through a wonderfully romantic snow-covered forest, along the lowest slopes of the Gornergrat and down into the village of Zermatt.

Best season

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

Description

The treeline at Riffelalp announces the transition clearly: this is the beginning of the winter forest. The gnarled Swiss stone pines are heavily laden with snow; a cold winter breeze whispers around the naked branches of the larches. The snow crunches underfoot as the trail winds gently down to Zermatt.

Walkers following this winter hiking trail late in the afternoon may well spot a roe deer, immobile, the colour of its coat barely discernible from that of the surrounding larches.
Riffelalp - Ritti - Winkelmatten (chapel)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h 30)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Warm winter clothing appropriate for the weather
This winter hiking trail can be slippery. Consider wearing ice grips or microspikes on footwear (available from sports shops).

The mountain landscape around Zermatt, with 38 summits above 4,000 metres, offers breathtaking panoramic views in winter.

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.
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).

Map and arrival

Condition 

Technique 

Experience 

Landscape 

Difficulty medium
Distance 4.13 km
Ascent 36 m
Descent 578 m
Duration 1,45 h
Lowest point 1667 m
Highest point 2228 m

Starting point of the tour:

Riffelalp (2'211 m)

Destination of the tour:

Winkelmatten (1'650 m)

Properties:

  • Nice views
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Tour route
  • With refreshment stops
  • Mountain railway ascent/descent
  • Way cleared
  • Groomed snow surface

Download

Tour information (PDF)
Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth
GPS-Track


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