Schwarzsee - SchönbielhütteHiking trail

The trail to the Schönbiel hut is full of variety; the view from the hut of the north face of the Matterhorn is breathtaking.

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The name says it all. In the Zermatt dialect, Schönbiel means “beautiful small plateau on a mound". From the mound on which the Schönbiel hut stands, the view of the Matterhorn is unforgettable, like in a dream. And as happens in dreams, the mood can change dramatically: depending on weather, the mighty Matterhorn with its soaring north face can suddenly seem distinctly scary.

The path to the hut leads across a great variety of mountain landscapes: tended alpine pastures, the gravelly terrain of the former tongue of the Zmutt Glacier, terminal moraine lakes, a reservoir with a hydroelectric power plant, large lateral moraines. On the way back to Furi, the path leads across alpine pastures with cows and through mixed forest of larch and Swiss stone pine.

  • Waterfall: Arbenbach falls
  • Chance to see wild animals
Schwarzsee - Innerer Stafel (reservoir) - Schönbiel hut - Chalbermatten - Zmutt - Furi
We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
Ibex sometimes linger in the vicinity of the Schönbiel hut.

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).
"Orts- und Flurnamen der Gemeinde Zermatt", Klaus Julen und weitere, 1995. Erhältlich in der Buchhandlung ZAP in Zermatt. "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.
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 hard
Distance 19,7 km
Ascent 832 m
Descent 1543 m
Duration 7,10 h
Lowest point 1864 m
Highest point 2689 m

Starting point of the tour:

Schwarzsee (2'583 m)

Destination of the tour:

Schönbielhütte SAC (2'694 m)


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


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

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