Alpine trail

Hike to the Rothorn Hut (Nr. 34)

The Rothorn Hut attracts a colourful variety of mountaineers seeking high-altitude challenges. Regular mountain hikers, too, enjoy the climb up to the Eseltschuggen.

  • Type Alpine trail
  • Difficulty hard
  • Duration 4,40 h
  • Distance 8,1 km
  • Ascent 1580 m
  • Descent 0 m
  • Lowest point 1608 m
  • Highest point 3189 m


The Rothorn Hut, newly opened in June 2024, at the foot of the Zinalrothorn is a popular starting point for ascents of various attractive peaks including the Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn, Wellenkuppe, Trifthorn and Aeschhorn. After the Viehboden area, hikers leave the gentle world of the lush alpine pastures to enter a mysterious landscape carved by glaciers long ago, formed of stone, rock, ice and snow. Here, hikers should keep an eye on the sky above: a pair of eagles can often be seen circling overhead.

  • Abundant wildlife including chamois
  • Eagles in the region
  • Alpine flora: alpine toadflax may be spotted among the scree, providing orange-and-violet splashes of colour

Information on the new building: 

The old Rothorn Hut was built in 1949 on what appeared to be solid foundations, but this soon proved otherwise. After geological investigations, another safer location was found a few metres further down.

The new hut aims to fulfil the needs of climbers and mountain hikers while meeting high aesthetic and ecological standards. Due to the high Alpine location, special construction techniques and high-quality workmanship were required. 

During construction, the old hut was demolished with the help of an army of volunteers. The bricks were reused in the construction of the new terrace as part of the ecological cycle.

The hut is open from the end of June to around mid-September. For information about the hut and its opening times, please contact the hut warden. 

The Rothorn Hut team looks forward to welcoming and serving you. 

Zermatt (station) - Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) - Trift - Rothorn Hut

(Hiking time for the walk back: approx. 3h)

This hike is marked on the signposts as “Rothornhütte”.

We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)

Important! A good head for heights, a sure foot and mountain experience are needed

Please contact the Rothorn Hut for the most up-to-date information on trail conditions.

A hike to the Rothorn Hut needs to be planned way ahead of time, because the hut is only open each summer for a short time from about mid-July to mid-September.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Map and arrival