Mountain trail

Riffelsee Lake Trail (Nr. 21)

This path leads to a photographic site in a class of its own: the Riffelsee with reflection of the Matterhorn, a small rock in the little lake, pristine nature all around. The ultimate idyll!

360° Panorama
  • Type Mountain trail
  • Difficulty easy
  • Duration 1,00 h
  • Distance 3 km
  • Ascent 53 m
  • Descent 289 m
  • Lowest point 2566 m
  • Highest point 2814 m


The surface of the Riffelsee lake is usually still, and so ideal for taking photos. This pristine alpine landscape promises visitors a complete break from daily reality at lower altitudes. The play of light and shadow among the clouds in the sky, the vast horizon, the views of the highest mountains in the Alps: all have an inspiring effect on visitors. “I’m coming back,” they say. “For sure.”

  • Riffelsee lake: the most beautiful of photographic subjects, with reflection of the Matterhorn
  • Appropriate for children from age 4
  • On the Riffelhorn: climbing routes for experts
  • Wealth of alpine flora
  • Depending on season, wild animals can be seen (ibex in the Gaggenhaupt region)

Rotenboden - Riffelsee - Riffelberg (extension possible via Mark Twain Weg or Swiss Topwalk trails)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 15)

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

We recommend:

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

Consider first riding all the way up to the Gornergrat on the Gornergrat Bahn cog railway. The view from the observation platform: a breathtaking panorama of glaciers and mountains, including 29 peaks above 4,000 m. Then ride back to Rotenboden.

  • 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.

Caution! In spring the path may not be passable because of snow.

Map and arrival