Winter hiking

Rotenboden - Riffelberg (Nr. 113)

The winter views here are some of the finest in the Zermatt region. The trail leads below the shady Riffelhorn and back into dazzling sunshine, revealing a breathtaking vista culminating in the Gornergrat. A fairy-tale adventure with views that seem to go on for ever.

  • Type Winter hiking
  • Difficulty easy
  • Duration 1,00 h
  • Distance 2,6 km
  • Ascent 14 m
  • Descent 248 m
  • Lowest point 2568 m
  • Highest point 2816 m


This particular fairy tale begins at Rotenboden. The winter hiking trail drops left of the railway line, looping towards the Riffelhorn: the start of a big adventure. Depending on the time of day, the trail may pass through the peak’s cold blue shadow, and walkers experience for a moment just how much the sun warms the landscape, and how inhospitably cold it can be in the shade.

In no time, though, the trail leads back into the sunshine and up a small rise. The wow factor is tremendous: the view from here of the Matterhorn against a piercing blue winter sky is indescribably beautiful. The trail then winds gently down to Riffelberg. Walkers with children can happily pull them along on a sledge.

  • Appropriate for children from age 4
  • Magnificent mountain views with the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and other 4,000-metre peaks

Rotenboden - Riffelsee - Riffelberg

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 30)

We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Warm winter clothing appropriate for the weather

Consider first riding all the way up to the Gornergrat on the 111-year-old Gornergrat Bahn cog railway. The view from the observation platform: a breathtaking panorama of glaciers and mountains, including 29 peaks above 4,000 m.

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.

Map and arrival