Being located in the middle of the impressive Swiss Alps and being home to the Matterhorn, Zermatt is a true paradise for hiking fans. With over 400km of hiking trails in the area, one can easily get overwhelmed by the choice of paths to take. This guide will help you to find the best route for your next hike. We've already given you a list of the Top 5 Things to Do in Zermatt in Summer and now we are recommending our favorites hikes around Zermatt for each of the different levels; easy, medium, and hard.
Please be aware that some of the presented hikes require experience and good physical health. Also, note that some trails will need you to get to the starting point via other hikes or via gondolas/trains. Have a look at Zermatt Tourismus and Matterhorn Paradise, for the more details of each trail, such as safety information and exact route descriptions.
Our first recommendation is the Furi Suspension Bridge Trail. The trail starts in Furi, which you can reach via gondola or a short hike up from the town center.
Before reaching the 100-meter-long suspension bridge you’ll pass by the Furi hamlet and walk through the forest over wooden walkways that lead over a small stream. Eventually, you’ll reach the suspension bridge.
The Suspension Bridge situated a few meters above the Furi hamlet.
The bridge lays 90 meters above the Gornerschlucht gorger and is leading from one side of the valley to the other. It may seem scary for some to cross this bridge as you can see the foaming water of the Gorner river below your feet. But don’t worry, it’s completely safe.
Once you reach the other side, you’ll find yourself back in the idyllic mountain forest that surrounds Zermatt. On the way back to the Furi station you’ll also pass the Dossen Glacier Garden.
Here you’ll get the chance to admire the incredible power and beauty of nature. The Glacier Garden reveals what is normally concealed by a glacier; boulders polished smooth, glacial mills and strange rock formations.
Another trail classified as easy is the Riffelsee Lake trail. To get to the starting point of the trail you’ll have to take the Gornergrat train up until Rotenboden. Here the path will lead you to the Riffelsee, a photographic site in a class of its own.
The little lake is usually still and perfectly reflects the Matterhorn, making it ideal for taking pictures. The surrounding alpine flora, the view of the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, and the idyllic landscape make the perfection complete.
The Riffelsee lake is a favorite amongst many visitors not only because of its beautiful Matterhorn view but also because it has much more to offer. It is easily accessible making it the ideal choice for families with children. Even climbing enthusiasts will get the chance to spend one of their best days up there, as the Riffelhorn is filled with various climbing routes for experts.
Depending on the season, you might even be able to spot some wild animals, such an ibex in the Gaggenhaupt region. No matter what, the Riffelseeweg is a must-do for everyone.
The Riffelsee Lake - a highly photographic scenery
The 5 Lakes Walk is truly in a class of its own among the hiking trails in the region. As given in its name, throughout this hike you’ll pass 5 different lakes, providing you with many opportunities to take some beautiful photos.
The path leads past the lakes of the Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee. Each of them is very different and special in its own way thanks to its shape, color, and size. But there is one thing they all have in common. They make a good photo spot wherein 3 of them you’ll even be able to see a reflection of the Matterhorn on their surface.
Each lake promises a unique experience. Swimming in the Leisee where the kids can play around the playground, exploring rare flowers around the Grindjisee, there is so much to do and explore around this trail.
Throughout the path, you’ll also pass by some of Zermatt’s best mountain restaurants. As recommended in our previous blog post, enjoying a tasty meal in one of the amazing mountain restaurants, is one of the Top things to do in Zermatt in summer. So why not combine your hike with a quick lunch stop? We promise, you won’t regret it.
The Stellisee lake - one of the 5 lakes you'll pass by
The Matterhorn trail leads you right to the foot of the Matterhorn. Starting at Schwarzsee you’ll walk down to the Stafelalp, continue to Zmutt until reaching Zermatt. On the way, the trail will reveal many interesting facts about the Matterhorn and its history.
Just a few meters below the gondola station in a hollow, you’ll find the first highlight of the trail, the Schwarzsee lake, and a small chapel standing on its shores. Many mountaineers stop by here after a successful ascent to the Matterhorn to give thanks.
The Matterhorn trail then leads you down deeper into the “Zmutt” valley passing by the Matterhorn’s North Side, one of its most beautiful angles. Being so close the Matterhorn will reveal its true size and beauty to you. Besides the astonishing sight of the Matterhorn’s north side, there is much more to admire and explore. The surrounding landscape and the remaining of the mountain glaciers reveal how nature is changing.
Bayard Tip: If you prefer to have a more challenging hike, then do it the opposite way around. Instead of walking down from Schwarzsee to Zermatt, start from the town and hike all the way up to the foot of the Matterhorn.
The Edelweiss Trail is by far one of our favorite ones and we definitely recommend it, given you are an experienced hiker in high terrain. The way up is steep and demands a lot of physical fitness but once you pass the Trift and conquer the last hilltop, you’ll be flashed by the magical moment when the pinnacle of the Matterhorn appears from behind it.
At the top, you’ll reach one of Zermatt’s best viewpoints, Höhbalmen. After climbing up roughly 1000km in altitude, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama. The perfect chance to take pictures of the north face of the Matterhorn with the Zmuttgrat ridge, the Liskamm, Breithorn, and even the Monte Rosa massif.
The view of the north side of the Matterhorn from the Stafelalp - you'll pass by here on the Matterhorn & Höhbalmen trails.
Along the way, you might get lucky to see all sorts of animals; the Valais Blacknose sheep, a deer, or chamois. If you’re really lucky you might even spot a mountain eagle. And that’s not all yet, the trail isn’t called the Edelweiss trail for no reason. Along the path, you might spot these beautiful flowers. So be sure to keep your eyes wide open.
The hike of the Pfulwe (Fluh Pass) brings you deep into the wild hinterland to the east of Täsch and Zermatt, where you’ll get close to the true beauty of nature. The trail usually is devoid of people making it the perfect getaway from society, even if just for a day.
The path starts at the Täschalp where it will lead you up the steep valley of the Mellichbach river. Along the way at the foot of the Rimpfischhorn, you might be able to spot some chamois and other mountain wildlife that frequently gather around the terrain. The trail then continues past several small lakes all the way up to the Pfulwe providing you with many great photo opportunities. After reaching the top, you’ll start the descent into the lush green landscape around Fluhalp.
After reaching Fluhalp you’ll have various different opportunities to continue your hike or make your way down the valley back to Zermatt. If you’re not ready yet to leave the beautiful nature behind, you could make a stop at the Fluhalp hut for a tasty meal or refreshing drink to refill your energy tanks whilst enjoying the magnificent view of the Matterhorn.
Please be sure to have a look at the safety information provided for each trail by Zermatt Tourismus. Our guide solely aims to inspire you for your next hikes and doesn't cover everything in detail.
In order to enjoy your hikes and to have the best and safest experience possible, it’s important to use the right equipment when going up the mountains. If you’re still in need of some shoes, functional shirts, or any other hiking gear, be sure to stop by our shop on the main street or at The North Face Shop by the train station.
Especially our boot-fitting might be something for you. Shoes that are tailed specifically to your feet will ensure the best comfort and grip. No matter what, we would be happy to assist you.