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A hike with a glacier view from the Gornergrat to Riffelberg

· 3 reviews · Hiking trail
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Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Wanderung im Wallis: Wanderung mit Gletscherblick vom Gornergrat nach Riffelberg
    / Wanderung im Wallis: Wanderung mit Gletscherblick vom Gornergrat nach Riffelberg
    Video: Outdooractive – 3D Flüge
  • / Grenzletscher und Gornergletscher
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Ausblick von oben zum Riffelsee
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Riffelsee und Riffelhorn mit Matterhorn im Hintergrund
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Wollgras am Riffelsee
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Weg entlang des Gornergletschers
    Photo: Delia Inniger, Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
m 3200 3000 2800 2600 2400 6 5 4 3 2 1 km 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat - "VIS-À-VIS" Buffet & Bar Riffelberg Gorner Grat Corner Riffelhaus 1853 Riffelsee
This tour takes you alongside the glaciated mountain world of the Gornergrat.  It will take you over narrow and seldom-frequented paths close to the Gorner glacier.
Distance 6.3 km
2:30 h
155 m
663 m
You begin your hike at the Gornergrat mountain station.  First of all, make the most of the viewing platform to look at and enjoy the many peaks you can see from there.  By using the free telescopes you can discover the names and heights of the various summits.  Then you make your way along the Hohtälli ridge where the steep descent towards the Gorner Glacier will take some concentration.  Then you come to the Monte Rosa hut approach; you don’t go towards the hut but take the way with the view of the Matterhorn ahead of you. A new and very special perspective of the Matterhorn is waiting for you!  Now the path is gentle, going up and down, towards the Riffelsee lake.  We recommend a stop there to take some photos or have a picnic.  Finally, you have a choice of routes that will take you down to the Riffelberg  station. 

Author’s recommendation

Have a picnic or take some photos at the Riffelsee lake.  On windless days the Matterhorn is perfectly reflected in the surface of the water. 
Profile picture of Delia Inniger
Delia Inniger
Update: July 01, 2021
Highest point
Gornergrat viewing platform, 3,130 m
Lowest point
Riffelberg, 2,576 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Riffelhaus 1853
Buffet & Bar Riffelberg
3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat - "VIS-À-VIS"
3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat - Panoramaself

Safety information

  • Carry a map with you. Download the full trail description with a large scale map by clicking on "Print" at the top right of the page.
  • Use only marked trails and follow all signs and instructions - for your own safety, to protect grazing animals and in respect of wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Be considerate of other trail users, plants and animals.
  • Carry additional sun protection. UV rays at high altitudes can be very strong, even in overcast weather.
  • Plan your trek carefully: take into account the required fitness level of all participants, weather forecasts and seasonality.
  • Weather conditions in the mountains can change very quickly and without warning. Appropriate clothing and sufficient provisions (food and drink) are very important. If the weather is unstable, it is better to turn back early.

Tips and hints

Are you travelling to Zermatt by public transport? If you are actively travelling for several days, it is worth using the Adventure Card. This gives you free travel on a large network of trains and post buses for 2-5 days, as well as discounts on mountain railways.


Further information here:


Train tickets

Adventure Card

Tourist information


Gornergrat (3,089 m)
2'626'627E 1'092'450N
45.983096, 7.782237
45°58'59.1"N 7°46'56.1"E
32T 405677 5092890



Turn-by-turn directions

The tour begins at the Gornergrat station at 3,089 m above sea level. First, you walk up the ramp to the Kulm Hotel, past the viewing platform. There is a path to the east away from the viewing platform which takes you away from it, first along the Gornergrat  360° loop. From the Hohtälli ridge the route now goes southwards, very steeply, towards the Gorner glacier.  When you get to the bottom the path forks to the right and takes you sometimes up a little bit, sometimes down a little bit towards the Matterhorn and the Riffelsee lake.  Just behind the Riffelsee lake is another, smaller lake where there are usually fewer people but excellent views for your camera.  Finally, follow the path downwards, over alpine meadows to the Brother Klaus chapel on the Riffelberg.  You will certainly see some of our black-nosed sheep, who spend the summer up here. Perhaps you’ll meet the shepherdess who looks after them.  She is always happy to give hikers some information about these delightful sheep.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

With the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway from Visp to Zermatt. In Zermatt with the Gornergrat Railway to Gornergrat station. After the hike, the return journey on the Gornergrat Railway takes you from the Riffelberg station to Zermatt.

Getting there

Zermatt is car-free. We recommend travelling to Zermatt by public transport via Visp.


Zermatt is car-free. The Matterhorn Terminal Täsch in Täsch is a covered multi-storey car park - under one roof with the Täsch railway station, where you can change directly to the Zermatt Shuttles. We generally recommend travelling by public transport via Visp.


2'626'627E 1'092'450N
45.983096, 7.782237
45°58'59.1"N 7°46'56.1"E
32T 405677 5092890
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in Zermatt provides information and brochures about the region.

Author’s map recommendations

Swisstopo maps 1:25'000: Zermatt – Gornergrat


We recommend:
  • Good footwear and snowshoes of suitable size.
  • Weatherproof and warm clothing
  • Headgear
  • Sun protection
  • Water bottle
  • Picnic
  • Camera
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Walking sticks (optional)
  • Printout of the route (click "Print" to download)

Questions and answers

Question from claudia lee · August 23, 2021 · Community
Wäre es weniger schwer , von Rotenboden auf den Gonergrat zu wandern, ich mag keine Downhill-Straßen.
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Answered by Delia Inniger · August 24, 2021 · Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Der Weg vom Gletscher hinauf zum Gornergrat ist aufwärts konditionell anspruchsvoll, da recht viele Höhenmeter zu bewältigen sind. Eine leichtere Variante wäre allenfalls, statt den Weg vom Gletscher, den direkten Weg vom Riffelsee hinauf auf den Gornergrat zu wählen.
Weg vom Riffelsee zum Gornergrat
Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
1 more reply
Question from Sabrina Wyss  · July 01, 2021 · Community
Gibt es bei dieser Route ausgesetzte Stellen?
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Answered by Delia Inniger · July 01, 2021 · Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Hallo Sabrina, im ersten Teil der Wanderung hinunter zum Gletscher ist der weg ziemlich schmal und steil. Er ist nicht unbedingt ausgesetzt (nicht luftig), aufgrund des schmalen Pfades und des steilen Abstiegs kann es anspruchsvoll sein. Falls du vor Ort siehst, dass es dir zu ausgesetzt ist, kannst du den Weg entlang des Gletschers auch vom Riffelsee aus erreichen (siehe Roter Pfeil im Bild). Dieser Weg ist schön breit und nicht ausgesetzt.
Photo: Delia Inniger, Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Photo: Delia Inniger, Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn


Marcel Bauhofer
July 10, 2021 · Community
Alpine Strecke weiss-blau-weiss gemäss Schweizer Wanderwege. "Alpinwanderwege führen teilweise über Schneefelder, Gletscher oder Geröllhalden und durch Fels mit kurzen Kletterstellen; teils weglos. Bauliche Vorkehrungen können nicht vorausgesetzt werden. Benützer/innen müssen trittsicher, schwindelfrei und in sehr guter körperlicher Verfassung sein sowie die Gefahren im Gebirge sehr gut kennen. Zusätzlich zur Ausrüstung für Bergwanderwege können Kompass, Seil, Pickel und Steigeisen nötig sein."
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Leszek Kuich
May 15, 2021 · Community
Amazing views
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Photos from others

6.3 km
2:30 h
155 m
663 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Cableway ascent/descent


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