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Fitness
Hiking trail

Nature Trail (Nr. 19)

Hiking trail · Switzerland
Responsible for this content
Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The sound of nature in the form of a rushing stream
    / The sound of nature in the form of a rushing stream
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Pascal Gertschen
  • / On the Naturweg between Riffelalp and Grünsee
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Zermatt Tourismus
  • / Experience nature and its beauty along this path
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Pascal Gertschen
  • / Refreshing dip: fun for all the family at the Leisee lake
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
ft 8200 8000 7800 7600 7400 7200 7000 6800 3,5 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 mi Sunnegga Buffet Bar Sunnegga Mountain Lodge Ze Seewjinu Leisee Moosjisee Bergbahnstation Riffelalp Paradies

The Nature Trail is a treat for body and soul. At first it leads through a forest with ancient Swiss stone pine trees, before entering the bare landscape left by the retreating Findel Glacier. Here, the sweeping views extend all the way to the Matterhorn.
moderate
6.2 km
1:40 h
271 m
191 m

Gnarled trees of Swiss stone pine frame the path, larches rustle in the wind. The trail initially follows the treeline before plunging into a mysterious landscape, home to all kinds of pioneers. Ever since the retreat of the Findel Glacier more than 100 years ago, new plant species have arrived, one after the other, and struggled to establish a stronghold.

  • View of many 4,000-metre peaks including the Matterhorn
  • Appropriate for children from age 6
  • Leisee lake recommended for families: swimming, play raft on lake, playground, barbecue sites

Author’s recommendation

The Grünsee lake is worth a visit (with swimming possible).
outdooractive.com User
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: February 18, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2289 m
Lowest point
2129 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Mountain Lodge Ze Seewjinu
Buffet Bar Sunnegga
Paradies

Safety information

  • 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.

Start

Riffelalp (2,211 m) (2208 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.004846, 7.753651
DMS
46°00'17.4"N 7°45'13.1"E
UTM
32T 403500 5095341
w3w 
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Destination

Sunnegga (2,288 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Riffelalp - Grünsee - Moosjisee - Leisee - Sunnegga

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 50)

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

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).

Getting there

Zermatt is car-free. Private vehicles are permitted only as far as Täsch (5 km before Zermatt). The Täsch–Zermatt road is closed to the public.

Onward travel to Zermatt is either by private taxi or shuttle train. Trains depart every 20 minutes; the journey takes about 12 minutes, and ends at the Bahnhofplatz in Zermatt.

Parking

Täsch has car parks with both covered and open-air parking – e.g. at the Matterhorn Terminal or privately operated facilities.

Onward travel: see “Getting there”.

Coordinates

DD
46.004846, 7.753651
DMS
46°00'17.4"N 7°45'13.1"E
UTM
32T 403500 5095341
w3w 
///duplicate.rents.scorched
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Bergblumenwelt von Zermatt – Alpine Flowers around Zermatt", Hanspeter Steindle, edition punktuell, CH-9101 Herisau, 2009, zweisprachige Ausgabe Deutsch und Englisch. ISBN 978-3-905724-15-8

Author’s map recommendations

A walking map (1:25,000) is available from Zermatt Tourism’s guest information centre, along with brochures containing tips and recommendations.

Equipment

We recommend:

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

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Photos from others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
6.2 km
Duration
1:40h
Ascent
271 m
Descent
191 m
Round trip Scenic Refreshment stops available Family friendly Geological highlights Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Cableway ascent/descent

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