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Fitness
Hiking trail

Swiss Stone Pine Trail (Nr. 14)

Hiking trail · Switzerland
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Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn cog railway over the Findelbach bridge
    / Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn cog railway over the Findelbach bridge
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Toni Mohr
  • / In autumn it is especially beautiful
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Pascal Gertschen
  • / May be spotted with a little luck: a male roe deer
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Holger Knecht
m 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km Bergbahnstation Riffelalp Kapelle Winkelmatten … Familie" Bergbahnstation Findelbach Haus Salzgeber

This path through the shady forest of Swiss stone pine and larch is wonderfully relaxing. It’s peaceful; depending on time of day there’s hardly anyone around. There’s even the chance of spotting roe deer.
easy
3.1 km
1:10 h
15 m
545 m

The Vorderi Wälder region is a nature reserve, home to numerous roe deer. The Swiss stone pine, “King of the Alps”, is as much a feature of the Zermatt landscape as the Matterhorn and the glaciers. The wood, resin and needles of the Swiss stone pine contain a volatile substance called pinosylvin whose scent has a beneficial effect on humans. When a forest of Swiss stone pine is bathed in strong sunshine, the air is full of this soothing aroma.

The forests of Swiss stone pine and larch offer a treat for the eyes, too: endless different shades of green all around, offsetting the copper colour of the forest floor due to the soft pine needles that cover the path. Another delightful surprise is the sight, at a bend in the path, of a waterfall plunging into the Findelbach river.

  • The Swiss stone pine is also known as the Swiss pine, Arolla pine or cembra pine
  • Swiss stone pines can grow to an age of 1,000 years and a height of 25 m
  • Swiss stone pine needles grow in bunches of five
  • At Riffelalp, in summer: Europe’s highest-altitude tram

Author’s recommendation

Enjoy the typical postcard panorama of the Matterhorn. You have an especially beautiful view from one of the mountain restaurant terraces around Riffelalp.

 

When you are at Riffelalp, be sure to visit the "Herz Jesu" chapel.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: February 18, 2020

Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2203 m
Lowest point
1658 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

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) (2203 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.004953, 7.753680
UTM
32T 403503 5095352

Destination

Winkelmatten (1,650 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Riffelalp - Findelbach - Winkelmatten (chapel)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 40)

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

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”.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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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Difficulty
easy
Distance
3.1 km
Duration
1:10h
Ascent
15 m
Descent
545 m
Round trip Scenic Refreshment stops available Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Cableway ascent/descent

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