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
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.
- 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.
Getting thereZermatt 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.
ParkingTäsch 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”.
Author’s map recommendations
- Good footwear
- Hiking poles (optional)
- Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)