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Fitness
Mountain tour

Hörnli Trail (Nr. 27)

· 1 review · Mountain tour · Zermatt
Responsible for this content
Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Ascent to the Hörnli hut (3,260 m)
    / Ascent to the Hörnli hut (3,260 m)
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • / Hörnli Hut - Reopening summer 2015
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Leander Wenger
  • / The path leads over metal walkways
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
  • / View from the hut over the surrounding mountains and the village
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
ft 11500 11000 10500 10000 9500 9000 8500 8000 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 mi Schwarzsee (Bergbahnstation) Hörnlihütte | Matterhorn Schwarzsee Kapelle Schwarzsee "Maria zum Schnee" Schwarzsee

This trail leads to what is probably the key location in Zermatt, the Hörnli Hut at the foot of the Matterhorn. Historically this has been the heart of all the action, and remains so today.
difficult
4.3 km
2:15 h
702 m
18 m

Anyone visiting Zermatt should take this path at least once. It was here that the first climbers to conquer the Matterhorn set off for their ascent on 14 July 1865. Of the seven mountaineers, only three returned to the village of Zermatt, including the British climber Edward Whymper.

At the Hörnli Hut, visitors can really feel, touch and experience the Matterhorn, which towers majestically above the building. The climbing route leads from here via the Hörnligrat ridge up to the summit. From the hut’s terrace, visitors can watch the mountaineers (binoculars required) beginning their ascent before dawn, equipped with head torches. It’s fascinating to watch. Is it a smooth climb? Have they reached the Solvay hut (4,003 m) yet? Are they managing to scale the “shoulder”? How quickly will they reach the summit?

  • Trail leads past the idyllic Schwarzsee lake with chapel
  • Accommodation in the Hörnli Hut (reservations required)
  • Best time of year for spotting mountaineers scaling the Hörnligrat: August–September
  • Photographic subject: the Matterhorn, close up

Author’s recommendation

The trail features open-grilled metal walkways suspended over the void; this can prove a challenge for those who do not have a good head for heights. The path is exposed in places.

A must for those interested in the Matterhorn: the Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis, brings the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 vividly to life. Exhibits include pictures, the original snapped rope from the first ascent, artefacts, finds from the mortal accident…

outdooractive.com User
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: June 22, 2020

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Hörnlihütte, 3260 m
Lowest point
2559 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Hörnli hut | Matterhorn
Schwarzsee

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.

Tip: “Be searchable”. Equip yourself with an additional RECCO rescue reflector*. Whether summer or winter. Available in our Online-Shop or our information desk.* The additional reflector does not replace an avalanche beacon.

Start

Schwarzsee (2,583 m) (2576 m)
Coordinates:
DD
45.991595, 7.709289
DMS
45°59'29.7"N 7°42'33.4"E
UTM
32T 400042 5093923
w3w 
///hands.multiple.dragonfly

Destination

Hörnli Hut (3,260 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Schwarzsee - Hörnli Hut

(Hiking time for the walk back: approx. 1h 30)

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

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
45.991595, 7.709289
DMS
45°59'29.7"N 7°42'33.4"E
UTM
32T 400042 5093923
w3w 
///hands.multiple.dragonfly
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Der Wächter des Matterhorns – mein Leben auf der Hörnlihütte", Kurt Lauber. Droemer Verlag 2012. Deutsch, evtl. Japanisch. ISBN 978-3-426-27573-3. "Der Wahrheit näher – die Katastrophe am Matterhorn von 1865", Hannes Taugwalder und Martin Jaggi, Glendyn Verlag Aarau, 2013. Deutsch. Ohne ISBN-Nr. Erhältlich in der Buchhandlung ZAP, Zermatt. „Scrambles Amongst the Alps – in the Years 1860-1869“. Edward Whymper, National Geographic Adventure Classics, Washington D.C., Englisch. ISBN 0-7922-6923-3. "Ulrich Inderbinen", Heidi Lanz / Liniane De Meester, Rotten Verlag, CH-3930 Visp, 1996. Auflage in Deutsch in Vorbereitung. English, Französisch. „Visionäre Bahnprojekte – die Schweiz im Aufbruch 1870 – 1939“, Heinz Schild, AS Verlag Zürich, Deutsch. ISBN 978-3-906055-13-8

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)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera / Telephoto

Important! A good head for heights, a sure foot  are needed


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Reviews

5.0
(1)
Saghar Hosseini
August 05, 2019 · Community
Photo: Saghar Hosseini, Community
Photo: Saghar Hosseini, Community
Photo: Saghar Hosseini, Community

Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
difficult
Distance
4.3 km
Duration
2:15h
Ascent
702 m
Descent
18 m
Round trip Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Cableway ascent/descent Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights

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