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Mountain trail recommended route

Hike to the Schönbiel Hut (Nr. 29a)

Mountain trail
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Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Schönbiel hut (2,694 m), run by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC)
    / Schönbiel hut (2,694 m), run by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC)
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Schönbielhütte SAC
  • / "Maria zum Schnee" chapel at Schwarzsee
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
  • / Path to the Schönbiel hut (2,694 m), run by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC)
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus
  • / Arbenbach waterfall along the way
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
m 3000 2800 2600 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Weiler Furi Schwarzsee Schönbielhütte Staumauer Zmutt Schwarzsee Furri Alpsennerei Stafel Gitz-Gädi
The trail to the Schönbiel Hut is full of variety; the view from the hut of the north face of the Matterhorn is breathtaking.
difficult
Distance 19.9 km
6:20 h
558 m
1,285 m

The name says it all. In the Zermatt dialect, Schönbiel means “beautiful small plateau on a mound". From the mound on which the Schönbiel hut stands, the view of the Matterhorn is unforgettable, like in a dream. And as happens in dreams, the mood can change dramatically: depending on weather, the mighty Matterhorn with its soaring north face can suddenly seem distinctly scary.

The path to the hut leads across a great variety of mountain landscapes: tended alpine pastures, the gravelly terrain of the former tongue of the Zmutt Glacier, terminal moraine lakes, a reservoir with a hydroelectric power plant, large lateral moraines. On the way back to Furi, the path leads across alpine pastures with cows and through mixed forest of larch and Swiss stone pine.

  • Waterfall: Arbenbach falls
  • Chance to see wild animals

Author’s recommendation

You must take along your camera to make a picture of the impressive, steep Matterhorn north wall.
Profile picture of Zermatt Tourismus
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Update: May 12, 2021
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,694 m
Lowest point
1,859 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Farmerhaus
Furri
Gitz-Gädi
Schönbielhütte
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.

Start

Schwarzsee (2,583 m) (2,586 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'620'959E 1'093'397N
DD
45.991815, 7.709139
DMS
45°59'30.5"N 7°42'32.9"E
UTM
32T 400031 5093948
w3w 
///quoted.outings.mute

Destination

Furi (1,867 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Schwarzsee - Innerer Stafel (reservoir) - Schönbiel Hut - Arbenbach - Stafelalp - Furi

 

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

SwissGrid
2'620'959E 1'093'397N
DD
45.991815, 7.709139
DMS
45°59'30.5"N 7°42'32.9"E
UTM
32T 400031 5093948
w3w 
///quoted.outings.mute
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Orts- und Flurnamen der Gemeinde Zermatt", Klaus Julen und weitere, 1995. Erhältlich in der Buchhandlung ZAP in Zermatt. "Zermatter Sagen und Legenden", Karl Lehner, Neuauflage von 1982, ZAP CH-3900 Brig, ohne ISBN-Nummer "Der Wächter des Matterhorns – mein Leben auf der Hörnlihütte", Kurt Lauber. Droemer Verlag 2012. Deutsch, evtl. Japanisch. ISBN 978-3-426-27573-3.

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)

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others


Difficulty
difficult
Distance
19.9 km
Duration
6:20 h
Ascent
558 m
Descent
1,285 m
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