Plan a route here Copy route
Mountain trail

Riffelsee Lake Trail (Nr. 21)

· 3 reviews · Mountain trail
Responsible for this content
Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Riffelsee lake with reflection of the Matterhorn
    / Riffelsee lake with reflection of the Matterhorn
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • / Startin point on Rotenboden with the Riffelhorn and the Matterhorn in the background
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Zermatt Tourismus
  • / With luck, ibex can be seen along the trail around Gagenhaupt
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Leander Wenger
  • / End of the hike at Riffelberg station
    Photo: Zermatt Matterhorn
m 2900 2800 2700 2600 2500 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km Bergbahnstation Rotenboden Bergbahnstation Riffelberg Riffelsee Buffet & Bar Riffelberg Riffelhaus 1853
This path leads to a photographic site in a class of its own: the Riffelsee with reflection of the Matterhorn, a small rock in the little lake, pristine nature all around. The ultimate idyll!
easy
3 km
1:00 h
53 m
289 m

The surface of the Riffelsee lake is usually still, and so ideal for taking photos. This pristine alpine landscape promises visitors a complete break from daily reality at lower altitudes. The play of light and shadow among the clouds in the sky, the vast horizon, the views of the highest mountains in the Alps: all have an inspiring effect on visitors. “I’m coming back,” they say. “For sure.”

  • Riffelsee lake: the most beautiful of photographic subjects, with reflection of the Matterhorn
  • Appropriate for children from age 4
  • On the Riffelhorn: climbing routes for experts
  • Wealth of alpine flora
  • Depending on season, wild animals can be seen (ibex in the Gaggenhaupt region)

Author’s recommendation

Consider first riding all the way up to the Gornergrat on the 111-year-old Gornergrat Bahn cog railway. The view from the observation platform: a breathtaking panorama of glaciers and mountains, including 29 peaks above 4,000 m. Then ride back to Rotenboden.
Profile picture of Zermatt Tourismus
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: February 19, 2020
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,814 m
Lowest point
2,566 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Buffet & Bar Riffelberg
Riffelhaus 1853

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.

Caution! In spring the path may not be passable because of snow.

Start

Rotenboden (2,815 m) (2,813 m)
Coordinates:
DD
45.984433, 7.765319
DMS
45°59'04.0"N 7°45'55.1"E
UTM
32T 404369 5093059
w3w 
///undertone.ownership.prickly

Destination

Riffelberg (2,582 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Rotenboden - Riffelsee - Riffelberg (extension possible via Mark Twain Weg or Swiss Topwalk trails)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 15)

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

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
45.984433, 7.765319
DMS
45°59'04.0"N 7°45'55.1"E
UTM
32T 404369 5093059
w3w 
///undertone.ownership.prickly
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)

Questions & Answers

Ask the first question

Do you have questions regarding this content? Ask them here.


Reviews

4.7
(3)
Wolge
September 29, 2019 · Community
Ti Zi
July 30, 2017 · Community
Schöne Tour mit toller Sicht auf die Berge. Bei Wind jedoch leider keine Spiegelung im See (unruhige Wasseroberfläche)
show more
Matterhotnsicht an windigem Tag
Photo: Ti Zi, Community
Kurtjan van Aubel
August 03, 2016 · Community
Absolutely fabulous hike! We started from the top of the Gornergrat. Spectacular views, many great picture moments! Matterhorn very prominent.
show more
Riffelsee area.
Photo: Kurtjan van Aubel, Community

Photos from others

Matterhotnsicht an windigem Tag
Riffelsee area.

Reviews
Difficulty
easy
Distance
3 km
Duration
1:00h
Ascent
53 m
Descent
289 m
Point-to-point Scenic Refreshment stops available Family friendly Geological highlights Cableway ascent/descent Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights

Statistics

  • Contents
  • Show images Hide images
: h
 km
 m
 m
 m
 m
For changing the range of view, push the arrows together.