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Multi-day hike recommended route

High-Altitude Trail

Multi-day hike · Switzerland
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Zermatt - Matterhorn Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Past the Schwarzsee lake and the "Maria zum Schnee" chapel
    Past the Schwarzsee lake and the "Maria zum Schnee" chapel
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
m 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 80 60 40 20 km SAC-Hütte Monte Rosa Täschhütte SAC Schönbielhütte Riffelsee Fluhalp Schwarzsee Täschalp Furri
The Höhenweg (high-altitude trail) brings hikers to the most beautiful locations in the mountains around Zermatt. Highlights include Höhbalmen and Gornergrat, where the Alpine views seem to go on for ever.
Distance 89.3 km
32:10 h
5,749 m
5,921 m
3,159 m
1,438 m

Zermatt – the ultimate in alpinism. This long-distance trail, which takes about 35 hours in all to hike, links the beautiful mountain balconies overlooking Zermatt. With total climbs and descents of 7,000 vertical metres, the route promises an unforgettable experience.

The decision of where and when to stop for the night is down to taste and fitness. The choice of welcoming mountain huts offering a real sense of mountain adventure is plentiful. One of the best features of this hike is the way the mountain landscape and the views of the surrounding 4,000-metre peaks change all the time.

  • Views of the highest mountains in the Alps
  • Photo subject: the Matterhorn from different angles
  • Photo subject: the Monte Rosa massif from different angles

Author’s recommendation

  • Reservations recommended in mountain huts
  • Variants with and without use of mountain railways / cable cars
  • Stage to Monte Rosa hut: mountain guide recommended (glacier hike)
  • Täschalp: cheese and Ziger soft cheese for sale

The mountain landscape around Zermatt, with 38 summits above 4,000 metres, offers breathtaking panoramic views and is home to a wealth of fauna and flora.

Profile picture of Zermatt Tourismus
Zermatt Tourismus
Update: November 19, 2020
Highest point
3,159 m
Lowest point
1,438 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 0.20%Forested/wild trail 24.17%Path 71.94%Road 2.62%Unknown 1.05%
0.2 km
Forested/wild trail
21.6 km
64.3 km
2.3 km
0.9 km
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Rest stops

Buffet & Bar Riffelberg
3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat - Panoramaself
Al Bosco - - Riffelalp Resort 2222 m.ü.M.
Mountain Lodge Ze Seewjinu
Riffelhaus 1853
Les Marmottes
Stafelalp 2200m
Täschalp Restaurant & Lodge
Täschhütte SAC
Trift Berggasthaus
Monte Rosa hut (Swiss Alpine Club)

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.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • 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.


Zermatt (1,620 m) (1,605 m)
2'623'962E 1'096'945N
46.023626, 7.748075
46°01'25.1"N 7°44'53.1"E
32T 403102 5097434
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Täsch (1,450 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Route stages with accommodation options:

  • Zermatt - Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) (1h) > Pension Edelweiss
  • Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) - Trift (1h 10) > Berggasthaus Trift
  • Trift - Schönbiel hut (4h 10) > Schönbiel hut
  • Schönbiel hut - Schwarzsee (3h 10) > Hotel Schwarzsee
  • Schwarzsee - Gandegg hut (2h 35) > Gandegg hut
  • Gandegg hut - Furi (2h 10) > Hotel Silvana
  • Furi - Riffelalp (1h 30) > Riffelalp Resort
  • Riffelalp - Riffelberg (1h) > Hotel Riffelberg
  • Riffelberg - Rotenboden (45 min) > Kulmhotel Gornergrat
  • Rotenboden station - Monte Rosa hut* (4h) > Monte Rosa hut
  • Monte Rosa hut* - Rotenboden (4h) 
  • Rotenboden - Gornergrat (50 min) > Kulmhotel Gornergrat
  • Gornergrat - Grünsee (1h 40) > Mountain Lodge Ze Seewjinu

Alternative 1 (over Pfulwen)

  • Grünsee - Fluhalp (1h 40) > Berghütte Fluhalp
  • Fluhalp - Pfulwe - Täsch hut (Alpine Route, 4h 15) > Täsch hut
  • Täsch hut - Europaweg hut (Täschalp) - Täsch (2h 15) > Europaweg hut

 Alternative 2 (over Tufteren)

  • Grünsee - Sunnegga (1h 15)  > Rest. Sunnegga
  • Sunnegga - Tufteren (30 min) > Rest. Tufternalp
  • Tufteren - Täschalp (1h 45) > Rest. Europaweghütte
  • Täschalp - Täschhütte (1h 30) > Täsch hut
  • Täschhütte - Täsch (2h 15)

 * alpine trail in parts, leads over glacier


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.


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”.


2'623'962E 1'096'945N
46.023626, 7.748075
46°01'25.1"N 7°44'53.1"E
32T 403102 5097434
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Themen erwandern in Zermatt", Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Eigenverlag, ISBN 978-3-905756-68-5. Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch. Erhältlich bei den Zermatt Bergbahnen AG im Shop auf Matterhorn glacier paradise. "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. "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. "Das Matterhorn aus Afrika – die Entstehungsgeschichte der Alpen in der Erdgeschichte", Michel Marthaler, A4, 2013, Ott Verlag AG, Deutsch und Französisch. ISBN 978-3-7225-0133-8 "Scrambles Amongst the Alps – in the Years 1860–1869". Edward Whymper, National Geographic Adventure Classics, Washington D.C., Englisch. ISBN 0-7922-6923-3. „Erste am Seil – Pionierinnen in Fels und Eis“, Caroline Fink und Karin Steinbach, Tyrolia Verlag Innsbruck, 2013. Deutsch. ISBN 978-3-7022-3252-8, auch als E-Book ISBN 978-3-7022-3253-5.

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.


We recommend:

  • Good, sturdy footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
  • Food and water

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89.3 km
32:10 h
5,749 m
5,921 m
Highest point
3,159 m
Lowest point
1,438 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna


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