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Discovery Trail snowshoe tour from Sunnegga to Riffelalp

Snowshoeing · Valais
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Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Gornergrat Bahn oberhalb Riffelalp
    / Gornergrat Bahn oberhalb Riffelalp
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Gornergrat Bahn
  • /
  • / Winterwanderweg zwischen Riffelalp Resort und der Station Riffelalp
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Restaurant Al Bosco auf der Riffelalp
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
  • / Restaurant Alphitta auf der Riffelalp
    Photo: Gornergrat Bahn
m 2300 2200 2100 2000 5 4 3 2 1 km Alphitta Kapelle Findeln "Jakobus der Ältere" Fotopoint Riffelalp Chez Vrony Weiler Findeln Findlerhof
For most of the snowshoe tour from the Sunnegga to Riffelalp you have a perfect view of the Matterhorn. 
moderate
5.6 km
2:30 h
257 m
336 m
The signposting for the snowshoe trail begins at the hamlet of Findeln, renowned for its high-class gastronomy.  Here are mountain restaurants with gracious names like Chez Vrony, Findlerhof or Adlerhitta, which all serve some of the finest gourmet cuisine.  To get to Findeln you take the winter hiking trail between Sunnegga and Findeln and then you enter undisturbed nature in this branch valley above Zermatt.  After a climb at the start, the route ascends gradually after crossing the bridge.

 

Now it’s time to enter the snowy Arvenwald (Swiss-pine forest).  You might be surprised to learn that Arven trees have to reach between 40 and 90 years of age before they can start to produce fir cones.  Should you come across a pine bearing cones then you know that you have discovered a very old tree.  Walk through the forest until you come to the Riffelalp.  Waiting here for you are various restaurants, each with a fantastic view of the Matterhorn.  Do you fancy being pampered?  In that case the Riffelalp Resort is for you whereas the Alphitta restaurant offers a rustic interior and typical Wallis charm. 

Author’s recommendation

With the combi-ticket for snowshoe walkers both railways (Zermatt-Sunnegga and Riffelalp-Zermatt) are included and the ticket can be purchased for both directions.
Profile picture of Delia Inniger
Author
Delia Inniger
Updated: March 10, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Risk potential
Highest point
Sunnegga, 2,289 m
Lowest point
Wiprächt, 2,019 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Exposition / cardinal direction
NESW

Rest Stop

Chez Vrony
Findlerhof
Al Bosco - - Riffelalp Resort 2222 m.ü.M.
Alexandre - Riffelalp Resort 2222 m.ü.M.
Alphitta

Safety information

  • Carry a map with you. Download the full trail description with a large scale map by clicking on "Print" at the top right of the page.
  • Use only marked trails and follow all signs and instructions - for your own safety, to protect grazing animals and in respect of wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Be considerate of other trail users, plants and animals.
  • Carry additional sun protection. UV rays at high altitudes can be very strong, even in overcast weather.
  • Plan your trek carefully: take into account the required fitness level of all participants, weather forecasts and seasonality.
  • Weather conditions in the mountains can change very quickly and without warning. Appropriate clothing and sufficient provisions (food and drink) are very important. If the weather is unstable, it is better to turn back early.

Tips, hints and links

Are you travelling to Zermatt by public transport? If you are actively travelling for several days, it is worth using the Adventure Card. This gives you free travel on a large network of trains and post buses for 2-5 days, as well as discounts on mountain railways.

Start

Sunegga (2,288 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'625'693E 1'096'213N
DD
46.016980, 7.770386
DMS
46°01'01.1"N 7°46'13.4"E
UTM
32T 404817 5096669
w3w 
///trucked.condensed.impulsive

Destination

Riffelalp

Turn-by-turn directions

The tour begins at Sunnegga, easily reached with a funicular railway.  The first stage of your tour takes you over the same route as the winter hiking path.  This goes as far as Findeln, where the official signposting for the snowshoe trail begins.  Going down the valley will take you to the stream which you can cross via a bridge.  On the left-hand side you will see the chairlift valley station.  Following this the route on the other side of the valley the trail rises again and takes you to the Arvenwald (Swiss-pine forest) to Riffelalp.  Just before the end of your tour you have to cross over the Gornergrat railway tracks, finally arriving at the Riffelalp where you can discover  diverse catering establishments from the rustic Alphitta to a gourmet restaurant.  In 10 minutes you can get to the Riffelalp railway station along a prepared track, and the train will bring you from here back to Zermatt. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Mit der Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn ab Visp nach Zermatt. In Zermatt mit der Sunnegga Bahn auf die Sunnegga. Nach der Wanderung erfolgt die Rückreise mit der Gornergrat Bahn ab der Station Riffelalp (2211m) nach Zermatt.

Getting there

Zermatt ist autofrei. Wir empfehlen die Anreise mit den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln via Visp nach Zermatt.

Parking

Zermatt ist autofrei. In Täsch steht mit dem Matterhorn Terminal Täsch ein gedecktes Parkhaus zur Verfügung – unter einem Dach mit dem Bahnhof Täsch, wo du direkt auf die Zermatt Shuttles umsteigen kannst. Wir empfehlen grundsätzlich die Anreise mit den öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln via Visp.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'625'693E 1'096'213N
DD
46.016980, 7.770386
DMS
46°01'01.1"N 7°46'13.4"E
UTM
32T 404817 5096669
w3w 
///trucked.condensed.impulsive
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Das Tourismusbüro in Zermatt stellt dir Informationen und Broschüren zum Schneeschuhlaufen und zur Geschichte der Region zur Verfügung. 

Author’s map recommendations

Landeskarte Swisstopo 1:25'000: Zermatt – Gornergrat

Equipment

We recommend:
  • Good footwear and snowshoes of suitable size.
  • Weatherproof and warm clothing
  • Headgear
  • Sun protection
  • Water bottle
  • Picnic
  • Camera
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Walking sticks (optional)
  • Printout of the route (click "Print" to download)

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Photos from others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
5.6 km
Duration
2:30 h
Ascent
257 m
Descent
336 m
Scenic Cableway ascent/descent Clear area Forest Point to Point

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