Plan a route here Copy route
Theme trail Top

Botanical Trail (Nr. 31)

· 1 review · Theme trail
Responsible for this content
Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • With a little luck, you will even see an edelweiss
    / With a little luck, you will even see an edelweiss
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • / On the path up to Trift
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Tanja Hengartner
  • / Gentians can be admired all along the trail
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • / Berggasthaus Trift hotel
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
m 2600 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 3,5 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km Trift Berggasthaus Edelweiss Bahnhof Zermatt
Edelweiss, gentian, different orchids: numerous rare alpine flowers grow along this botanical path. Depending on the course of the weather, the blossoms along this trail can change quickly, to the delight of nature lovers.
moderate
4 km
2:10 h
732 m
0 m

Up on these high alpine pastures, the variety of colours among the flowers is endless. Spring gentians bring bright shades of blue, soon followed by various species of anemone and pasque flower, including Haller’s pasque flower (Pulsatilla halleri), a very rare species typical of Zermatt. Later still, the edelweiss appear. A special feature along this walk: you can observe edelweiss comfortably at eye level, just a couple of hundred metres after crossing the Triftbach river.

Because so many different flowers blossom here, the variety of butterflies and other insects is also enormous. These include the beautiful but threatened Apollo butterfly (strictly protected).

  • Special feature: small areas of “flat bog” located on steep slopes (one of the paradoxes of the botanical world)
  • In flat bog areas: various orchids
  • Right beside them, in dry areas: edelweiss
  • Appropriate for children from age 8
  • Ibex colony in the vicinity of the Pension Edelweiss / Alterhaupt
  • Information panels in German, English, French, Japanese

Author’s recommendation

Allow plenty of time: the variety of flowers is tremendous.

Extension possible via the trails Edelweissweg or Wisshornweg.

Profile picture of Zermatt Tourismus
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: November 13, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,338 m
Lowest point
1,605 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Edelweiss
Trift Berggasthaus

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

Zermatt (1,620 m) (1,605 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'623'961E 1'096'942N
DD
46.023603, 7.748058
DMS
46°01'25.0"N 7°44'53.0"E
UTM
32T 403100 5097431
w3w 
///purses.clinking.howler

Destination

Trift (2,337 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Zermatt (station) - Trift

Extension possible via the trails Edelweissweg or Wisshornweg.

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

This hike is marked on the signposts as “Botanischer Lehrpfad”.

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
2'623'961E 1'096'942N
DD
46.023603, 7.748058
DMS
46°01'25.0"N 7°44'53.0"E
UTM
32T 403100 5097431
w3w 
///purses.clinking.howler
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 "Unsere Alpenflora", Elias Landolt, SAC-Verlag, Deutsch, ISBN 3-85902-218-0 „Flora Helvetica“, Konrad Lauber / Gerhart Wagner, Haupt Verlag Bern, Deutsch, ISBN 3-258-06313-3

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)
  • Camera with close-up lens

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Reviews

4.0
(1)
Lauren Van Abel
July 08, 2019 · Community
Steep initial ascent, but easy hike. Will get busy in the late morning/early afternoon. Nice views, not as much “botanical nature” as I was expecting (in terms of variety).
show more
Completed this Route on July 08, 2019
First day in Zermatt
Photo: Lauren Van Abel, CC BY, Community

Photos from others

First day in Zermatt

Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
4 km
Duration
2:10 h
Ascent
732 m
Descent
0 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Family friendly Geological highlights Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Point to Point

Statistics

  • Contents
  • Show images Hide images
Features
Maps and trails
: h
 km
 m
 m
 m
 m
Push the arrows to change the view