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Fitness
Theme trail

Gletschergartenweg

Theme trail · Wallis
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Zermatt Tourismus Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • At the turn-off to the glacier garden with view of the valley
    / At the turn-off to the glacier garden with view of the valley
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Jelka
  • On the way to the glacier garden, with the Matterhorn always in view
    / On the way to the glacier garden, with the Matterhorn always in view
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Jelka
  • In the heart of the Dossen glacier garden
    / In the heart of the Dossen glacier garden
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
  • Information panels describing the formation of the glacier garden
    / Information panels describing the formation of the glacier garden
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
  • Dossen glacier garden with picnic opportunities, barbecue site and playground
    / Dossen glacier garden with picnic opportunities, barbecue site and playground
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
Map / Gletschergartenweg
1800 2100 2400 2700 m km 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bergbahnstation Riffelberg Buffet & Bar Riffelberg Riffelhaus 1853 Simi

The Gorner Glacier sculpted this landscape over many millennia. Today, hikers marvel at the polished rocks and boulders, the ice of the glacier that still remains in the valley floor, and the larch trees that are inexorably reconquering the landscape.

difficult
6.2 km
1:50 h
123 m
838 m

The trail leads from Riffelberg, which today lies on the treeline, into the rocky landscape along the former edge of the Gorner Glacier. First of all, though, hikers should pause to admire the view of the Matterhorn, before following the path down into the mysterious world carved out by the mighty forces of the glacier. At the Gletschergarten Dossen (Dossen glacier garden), visitors can see what a glacier normally conceals: boulders polished smooth, glacial mills and strange rock formations.

  • Further information on the “Furi – a world full of experiences” is also available online
  • July and August: edelweiss
  • In the Dossen glacier garden: information panels
  • Variant from Furi: through the Gornerschlucht gorge to Zermatt (fee payable)
  • Picnic areas, barbecue sites and children’s playground close to the Dossen glacier garden

Author’s recommendation

The Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis in the centre of Zermatt, displays reliefs depicting the glacial landscapes around the Gorner Glacier.

Additional information and recommendations are available from the guest information centre on Bahnhofplatz (by the railway station).

outdooractive.com User
Author
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: December 27, 2018

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2579 m
Lowest point
1826 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Buffet & Bar Riffelberg
Farmerhaus
Furri
Simi

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.

Equipment

We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)

Start

Riffelberg (2'582 m) (2578 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
45.992811, 7.754943
UTM
32T 403580 5094002

Destination

Furi (1'867 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Riffelberg - glacier garden - Schweigmatten - Furi

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h 35)

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”.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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.


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Photos of others


Difficulty
difficult
Distance
6.2 km
Duration
1:50 h
Ascent
123 m
Descent
838 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Geological highlights Botanical highlights Mountain railway ascent/descent

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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