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Theme trail

Path to Freedom (Nr. 13)

Theme trail · Wallis
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  • On the way sculptures of metal and glass with information
    / On the way sculptures of metal and glass with information
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
  • Now the ascent is following
    / Now the ascent is following
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
  • On the way to the top
    / On the way to the top
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
  • Impressive view from the Oberrothorn (3,415 m)
    / Impressive view from the Oberrothorn (3,415 m)
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Kurt Müller
  • View from the top
    / View from the top
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
Map / Path to Freedom (Nr. 13)
3000 3150 3300 3450 3600 m km 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 Rothorn Rothorn Ristorante Pizzeria

It’s not every day that walkers have the chance to tackle the highest hiking trail in Zermatt (3,415 m). The view of 38 mountains above 4,000 metres is dramatic and inspiring. Along the way, sculptures invite hikers to engage in philosophical contemplation of the mountains all around.

2.9 km
1:25 h
480 m
193 m

The path climbs steadily into the boundless liberty of unspoilt nature. The bare landscape of rock and scree encourages reflexion. Hikers marvel at the different grasses and tiny flowers along the path. It’s amazing that they should survive such extremes of heat, cold and aridity, together with butterflies and buzzing insects. Stones and sand reveal an abundance of colours; minerals in the rock glitter in the sunlight.

The Path to Freedom is also a nature trail with a philosophical theme, portraying the evolution of minerals to life forms through sculptures of metal and glass.

  • Sculptures with information in German, English, French, Japanese
  • Rare endemic plants (literature note)

Author’s recommendation

Botanists, take note: rare endemic plants to be discovered.


Additional information and recommendations are available from the guest information centre on Bahnhofplatz (by the railway station). User
Zermatt Tourismus
Updated: September 23, 2019

Highest point
3384 m
Lowest point
2968 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Rothorn Ristorante Pizzeria

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.


We recommend:

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


Rothorn (3'103 m) (3088 m)
46.021226, 7.797522
32T 406925 5097108


Oberrothorn (3'415 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Rothorn - Oberrothorn

(Hiking time for the walk back: approx. 1h 05)

This hike is marked on the signposts as “Weg zur Freiheit”.

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”.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Themen erwandern in Zermatt", Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Eigenverlag, Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, ISBN 978-3-905756-68-5. Erhältlich bei den Zermatt Bergbahnen AG im Shop auf Matterhorn glacier paradise, via E-Mail oder per Telefon auf +41 (0)27 966 01 01. "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.

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Photos of others

2.9 km
1:25 h
480 m
193 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Geological highlights Botanical highlights Mountain railway ascent/descent Summit route Insider tip


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