This winter hiking trail leads through a wonderfully romantic snow-covered forest along the slopes of the Gornergrat and down into the village of Zermatt.
The treeline at Riffelalp announces the transition clearly: this is the beginning of the winter forest. The gnarled Swiss stone pines are heavily laden with snow; a cold winter breeze whispers around the naked branches of the larches. The snow crunches underfoot as the trail winds gently down to Zermatt.
Walkers following this winter hiking trail late in the afternoon may well spot a roe deer, immobile, the colour of its coat barely discernible from that of the surrounding larches.
This hike is especially beautiful when there is fresh snow and the Alpine pine and larch trees along the path are covered with fresh, sparkling snow.
Note: This winter hiking trail can be slippery. Consider wearing ice grips or microspikes on footwear (available from sports shops).