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.
- 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.
- It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
- Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
Note: This winter hiking trail can be slippery. Consider wearing ice grips or microspikes on footwear (available from sports shops).
Tip: “Be searchable”. Equip yourself with an additional RECCO rescue reflector*. Whether summer or winter. Available in our Online-Shop or our information desk.
*The additional reflector does not replace an avalanche beacon.
Getting thereZermatt 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.
ParkingTäsch 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”.
- Good footwear
- Hiking poles (optional)
- Warm winter clothing appropriate for the weather