Located in the Canton of the Valais, in Switzerland, Zermatt is one of the most beautiful mountain towns. The Matterhorn is possibly the most photographed mountain in the world and this walk allows for incredible views throughout the day.
Start & End Zermatt Railway Station. See Transport Map for the Zermatt Region.
Starting in Zermatt itself, one must look for the little wooden signs that indicate the path to the Trift Hotel. The path starts near the Hotel Burgener, in the center of town and heads west, steeply up the Trift gorge. One passes perfectly manicured pastures and Mazots (wood and stone structures for keeping hay) before taking a path through the forest. A small café is found at 1961 meters, just above tree-line where one can stop and fill up a water bottle or for a coffee.
After about 20 minutes, the path emerges out of the forest and stunning views of the ranges around Zermatt begin to come into view. After nearly one hour of steady climbing along a very well-maintained footpath, the flagpole of the Trift Hotel (2337 meters) can be seen and a well-deserved mug of home-made ice tea can be purchased.
One crosses several, small, wooden bridges before taking a series of switchbacks leading up to the highest point of the day at nearly 2700 meters. The trail then contours west with an incredible panorama of peaks jutting up from the valley floor. One can see many of the highest peaks in the area including the second highest peak in the Alps, the Monte Rosa. The impressive north face of the Matterhorn is clearly visible for nearly 2 hours as one walks along a very good, gently rolling path. There ample opportunities for picnics and this is a photographer's paradise.
After nearly two hours of traversing, the path begins to descend back down to the valley floor and through to the village of Zmutt and its many old homes. This quaint village allows for a few moments of peace before the hustle of Zermatt. From Zmutt one needs about 1 hour to return to Zermatt.
The trail system in and around Zermatt is very well marked and should pose no problems when trying to complete this route.
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