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Riffelalp dayhike Hörnli hut

Wanderungen · Zermatt
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Karte / Riffelalp dayhike Hörnli hut
m 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Dossen glacier garden Schwarzsee Matterhorn Climb Hamlet of Zum See Schwarzsee Schwarzsee Schwarzsee
This is a steep hike mostly above tree-line to the hut at the base of the Matterhorn.  You’ll enjoy unmatched close-up views of the Matterhorn with a great all around panorama and a palpable high-mountain feel. 
Strecke 15,5 km
7:30 h
1.487 hm
1.096 hm
3.287 hm
1.831 hm

The Hörnli Hut sits on the prominent ridge leading up to the Matterhorn. Dozens of people attempt the climb to the top of the mountain each morning, and this serves as their jumping off point, a sort of Matterhorn base camp. It is as high as you can hike on the Matterhorn without actually climbing it (over 10,000 ft), and makes for an unforgettable hike. 

The trail above Schwarzsee is exposed at places, often with late-lying snow, so we can’t recommend this hike in bad weather. In any event, be careful, as the snow can ice up in the evening and gets very slippery.

This is a very long day with the travel from Riffelalp combined with a big hike. An early departure helps keep you ahead of the crowds. The hike from Schwarzsee to Hörnli and back is enough for most people and should be strongly considered as a good, more moderate hike.

There are restaurants along the way at Schwarzsee and Hörnli hut.


It's a very good idea to take the gondola up from Furi to Schwarzsee, dropping 2000 ft of rather skippable ascent from the hike, and giving yourself more time at the top.
Profilbild von Troy Haines
Troy Haines 
Aktualisierung: 13.01.2022
Höchster Punkt
3.287 m
Tiefster Punkt
1.831 m
Beste Jahreszeit


Asphalt 3,97%Naturweg 3,30%Pfad 92,72%
0,6 km
0,5 km
14,3 km
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Weiler Zum See
Hörnlihütte | Matterhorn


 The upper trail can be icy in wet or cold conditions, so take extra care and remember that slushy patches tend to ice up later in the day.

Weitere Infos und Links

If it rains... This is not the hike to choose when you run into bad weather.  It would be dangerous to attempt to hike to Hörnli hut if the weather’s bad - please don’t do it.  Hiking down to Furi, and then up the Gorner valley to the glacial pots can be really interesting. And both Zmutt and the Zum See hamlets near Furi are incredibly atmospheric with very nice restaurants that make good destinations.


Riffelalp (2.213 m)
2'624'197E 1'094'554N
46.002109, 7.750988
46°00'07.6"N 7°45'03.6"E
32T 403289 5095040
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Hornli hut


  • From Riffelalp: Follow signs from Riffelalp down towards Zermatt along the trail that drops down directly across from the hotel (not from the train station). This leads you down steeply through the woods, past a couple small restaurants and eventually to the gondola station at Furi.
  • At Furi, the reasonable option is to get on the gondola up to Schwarzsee, saving a 2000 foot climb.
  • From Furi: If you’d like to hike up from Furi, the trail leads up the hill to the west to the small inn at Hermetji. The Matterhorn, indeed most of the mountains, are hidden from view at this point of the hike, but continue up, and you’ll eventually come out of the woods on a steady ascent.
  • The trail goes through a number of switchbacks, and finally starts to level off as you arrive at Schwarzsee over 2000 ft above Furi, where there is a restaurant, a small lake, and dazzling views. Expect the hike to Schwarzsee from Riffelalp to take about 2½-3 hrs.
  • From Schwarzsee: You will be sharing the trail with a lot of people. The trail to Hörnli hut leads off to the left of the lake, and soon starts up over rocky terrain onto the Hörnli ridge leading you straight to the massive, pyramidal Matterhorn.
  • There are a few exposed sections, and the trail, while easy to follow, can be slippery in places. It’s a beautiful stretch of trail, and the anticipation mounts as you draw closer and closer to the base of the Matterhorn. The trail runs along a suspended metal walkway for a bit, then crosses the north side of the ridge, where you will often find icy patches. Take care and use the cables where provided.
  • After crossing to the south side of the ridge, a final series of steep switchbacks leads to the Hörnli Hut, the end of the road for hikers. Congratulations! The views straight up the face of the Matterhorn are powerful, as is the view back to Monte Rosa along the Gorner glacier. Stop at the restaurant for lunch and views. Climbers stay here and rise at 3:30 in the morning to climb to the peak. For a fun detour, continue on for 5 minutes above the hut to see the ropes where the hiking ends and climbing begins (don’t climb).
  • When you’re ready to return, walk back to the Schwarzsee lake the way you came. Leave plenty of time to catch the gondola. From Schwarzsee, you can either descend to Furi and hike back up to Riffelalp, descend all the way to Zermatt, walk across town, and take the Gornergrat train back to Riffelalp.
  • Alternate Return: The hike down from Schwarzsee, while very long, is quite charming. Take the trail leading down west to Stafelalp, with the small Schwarzsee lake and the Matterhorn on your left. It’s a pleasant narrow trail weaving through little hillocks and tarns, and usually has very few people. It will drop you down to the small hamlet of Stafelalp, where there is a restaurant. From here, follow signs back to Zermatt. There are a different ways to go, and it doesn’t matter which route you take. You can take the Gornergrat train up to Riffelalp.


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


2'624'197E 1'094'554N
46.002109, 7.750988
46°00'07.6"N 7°45'03.6"E
32T 403289 5095040
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15,5 km
7:30 h
1.487 hm
1.096 hm
Höchster Punkt
3.287 hm
Tiefster Punkt
1.831 hm
Hin und zurück Bergbahnauf-/-abstieg


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