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Zermatt dayhike Hörnli Hut

Wanderungen · Zermatt
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Karte / Zermatt dayhike Hörnli Hut
m 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Matterhorn Climb Stafelalp 2200m Schwarzsee Hörnli hut | Matterhorn Schwarzsee Hamlet of Zmutt Schwarzsee Zmutt dam
This is a steep hike above treeline to the hut at the base of the Matterhorn. Unmatched close-up views of the Matterhorn itself, with a nice all around panorama and a palpable high-mountain feel. 
Strecke 17,5 km
7:30 h
680 hm
1.662 hm
3.264 hm
1.613 hm

The hike to Hornli hut is very popular, but is also a very memorable and beautiful hike that is worth the effort.

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. 

This is a very long hike from Zermatt. It is possible for strong hikers to walk the whole way, but there is a gondola from Zermatt to Schwarzsee that turns this into a much more moderate hike. Our suggestion is to take this gondola to Schwarzsee and back, since the Schwarzsee to Hörnli hut round trip is plenty for most people, and the uphill hike from Schwarzsee does not offer much in the way of views.

If you want a longer hike, the route down via Stafelalp is very nice and is described. 

There are restaurants along the way at Schwarzsee, the hut itself, Stafelalp and Zmutt.

Profilbild von Troy Haines
Troy Haines 
Aktualisierung: 13.01.2022
Höchster Punkt
3.264 m
Tiefster Punkt
1.613 m
Beste Jahreszeit


Asphalt 5,15%Schotterweg 0,42%Naturweg 32,94%Pfad 60,81%Straße 0,66%
0,9 km
0,1 km
5,8 km
10,6 km
0,1 km
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Hörnlihütte | Matterhorn
Stafelalp 2200m
Weiler Zmutt


The upper trail can be icy and slick 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 could be dangerous to attempt to hike to Hörnli hut if the weather’s bad - just don’t do it.  If you get to Schwarzsee and don’t want to go up, the downhill hike to Stafelalp and Zmutt is still nice.  Or you can follow signs from Zermatt for the direct trail to Zmutt and back.  This starts at the south end of town and is a 6 ft wide, steady gravel trail, about an hour uphill to Zmutt.  


Schwarzsee (2.586 m)
2'620'954E 1'093'410N
45.991933, 7.709075
45°59'31.0"N 7°42'32.7"E
32T 400026 5093961
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Hörnli hut


  • Start with the one-way gondola ride to Schwarzsee. Exiting the gondola at Schwarzsee, you are already high above Zermatt.
  • The popular 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 at the pyramidal Matterhorn. There are a few exposed sections, including one part with a metal walkway suspended along a rock wall, but it is safe. The trail, while easy to follow, feels very exposed and can be icy. Take care. 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 hugs the north side of the ridge for a stretch before cutting left for the final switchbacked approach on the sunnier southern side, with the hut visible above you. It takes awhile, but eventually arrive at the Hörnli Hut, the end of the road for hikers. Congratulations! This is truly the heart of the Alps and getting here is a big accomplishment.
  • Originally built in 1880 with 17 beds, the hut has gone through many renovations, including in 2015, and has a bustling but cozy dining room with huge picture windows looking to the Matterhorn. It makes an ideal lunch stop. The Rösti potatoes are filling and great. The views straight up the face of the Matterhorn are powerful, as is the view back to Monte Rosa along the Gorner glacier. Climbers rise at 3:30 in the morning to climb the Matterhorn.
  • 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 back to Zermatt, which should be the default plan for most people. It’s a good day.
  • Optional hike down: The hike down from Schwarzsee via Stafelalp is also quite charming. If you want to do this, take the trail leading down to the left towards Stafelalp, with the small Schwarzsee lake and the Matterhorn on your left.
  • The pleasant narrow trail weaves through little hillocks and tarns, and usually has very few people. You’ll have great views of the glaciers on the north side of the Matterhorn as you descend steadily into the valley. The trail will drop you down to the small hamlet of Stafelalp, where there is another nice restaurant.
  • From here, follow signs back to Zermatt. There are a few different ways to go, and it doesn’t really matter which route you take. A good choice is to head back through Zmutt though. There will be a small trail leading down to the left about 20 minutes after you leave Stafel. This takes you across the Zmutt stream to the hamlet of Zmutt itself, which has a charming cafe clustered among the sun-blackened chalets.
  • Upon leaving Zmutt, you’ll have a wide, easy trail from here from hear that leads you back to the center of Zermatt.


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


2'620'954E 1'093'410N
45.991933, 7.709075
45°59'31.0"N 7°42'32.7"E
32T 400026 5093961
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17,5 km
7:30 h
680 hm
1.662 hm
Höchster Punkt
3.264 hm
Tiefster Punkt
1.613 hm
Hin und zurück Einkehrmöglichkeit Bergbahnauf-/-abstieg


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