From Visp, enjoy a climb through the “Saastal” valley until the village of Saas-Grund. Attack the second half of the climb that takes you via a road carved into the mountain to this impressive dam at an altitude of 2,197 metres. Resting at the foot of the Allanine glacier and peaks that tower over 4,000 meters, take this moment to enjoy a breath of fresh air!
Think of the climb to Mattmark dam as a pilgrimage...in memory of the 88 workers who died on Monday 30 August, 1965, at 5:15pm, when a chunk of the Allalin glacier collapsed onto the dam construction site. It was not until 1969 that this dam was finally put into operation. Only steps away from the Italian border, the dam is hovered over by towering peaks: Allalinhorn (4,021m), Rimpfischorn (4,199m) and Strahlhorn (4,190m). You will notice as you pass through Saas-Grund that you will only be a few kilometres away from the famous mountain resort of Saas Fee.
A visit to the inside of the dam is possible and free of charge.
Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike. Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).
From Visp, you’ll have a nice warm-up along the river Vispa on the road leading to the famous resorts of Zermatt and Saas Fee. You pass through the village of Stalden before taking the left fork towards the Saastal Valley. The climb is relatively steady until Saas-Balen. From here you can then spin the legs a bit to Saas-Almagell via Saas-Grund before tackling the final steep section of the climb to the foot of the dam. Unlike other Valais dams, the Mattmark dam, inaugurated in 1969, is an earthen dam, the biggest in Europe. You can even ride all the way to the top. It’s a very impressive stack of rocks. Stunning views guaranteed!
all notes on protected areas
Public transport friendly
Regular train connections to Visp via Lötschberg (coming from Zurich/Bern) or via Lausanne (coming from western Switzerland).
Different possiblities to access Visp by car:
Lötschberg car shuttle train, then drive to Gampel and take the main route to Visp.
Furka (pass or car shuttle train), then drive through the Goms valley to Brig and then to Visp.
A9 motorway via Sion and Sierre, then main route to Visp.
Parking at the train station in Visp. Follow the local car park routeing in Visp.