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Edelweiss Trail (Höhbalmen) (Nr. 30)

· 1 review · Hikes · Switzerland
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Zermatt - Matterhorn Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • At Höhbalmen, with Matterhorn in view
    / At Höhbalmen, with Matterhorn in view
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Tanja Hengartner
  • / On the hill above from Trift
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
  • / Possibly encountered along the way: Valais Blacknose sheep
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Michael Portmann
  • / Bench on Höhbalmen with a fantastic view on the surrounding mountain landscape
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Pascal Gebert
  • / A last gaze to the Matterhorn North Face before it goes down to Stafel
    Photo: Zermatt Tourismus, Fabienne Fux-Schaller
m 3000 2500 2000 1500 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Photopoint Bänklein auf Höhbalmen Staumauer Zmutt Z'Mutt Alpsennerei Stafel Edelweiss Weiler Zmutt
Every mountain hiker dreams of spotting edelweiss in the alpine pastures. Here that dream comes true. Along this trail, walkers even spot these beautiful flowers at eye level. The walk leads to one of the finest vantage points in the Zermatt region.
Distance 20.7 km
7:30 h
1,195 m
1,195 m
2,745 m
1,605 m

The edelweiss can be admired at a variety of habitats in the Zermatt mountains. It won’t grow on ground formed of crystalline rock, but it flourishes on calcareous sediments – despite the often harsh conditions. The fleecy hairs help protect the flowers from solar radiation, frost and aridity. The seeds require exposure to frost before they can germinate the following year.

Hikers on this trail experience a magical moment on the climb up to Trift as the pinnacle of the Matterhorn emerges unexpectedly from behind a hilltop. Who’ll spot it first? The path then continues to one of Zermatt’s finest viewpoints, at Höhbalmen. The panorama is breathtaking: the north face of the Matterhorn with the Zmuttgrat ridge, the Breithorn, Liskamm and the Monte Rosa massif.

  • Edelweiss: a protected plant
  • Information panels about the plants along the way
  • Between the Gasthaus Edelweiss and the Berggasthaus Trift hotels: edelweiss at eye level (right-hand side)
  • Unusual view of the Monte Rosa massif
  • Possible encounters with Valais Blacknose sheep and Valais Blackneck goats

Author’s recommendation

Please do not feed the Valais Blackneck goats or the Valais Blacknose sheep.

At Höhbalmen and on towards Hohliecht: keep an eye open for eagles, which occasionally circle in the skies above.

Profile picture of Zermatt Tourismus
Zermatt Tourismus
Update: March 11, 2021
Highest point
2,745 m
Lowest point
1,605 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Jägerstube Zmutt
Trift Berggasthaus

Safety information

  • 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.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
  • Take note of the warning signs drawing attention to the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs.

Tips and hints

Edelweiss - symbol of the Alps


Zermatt (1,620 m) (1,605 m)
2'623'959E 1'096'940N
46.023587, 7.748038
46°01'24.9"N 7°44'52.9"E
32T 403099 5097430


Zermatt (1,620 m)

Turn-by-turn directions

Zermatt (station) - Alterhaupt (Edelweiss) - Trift - Höhbalmen - Zmutt - Zermatt (station)

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 7h 20)

This hike is marked on the signposts as “Edelweissweg Höhbalmen”.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).

Getting there

Zermatt 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.


Täsch 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”.


2'623'959E 1'096'940N
46.023587, 7.748038
46°01'24.9"N 7°44'52.9"E
32T 403099 5097430
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

"Bergblumenwelt von Zermatt – Alpine Flowers around Zermatt", Hanspeter Steindle, edition punktuell, CH-9101 Herisau, 2009, zweisprachige Ausgabe Deutsch und Englisch. ISBN 978-3-905724-15-8

Author’s map recommendations

A walking map (1:25,000) is available from Zermatt Tourism’s guest information centre, along with brochures containing tips and recommendations.


We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Karin Hike
August 17, 2019 · Community
wohl eine der schönsten Wanderungen nahe dem Matterhorn
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Wasser, Wasser, Wasser
Photo: Karin Hike, Community
Photo: Karin Hike, Community

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Wasser, Wasser, Wasser

20.7 km
7:30 h
1,195 m
1,195 m
Highest point
2,745 m
Lowest point
1,605 m
Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights Flora and fauna Insider tip


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