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Hikes

Zermatt to Riffelalp

Hikes · Zermatt
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Map / Zermatt to Riffelalp
m 2800 2700 2600 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 10 8 6 4 2 km Breitboden Viewpoint Hidden valley Fluhalp Stellisee Viewpoint Riffelalp Grindjisee Grünsee
This is a moderate hike through meadows and past a number of small, glacial lakes, on a looping route from the Sunnegga funicular to Riffelalp.
moderate
Distance 10.8 km
4:45 h
377 m
447 m
2,614 m
2,203 m

When we’re with our groups, this is the hike we take them on the first time we run into a cloudy or rainy day. It’s also nice because it finishes at the Riffelalp Resort, and passes a number of small, pretty lakes along this route (great for swimming on a warm, sunny day).

There are nice, distant views of the Matterhorn on a sunny day, but this also makes an excellent cloudy or rainy day hike, and also passes some of the valley’s best lakes for swimming.

The restaurant at Fluhalp enroute makes a fantastic lunch stop.

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Author
Troy Haines 
Update: January 13, 2022
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Highest point
2,614 m
Lowest point
2,203 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Asphalt 0.42%Dirt road 12.89%Nature trail 21.25%Path 65.42%
Asphalt
0 km
Dirt road
1.4 km
Nature trail
2.3 km
Path
7 km
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Rest stops

Fluhalp
Viewpoint Riffelalp

Tips and hints

If it rains... This is one of Zermatt’s better rainy-day hikes, with little exposure and attractive lakes to keep your interest along the way.  Skip the detour to Breitboden above Fluhalp, spend some extra time warming up at the Fluhalp hut, and later take advantage of the pool and spa at your hotel. 

Start

Sunnegga (2,288 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'625'660E 1'096'276N
DD
46.017548, 7.769961
DMS
46°01'03.2"N 7°46'11.9"E
UTM
32T 404785 5096732
w3w 
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Destination

Riffelalp

Turn-by-turn directions

  • Start with the Sunnegga lift. The easiest way to find the Sunnegga lift is to follow the pathway next to the Gornergrat tracks. You’ll cross the river and turn left to come to the lower Rothorn station, where you can buy a ticket to Sunnegga (lower station, longer hike), or Blauherd (middle station, 1 hour less hiking). The Sunnegga funicular (CHF 16) takes you up an open meadow almost 2000 feet above Zermatt in just a few minutes.
  • Step outside, find the trail posts to get oriented, and start out on the marked trail leading uphill towards Blauherd and the Stellisee, one of the many small, blue lakes dotting this region. You can see the Leisee lake, and below that, the sun-blackened chalets of Findeln and Eggen below you to the right.
  • The trail to Stellisee leads from Sunnegga through a rocky, rolling meadowland, where you’ll often see marmots sunning themselves or keeping a lookout for approaching danger. The Stellisee is a pretty lake reached in about an hour, and on a clear day offers great views of the Matterhorn reflected in the water.
  • Passing Stellisee, you’ll reach the dark, wooden Fluhalp hut sitting about 15 minutes behind the lake. Fluhalp has a large terrace, a nice atmosphere inside, great food, and a surprising wine list. It’s a natural place to stop for a drink or lunch.
  • Optional detour: If you have time, the continuing trail above Fluhalp is very nice. There’s not a particular destination necessarily, just a beautiful trail, very lightly used, that can reward you with an incredible sense of solitude in the midst of these world-famous mountains. Pick up the trail again as it leads further back into the valley. The steep slopes of the Oberrothorn rise above you on the left, while on your right is the moraine wall of the Findel glacier. The trail goes 500 meters up to a pass called Pfulwe, but you might go 200 meters up (about 40 minutes) to a flattish area called Breitboden, where you could sit and enjoy the views for awhile before returning.
  • Fluhalp to Riffelalp: Leaving Fluhalp, stay left, following the stream down. Signs will point you to the bottom of the Findel valley. Much of this stretch is on gravel road with a lot of ski operations, and it isn’t fantastic, but have patience. The Grindjesee lake is very nice if you want to stop.
  • Continue down the valley, crossing the stream that issues from the end of the Findel glacier, and rising slightly on the other side, you’ll reach the attractive Grünsee, where there is another restaurant.
  • From the Grünsee, an easy and inviting trail leads you through boulder fields and pine/larch forest west to Riffelalp. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Riffelalp train station.
  • If you are returning to Zermatt, you can catch the Gornergrat train down to town here.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'625'660E 1'096'276N
DD
46.017548, 7.769961
DMS
46°01'03.2"N 7°46'11.9"E
UTM
32T 404785 5096732
w3w 
///ruled.trainers.decorator
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
10.8 km
Duration
4:45 h
Ascent
377 m
Descent
447 m
Highest point
2,614 m
Lowest point
2,203 m
Linear route Refreshment stops available Cableway ascent/descent

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