If there’s one thing you need for the Wannihorn Trail in Grächen, it’s physical fitness. You’ll need to be in good shape for this fairly steep climb, but it’s definitely worth the effort: the view from the Wannihorn is breathtaking.
Distance 2.3 km
Highest point2,620 m
Lowest point2,118 m
Grächen is a snowshoe hiker’s paradise offering routes for every ability level. The Wannihorn Trail is one of the more demanding ones: the mountain alone towers at 2,669 metres in altitude. As a result, this 2.3km trail requires plenty of stamina. It’s no wonder people call this “the King’s Route”: it’s for people who love to conquer summits. The trail leads from Hannigalp via Stafel to the Wannihorn, which lends the route its name. Sportier hikers can make an earlier start in Grächen, while the rest take the Fairy Tale Cable Car up to Hannigalp. Once you arrive in Hannigalp, strap on your snowshoes and head to Stafel. There, you can replenish your energies one last time at the bar, surrounded by a magnificent alpine panorama. The route continues steeply uphill through snowy forests to the Wannihorn. Then – after a good hour and a half – comes the cry of relief: “Wow!” What an amazing view. The Valais mountain landscape stretches out ahead of you with vistas of the Saastal Valley and the Bietschhorn, Bishorn, Brunegghorn and Weisshorn. For now, all you need to do is breathe deeply, take a few photos and enjoy.
You’ll need to be in good shape for this route, but once you arrive at the top your efforts are rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view. The Stafelbar is the perfect place to make a quick pit stop along the way. Once you've finished the hike, you can take in the views of the unique Matterhorn from the large sunny terrace of the Hannigalp Family Mountain Restaurant.
Update: January 17, 2020
Chuchiwang, 2,620 m
Hannigalp, 2,118 m
Best time of year
Use of the snowshoe trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals. Do not leave any waste in nature.
Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible, avoid going alone.
Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger, especially the danger of avalanches.
The demanding Wannihorn Trail starts on Hannigalp at 2,121 metres in altitude, initially following a relatively even route to Stafel, before taking a steep path through the snow-covered forest up to the Wannihorn at 2,669 metres in altitude. You’ll tackle 476 metres of altitude difference along the way. The return journey follows the same route.
all notes on protected areas
Accessible by train and bus. From Visp or St. Niklaus train station, take the bus to Grächen.
Motorway A9 direction Visp. Main road direction Saas-Fee / Zermatt junction Grächen.
Grächen is partially car-free. Two parking garages are available at the entrance of the village.
32T 412669 5117625
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
The tourist office in Grächen has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.
Author’s map recommendations
SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1308 St-Niklaus
Good, waterproof footwear
clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
hat or cap
bottle for water, picnic
printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, top right, to download)