23 December, 2020 | Reccy Guide
Near Zermatt, yet away from the hustle and bustle of the skiing slopes, lies more than 70 kilometers of breathtaking hiking trails. Avid hikers or skiers looking for a break from the slopes will be stunned at the magical scenery offered by winter hiking in Zermatt and snowshoeing in the region. If you are in Zermatt and looking for a nature escape, read further and learn more about the winter hiking trails in the region.
Winter hiking in Zermatt: the best spots
The region around Zermatt offers hiking trails for all levels and preferences, catering to fit and ambitious hikers as well as to families with young children. It would be difficult to list them all in this article. You can take a look at the map of all winter hiking trails in Zermatt for more comprehensive information on all the trails. For now, let us tell you more about some of the most incredible spots to explore.
Pensioners’ Trail – easy
This easy hiking trail will take you through the village of Winkelmatten and the forest laying behind, and will give you a close up look at the Gornergrat Bahn, also known as the Matterhorn railway. It’s an ideal hike when you have young children, as you can pull a sledge the whole way.
Zermatt Circular Trail – medium
The “Rundweg Zermatt” trail will take you on a 2h loop around Zermatt, through the villages of Blatten and Moos and over the Findelback river. The crossing of the Findelback bridge will most definitely be the highlight of your trip, as it is known to be one of the most photographed areas around Zermatt.
Winter hiking and snowshoeing from Zermatt
Zermatt – Furi
This trail will take you through enchanted forest landscapes and incredible views of the Matterhorn in the distance. You will be able to stop on the way for a bite to eat and to admire the views and soak in the wintery atmosphere in the local villages. Several paths exist to hike from Zermatt to Furi, of varying intensity: the trail via Winkelmatten is rather easy, while those via Blatten and Zum See will be a bit more challenging.
Zermatt – Sunnegga
Starting in Zermatt and climbing up to the heights of Findeln and Sunnegga, this hike offers views of the Matterhorn that are difficult to match. After a walk of almost three hours, bask in the sun of Sunnegga and admire the landscape around you with a comforting cup of hot chocolate. To reach Sunnegga, two routes are possible: via Tiefenamatten and via Winkelmatten. Both will be of similar intensity, but the one via Winkelmatten is a bit shorter as it will only take you around 2 hours to complete.
Magical view of the Matterhorn on a winter hike
Zermatt – Zmutt
Zmutt, a 500 years old village in the heart of the Alps, is only a one-and-a-half-hour hike from Zermatt. This walk is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful escape in nature, before arriving at a traditional Swiss village with its romantic backdrop of wooden snow-covered chalets. You can decide to follow the Matterhorn trail towards Zmutt, or to take the trail via Bielti/Furi.
Snowshoeing in Zermatt: where to go?
If hiking does not get your heart pumping, but that you still want to discover the remote areas around Zermatt on your two feet, snowshoeing might be the perfect option. A type of hiking with a twist, snowshoeing will take you over snowy areas thanks to a special kind of footwear and does not require any former experience. The area around Zermatt offers five main snowshoeing trails.
Offering views of the Matterhorn, the Klein Matterhorn, and multiple other peaks, this trail is one of the most popular notably with beginners. The route is far enough from the ski pistes to give a feeling of complete peace and wilderness. It will take you around an hour to complete from Gornergrat.
Winter hiking from Zermatt
This route is perfect for hikers with an appetite, as you will be walking through the pine forest in search for the hamlet of Findeln and its famous mountain restaurant. This is a quick trail of 1h30 during which you can spot wildlife and take a detour to the lake Grunsee.
North Face Trail
This trail will take you close-up to the famous and towering north face of the Matterhorn. Snowshoeing so close to the iconic wall will definitely be the highlight of your stay in Zermatt, despite the biting-cold you might experience on the descent.
Named after the magical panorama displayed on this hike, the Panorama Trail will make you feel like you landed in a winter wonderland. With the Matterhorn, Obergabelhorn and Weisshorn in the background, your desires for mountain calmness will most definitely be ravished.
View of the Matterhorn from a Swiss village near Zermatt
White Magic Trail
With over 700m of descent, this route might be a bit more challenging than the others; but it is all the more enchanting. If your adventure through the woodland tires you at any point, take a break and remain still – you might spot a chamois.
As you can see, winter hiking and snowshoeing near Zermatt is an activity enjoyable for all and will offer some of the best views of the surrounding peaks. If you are still looking for some motivation, think about the traditional mountain meal waiting for you after your hike… and get hiking.
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