Gornergrat - the excursion destination on the Matterhorn

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The Gornergrat is the easiest and one of the best ways to experience the Matterhorn in all its beauty.

6 Highlights on the Gornergrat

  • Enjoy the unique panorama at 3135 m above sea level with mountains and glaciers as far as the eye can see.
  • Many hiking routes through the Valais mountains start at Gornergrat. Experience the impressive play of light and the fresh alpine wind.
  • From Gornergrat you have a perfect view of the world famous Matterhorn with the Monte Rosa glaciers.
  • A multimedia adventure world "Zooom the Matterhorn" lets you experience the Matterhorn from afar from the Gornergrat.
  • From the valley you can reach the Gornergrat very easily and quickly with the Gornergratbahn: the highest free-standing rack railroad in Europe.
  • The Gornergrat mountain bike trails should not be missed by any biking enthusiast. The rides are among the most beautiful trails in Switzerland and range from easy to very difficult.

Situated between 29 four-thousand-meter peaks, the Gornergrat offers a very special view. It lies between the Gorner Glacier and the Findel Glacier

Sights on the Gornergrat

Already the approach with the rack railroad is an experience. You drive from Zermatt through a magnificent mountain world of superlatives. Once you reach the top, the view gets even better. The four-thousand-meter peaks are all around you and you won't be able to stop being amazed.

In the summer of 2023, the highest alpine garden in Europe will be created on 5000 m² on the Gornergrat.

Viewing platform on Gornergrat with panoramic view

The platform is located at 3089 m above sea level and provides postcard motifs. The view of the famous Matterhorn from here is said to be one of the most beautiful in the Zermatt region. The mighty Monte Rosa massif with the Dufourspitze (4634 m above sea level) is also clearly visible

The view goes to the mighty Gorner glacier, which is a full 12 km long and joins another seven glaciers. Behind it the panorama begins (from the left) with the Monte Rosa massif, the Liskamm (4527 m a.s.l.) and the Breithorn (4164 m a.s.l.).

The other 29 four-thousand-meter peaks within reach are also unforgettable for every visitor. In summer you can often observe wild ibexes near the viewing platform.

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 Monte Rosa Massif (Photo © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism) Monte Rosa Massif (Photo © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism)
Gorner Glacier (Photo: © Marcus Gyger, Switzerland Tourism)Gorner Glacier (Photo: © Marcus Gyger, Switzerland Tourism)

Chapel of St. Bernard of Aosta

This chapel stands at 3100 meters above sea level and is dedicated to Saint Bernard. It was built in 1950 at the request of the bishop for Sunday mass. The chapel is a block building with a bell tower on the larger of two offset roofs

Inside, people like to take pictures of the simple ornaments on the wooden ceiling. The floor of the chapel is made of stone slabs. The altarpiece, made of wooden figures, shows Saint Bernard of Aosta in the center. To his left is Saint Mauritius and to his right Saint Theodul. Saint Mauritius is the patron saint of Valais. Every year visitors light several thousand commemorative candles.

  • Admission: free
  • Open: daily around the clock
  • Location: footpath between the mountain railway station and the hotel

Multimedia experience world "Zooom the Matterhorn

Next to the Kulm Hotel is the former valley station of the Hohtälli cable car. It has been converted into a multimedia world of experience. Here you can experience the Matterhorn up close.

 Matterhorn (Photo: © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism) Matterhorn (Photo: © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism)
 Matterhorn (Photo: © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism) Matterhorn (Photo: © Kurt Mueller, Zermatt Tourism)

There are three zoom levels:

Zoom level 1: With Periscopes very close to the horn

You see the Matterhorn and its surrounding mountains and enjoy all the alpine beauty. With Periscopes you get close to the view and get information about it.

Zoom level 2: immersive 3D cinema

You will be transported to the four seasons on the Matterhorn. You will experience blooming spring meadows, hurricane-like autumn storms and icy snow landscapes. You also get the feeling of experiencing the Matterhorn on a balmy summer evening. The almost real experiences are made possible by light projectors from three sides

Zoom level 3: Paragliding

Here you have the choice between two virtual paragliding flights. You can experience a sporty and adventurous flight or a relaxed panoramic flight. You sit in a floating chair with 3D glasses. Both virtual flights focus on the Matterhorn and the surrounding alpine landscape

The Riffelsee on Gornergrat

This small mountain lake without an outlet is located at 2770 meters above sea level and is famous as a photo motif. The Matterhorn is reflected in the calm lake in a particularly impressive way. Especially in the morning or evening twilight, the lake is much quieter than during the day

The Riffelsee is located at the foot of the Riffelhorn and can be reached in just ten minutes on foot from the Rotenboden train station. Only a few meters behind the lake, in the direction of Riffelberg, you will reach another and smaller lake that is not so crowded. The Riffelsee is therefore a popular destination when you visit the Gornergrat

 Lake Riffel (Photo: © Leander Wenger, Zermatt Tourism) Lake Riffel (Photo: © Leander Wenger, Zermatt Tourism)
 Lake Riffel (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism) Lake Riffel (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism)

Arrival with mountain railroads on the Gornergrat

You can get to the Gornergrat by a rack railroad. It's not just any cable car, it's the highest outdoor cog railroad

After the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch, the Gornergrat Railway is the second highest rack railroad in all of Europe. In only 33 min it overcomes 1481 meters of altitude and 9.34 kilometers from Zermatt station.

If a marathon or half-marathon is taking place, a spectator train runs between St. Niklaus and Zermatt as a moving grandstand. At the train station in Zermatt you will also find on these days (usually at the beginning of July) a small folk festival

Stations of the Gornergrat Railway

stationaltitude (m a.s.l.)connection
Zermatt1608Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Riffelboden2348Riffelalp Tram

offers at Swiss Activities

The Riffelalp Tram is a narrow-gauge railroad. It runs from the Riffelalp train station over the length of 675 meters to the Riffelalp Hotel. It runs from June to October.

In addition, there are other railroads in the Gornergrat area:

  • Rote Nase (aerial tramway)
  • Gant - Hohtälli (aerial tramway)
  • Gifthittli (chairlift)
  • Triftji ski lift is open in winter.
  3100 Kulmhotel Winter (Photo © Gornergrat Bahn, Zermatt Tourism) 3100 Kulmhotel Winter (Photo © Gornergrat Bahn, Zermatt Tourism)
Gornergratbahn with Matterhorn in the Swiss stone pine forest (Photo © Gornergratbahn, Thomas Andenmatten, Zermatt Tourismus)Gornergratbahn with Matterhorn in the Swiss stone pine forest (Photo © Gornergratbahn, Thomas Andenmatten, Zermatt Tourismus)

Gornergratbahn prices: November to April (CHF)

TalstationMountain stationPrice (one way)

The prices of the cable car deviate upwards in the summer half-year Discounts apply all year round for Half-Fare Card, GA, Swiss Half Fare Card and Swiss Travel Pass.

Reduction for children:

  • Summer: 6-16 years 50%
  • Winter: 9-16 years 50%

Activities and experiences at Gornergrat

Gornergrat is one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. The nearby Matterhorn and the view of the huge mountain world all around attract many people here all year round

In summer you will find many hiking trails. Some are easy and suitable for the whole family, others are challenging. In the afternoon, mountain bikers get their money's worth and you can climb on the Riffelhorn

In winter, sledding and snowshoeing through the snow-covered landscape are the main activities. The Zermatt Ski Schools offer various courses for beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders. On the Riffelberg you will find a ski school for small children.

Hiking on the Gornergrat

On the Gornergrat you will find many hiking trails. In summer you will meet black-nosed sheep or black-necked goats everywhere.

Some hiking trails on the Gornergrat:

Rotenboden to the Riffelberg via the Riffelsee

  • Distance: 3.1 km
  • Duration: 1:00 hour
  • Altitude difference: 276 hm ↓ 42 hm↑
  • Season: May to November
Black-necked goats (Photo: © Kurt Müller, Zermatt Tourism)Black-necked goats (Photo: © Kurt Müller, Zermatt Tourism)
Hiking (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism)Hiking (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism)

Riffelalp - Gornergrat - Grünsee - Fluhalp - Sunnegga

This difficult hike can be mitigated with an overnight stay on the Fluhalp.

  • Distance: 17.4 km
  • Duration: 6:40 hour
  • Altitude difference: 1172 hm ↓ 1254 hm↑

Riffelberg - Gornergrat - Riffelberg

  • Distance: 8.2 km
  • Duration: 3:00 hour
  • Altitude difference: 529 hm ↓ 528 hm↑
  • Season: May to September

Glacier Trekking Rotenboden - Monte Rosa Hut

You can reach the Monte Rosa hut (at 2883 m above sea level) from the Gornergrat by crossing the Gorner glacier. For this, it is best to take an experienced mountain guide from the region. The paths over glaciers and moraines are in no way comparable to hiking trails.

  • Distance: 8 km
  • Duration: 3:30 hour
  • Altitude difference: 415 hm ↓ 474 hm↑
  • Season: June to September

This hut is used as a starting point for an ascent of the Monta Rosa peak. It stands on the rocky ridge above the confluence of the two main arms of the glacier.

Mountain biking on the Gornergrat

The Gornergrat Bahn only takes mountain bikes from 4:00 pm. This means that hikers can also enjoy the trails undisturbed. You need to book in advance if you want to ride over the numerous routes of different levels of difficulty.

Gornergrat - Riffelsee - Riffelberg - Zermatt

The difficult trail has partly a wide slope and scores with grandiose views.

  • Distance: 11.4 km
  • Duration: 1:00 hour
  • Altitude difference: 1500 hm ↓ 38 hm↑
  • Season: July to September
 Hiking on the Riffelberg (Photo © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism) Hiking on the Riffelberg (Photo © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism)
 Hiking on the Riffelberg (Photo © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism) Hiking on the Riffelberg (Photo © Pascal Gertschen, Zermatt Tourism)

Climbing on the Riffelhorn

The Riffelhorn is a climber's paradise. Plaisir climbers love to come here. Climbing in the rocks has a moderate level of difficulty. The multi-pitch routes are well to very well equipped with bolts and very versatile. The Riffelhorn reaches 2918 m above sea level and is often used by alpine climbers as a training climbing mountain

The Bartgeier climbing route was set up by two mountain guides from Zermatt. It corresponds to difficulty level 4+ (UIAA) and runs along the southeast edge of the Riffelhorn

The Querdenker variant branches off before the traverse to the Bartgeier. It has difficulty level 5+ (UIAA) and runs along a very windy part

From Gornergrat you take a train station to Rotenboden and then follow the path for 15 min towards the south face routes. A bolthook is available as a marker at the entrance. Partly you have to belay the route yourself. You will need a 45 m long rope as well as wedges and friends

Climbing at the foot of the Riffelhorn (Photo: © Alpine Center, Zermatt Tourism)Climbing at the foot of the Riffelhorn (Photo: © Alpine Center, Zermatt Tourism)
Climbing on the Riffelhorn (Photo: © Alpine Center, Zermatt Tourism)Climbing on the Riffelhorn (Photo: © Alpine Center, Zermatt Tourism)

Ski school Snowli Kids Village

At the Snowli Kids Village on the Riffelberg you can have your child professionally instructed in skiing. It is not far from the Gornergrat and can also be reached via the Gornergratbahn.

Tobogganing on the Gornergrat

A very beautiful toboggan run with a view of the Matterhorn leads from the Rotenboden railroad station to Riffelberg. You can reach the starting point very easily with the Gornergratbahn. It usually leaves every 10 minutes. And if you would like to sled down with a SNOOC, you can reserve it in advance

Rotenboden - Riffelberg

  • Distance: 1.3 km
  • Duration: 10 min
  • Altitude gain: 224 hm ↓
  • Season: November to May

Paragliding from Gornergrat

As many as seven providers, including two flight schools, offer tandem flights in Zermatt. On the Gornergrat, the flights take place from various locations:

  • Gornergrat
  • Rotenboden
  • Riffelberg

Snowshoeing on Gornergrat

In winter, it's best to take snowshoes to hike through the magnificent landscape. We'll show you three trails:

Panorama Trail (No. 142): Rotenboden - Riffelalp

  • Distance: 2.5 km
  • Duration: 1:30 hours
  • Altitude difference: 242 ↓ 10 hm ↑
  • Season: December to April

Challenge Trail (No. 141): Gornergrat - Rotenboden

  • Distance: 1.7 km
  • Duration: 1:00 hours
  • Altitude difference: 267 ↓ 1 hm ↑
  • Season: December to April

Discovery Trail (No. 145): Riffelalp to Findeln

  • Distance: 3.8 km
  • Duration: 1:30 hours
  • Altitude difference: 256 ↓ 85 hm ↑
  • Season: December to February
 Snowshoeing Riffelberg (Photo: © Marc Weiler) Snowshoeing Riffelberg (Photo: © Marc Weiler)
Sledding (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen)Sledding (Photo: © Pascal Gertschen)

Mountain huts, hotels and restaurants on Gornergrat

On the Gornergrat you can visit hotels and restaurants all year round. Here you will find a small selection.

3100 Kulm Hotel

You can reach the Kulm Hotel from the top station of the Gornergrat cable car. The hotel includes not only two restaurants, but also an observatory and a shopping mall. An overnight stay with sunset and sunrise in the mountains is a very special experience. Suitable for: Epicures

Buffet & Bar Riffelberg

The spaetzle stand in Buffet & Bar Riffelberg is a special attraction. You will find it very close to the Gornergratbahn stop and the top station of the Riffelberg-Express gondola. Suitable for: Hikers, mountain bikers, climbers

Chemi Hitta

The Chemi Hitta is located on the lower Riffelalp, only 15 min from the Riffelalp cable car station. It is a ski hut and restaurant and offers lunch or café. The apple strudel is legendary. Suitable for: Skiers and hikers

Igloo Village

You can reach the igloo village from Rotenboden on foot in 15 min via a winter hiking trail to the right of the railroad line. A fondue is offered on the terrace. suitable for: Skiers and hikers_

Climate and weather at Gornergrat

The climate on the Gornergrat is unpredictable. At this altitude, a more or less strong wind usually blows during the day. Warm clothing is absolutely necessary. Please wear mountain boots for hiking and take rainwear with you. Even in summer, a warm jacket is essential.

You should definitely take sunglasses to avoid eye damage and even snow blindness

Altitudes above 3000 m above sea level can cause health problems. The air is thinner and you can expect to get a headache or feel dizzy. The pulse could also be elevated after just a few steps

In these cases, it is better to walk slowly and take more frequent breaks. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important. People with health problems should consult their doctor before visiting the Gornergrat.

Location and arrival to Gornergrat

You can only get to the Gornergrat with the Gornergratbahn. The rack railroad leaves from Zermatt. Since Zermatt is car-free, you have to leave your car in Täsch and take the shuttle to Zermatt. Trains and buses run to Zermatt. From Zurich you need 3.5 hours by train via Visp

Igloo Village (Photo © Igloo Village)Igloo Village (Photo © Igloo Village)
Zermatt Marathon, Leisee (Photo © Stinn, Zermatt Tourism)Zermatt Marathon, Leisee (Photo © Stinn, Zermatt Tourism)

The Gornergrat is a destination that you should definitely put on your list. The impressions and experiences you will not forget for the rest of your life. At the top of the Gornergrat you also have the opportunity to take a selfie with the Matterhorn at the Photopoint. You will need the number of your Gornergrat ticket or SwissPass to request your photo later.