Overview of the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt


Hike along the 5 lakes in Zermatt

Stellisee (2537m) – Grindjisee (2324m) – Grünsee (2300m) – Moosjisee(2140m) – Leisee (2332m)

The 5 lakes hike in Zermatt is a moderately difficult hike. The hike is 9.8 km long and leads 241 vertical meters uphill and about 530 vertical meters downhill. It took us – breaks included – about 4 hours. It starts at the Blauherd mountain station above Zermatt. The panoramic hike offers not only 5 different mountain lakes to marvel at but also a great view of the Matterhorn. It’s not for advanced hikers only: Families and pleasure hikers will also enjoy this route. Those who are a bit more ambitious can extend the 5 lakes hike a bit and start from Sunegga. 

2:30h

9.8km

+241m
-530m

medium

Map

GPX

Yes

5/5

Stellisee and Matterhorn from the 5 lakes hike Zermatt
Stellisee and Matterhorn from the 5 lakes hike Zermatt

An introduction to the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

The 5 Lakes Hike in Zermatt is for good reason a famous classic and amongst the most googled and probably also completed hikes in Switzerland. Officially called the 5 Lakes Trail, the 9-kilometer hike takes you past 5 mountain lakes. Almost always in view: The majestic Matterhorn. With 2.5 hours of hiking time and just 241 meters of altitude to climb, it’s a scenic tour that is also well suited for less experienced hikers and children.

Free interactive Map of the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

If you click on the icons above you can look at a free map of the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt. You can also download a GPX file of the hike that you can then use with your phone or smartwatch. Find here an interactive map of the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt.

5 lakes hike Zermatt Grindjisee background the Matterhorn
5 lakes hike Zermatt Grindjisee background the Matterhorn

Our experience hiking the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

We did the hike in August, our two sons were 4 and 7 years old at the time – so the hike is also suited for younger children. Since the Matterhorn likes to hide behind the only cloud in the sky, it is worthwhile to choose a sunny day so that you can fully enjoy the magnificent view of the world-famous mountain.

5 lakes hike Zermatt Blauherd Stellisee and Matterhorn
5 lakes hike Zermatt Blauherd Stellisee and Matterhorn

Getting there: With the cable car from Zermatt to Sunegga to Blauherd, the starting point of the 5 lakes hike

The starting point for the 5 Lakes hike is the Blauherd mountain station above Zermatt. You get there in two stages: First, you take the funicular from Zermatt to the Sunnegga mountain station (buy tickets here) at 2288 meters above sea level. The rapid ride through the tunnel is an adventure: in just 4.5 minutes, you rise more than 800 meters in altitude. Note for families: You might want to take a mini-break here already. The playground on Sunegga is a true children’s paradise. A picnic area at Lake Leisee with barbecue areas and a playground await little guests. From Sunnegga you take the cable car to Blauherd, where the always well signposted 5 lakes hike starts.

The leg from Blauherd to Stellisee: Imposing views and many marmots on the 5 lakes hike

From the mountain station Blauherd, we hiked on a comfortable and quite wide path leading down to the Stellisee. This lake with striking rocks in the water and the reflections of the Matterhorn is the first popular photo spot after about one hour of hiking. The view up to Stellisee is gigantic. Besides the Matterhorn, we could also see the massive 4000-meter peaks and imposing glaciers in the surrounding area. Speaking of glaciers: although we did the hike in August, we were glad to have a warm jacket in the backpack. We were above 2500 masl, the temperatures can be quite cool – even in summer.

The leg from Stellisee to Grindjisee: from high alpine to a high moor on the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

After a short break at Stellisee, we set off for the next section of the route. We reached Grindjisee after a short and gentle descent. The fascinating thing on the 5 lake hike in Zermatt was how the landscape changed completely within a few hundred meters. While the first leg of the route was still predominantly alpine – with lots of rock, marmots, and views of mountains – this leg was greener as we hiked along a moor-like landscape. 

The leg from Grindjisee to Grünsee: Glacier landscapes on the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

From Grindjisee, we crossed the valley and arrived at Grünsee, where swimming is allowed. On our visit, it lived up to its name, glowing a lush green. We put our feet in the cold water and were picnicking on the shore. The children would have liked to jump into the emerald-colored water already here. But we postponed the swimming plans to Leisee (lake Leisee), which was waiting for us at the end of the tour. After all, it was not hard to put the children off, because a float was waiting for them in the Leisee.

Stone pines and larches shape the landscape on the way to Moosjisee
Stone pines and larches shape the landscape on the way to Moosjisee

The leg from Grünsee to Moosjisee: Mystic stone pines and a river with bubbles on the 5 lakes hike

Our next stop on the 5 lakes hike was Moosjisee. The path from Grünsee to Mosjisee leads past numerous gnarled stone pines and larches, which give the landscape a mystical appearance and the air a wonderfully spicy aroma. After a short descent, we crossed a mountain river with bubbles over a wooden bridge. From there, we could spot the milky blue color of Moosjisee, a reservoir fed by glacier water.

5 lakes hike Leisee with Matterhorn
5 lakes hike Zermatt: Leisee with Matterhorn

The leg from Moosjisee to Leisee: A last effort on the 5 lakes hike

From Moosjisee, the trail continued uphill to Findeln, a small hamlet known to many as the gastro hotspot of the Zermatt mountains. From Findeln, we had to take a steep final spurt. There were still a few meters of altitude to conquer before reaching the Leisee. The Leisee marks the end of the 5 Lakes hike and the aforementioned playground paradise awaited us. The children climbed the steep last leg with no hesitation; having in their minds the prospect of a playground and a well-deserved ice cream. After 4 hours of walking time, we reached our goal and were a very happy, but tired family.

Conclusion: the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt has the best view of the Matterhorn and is a great hike for families

The 5 Lakes Hike is a hike that can be done with younger children. The highlight of this hike is the magnificent view of the Matterhorn from Stellisee. What a marvel! From a family with children’s point of view, the 5 lakes hike is great as it divides the route into child-friendly sections. We also liked the variety of alpine landscapes. High alpine terrain alternates with high moors and stone pine forests. And the 5 lakes of course are great: we ended the hiking day at the Sunnegga mountain station with a swim in the cold Leisee.

Another view of the Matterhorn from the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt
Another view of the Matterhorn from the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

Hike&Dine Tipp: Dine at Chez Vroni (coming soon)

Can’t get enough of those Matterhorn views? We’ve got you covered. Dine at chez Vroni with a view of the Matterhorn. Indulge in delicious treats such as the Vroni Burger or the cheese fondue.

Profile picture of Solène Stucker, co-founder of Hike&Dine
Hike&Dine tip

The Matterhorn and the Stellisee on the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

The 5 lakes hike around the Matterhorn is a dream come true for photographers and social influencers. The most popular subject: The reflection of the Matterhorn in the Stellisee, right at the beginning of the 5 Lakes Hike. Numerous photographers have already pitched their tents on the shores of Stelliseei to capture the reflection of the Matterhorn at sunrise or sunset. So if you want to pay a visit to this famous photo spot to capture the reflection of the Matterhorn in the Stellisee: the 5 Lakes Hike is just right for you.

Practical Information

Practical information for the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

The starting point of the 5 lakes hike is Blauherd, Zermatt. The easiest way to get to Zermatt is by train because the village is car-free. Find the train connection to Zermatt directly in the SBB timetable here. From Zermatt, take the Sunnegga funicular and the gondola to Blauherd, where the 5 Lakes Hike starts.

Zermatt offers numerous accommodations and also a lot of good restaurants. However, these can also be found in the hamlet of Findeln, which is on the 5 lakes hike. The Fluhalp mountain hut offers an overnight stay in the immediate vicinity of the 5 lakes hike Zermatt. It’s also considered a popular “base camp” for all those who want to take pictures of the reflections of the Matterhorn in the Stellisee in the morning or evening light.

The 5 lakes hike above Zermatt is a moderate hike. It does not require any special knowledge in terms of technique. However: on mountain hikes, you should always prepare sufficiently, plan the route well, and take the appropriate equipment with you. I highly recommend good hiking boots for the 5 lake hike in Zermatt. As temperatures change quickly also in summer, a light jacket is recommended. Don’t overdo it and take it easy. Bring enough food and water. A hike is not a walk in the park.

The ideal season for the 5 Lakes hike is summer and early fall: since the route is relatively high in altitude, it is only safely snow-free during the warm months. The Matterhorn likes to hide behind clouds – so if you want to enjoy the view, ideally choose a cloudless day for the hike.

As always, check the weather conditions. Make sure there is no snow.

FAQ

Q&A on the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt


Q: How long is the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt?
A: The 5 lakes hike is a medium-difficult hike and it takes about 4 hours. It does not require any special technical skills. The hike is 9.8 km long and leads 241 vertical meters uphill and about 530 vertical meters downhill.

Q: Can you do the 5 lake hike with the children?
The hike can also be done with children if they are used to hiking. We hiked the 5 lake hike with the family. Check your fitness level before you do this hike.

Q: What is the best season to do the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt?
A: Summer and autumn are the best seasons to do the 5 lake hike. Then, the hiking trail is free of snow and the temperatures are pleasant. 

Q: Where do I get the best view of the Matterhorn on the 5 lakes hike?
A: The photo hotspot is the Stellisee, in which the Matterhorn is mirrored. You get to Stellisee right at the start of the 5 lakes hike. However, there are also good views of the Matterhorn from Sunnegga and many more locations on this hike.

Q: How do I get to the 5 lakes hike?
A: By public transport: Take a train to Zermatt and from there get to Sunegga by funicular and from there by gondola to Blauherd.
By car: You can’t drive to Zermatt as it is a car-free village. Park your vehicle in Täsch. From there, you can take the train to Zermatt.

Q: Are the 5 Lakes Hike suitable for children?
A: I think it is. The hike is under 10 kilometers, there is not much of an incline and the route offers a lot of variety. The chance to see marmots or chamois on the way is quite big and in the end, a real paradise for children is waiting with the Wolli adventure park directly at the mountain station Sunnegga. 

Q: Is it possible to swim in the lakes on the 5 lakes hike?
A: It is allowed to swim in the Grünsee and the Leisee, but it is forbidden to swim in the other lakes. 

Q: Can I eat along the way on the 5 Lakes hike?
A: Yes, there are numerous opportunities for hungry hikers. Directly at the mountain station Sunnegga the first restaurant with a view of the Matterhorn is already waiting, but also in the hamlet Findeln or in the Mountain Lodge Ze Seewjinu at the Grünsee you can have excellent food. Also, check out our Dine-tip in this post.

More images from the 5 lake hike in Zermatt

Find here more pictures from the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt

5 lakes hike Zermatt Gruensee with an almost mediterranean beach
5 lakes hike Zermatt Gruensee with an almost Mediterranean beach