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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More images from the 5 lake hike in Zermatt
Find here more pictures from the 5 lakes hike in Zermatt