Riffelalp – Zermatt


Riffelalp – Zermatt

The hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt is an easy hike. Since the trail is groomed in winter, the hike can be done both in summer and winter. The hike Riffelalp – Zermatt is made for Matterhorn lovers because you get to see the landmark of Switzerland over and over again. In addition, a ride on the famous Gornergratbahn is planned. Riffelalp – Zermatt hiking means dining! You can stop at more than three places to eat – a real Hike&Dine adventure! Here’s how to get there, dine tip, facts and figures, map, description of the hike, experience report, conclusion as well as practical information.

Riffelalp (2211m) – Ritti (1912m) – Moos (1700) – Zermatt, Winkelmatten (1670m) – Zermatt train station (1605m)

1 h 40

5 km

+59 -664 m






How to get to Zermatt for the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

LocationRiffelalp, Zermatt, Canton Valais, Switzerland
End point for driversTäsch (Zermatt is car-free)
Starting point railroadZermatt Gornergratbahn (stop “Zermatt GGB”)
Starting point of the hikeRiffelalp
Highest point of the hikeRiffelalp, height hotel (2222 m)
End point of the hikeZermatt train station
How to get there by carNote: Zermatt is car-free. Access is only possible to Täsch, then public transport by train or cab. There are also parking & transfer service options.
Travel time from Zurich: about 3 h 30 | Travel time from Bern: approx. 2 h 25
Parkingvarious parking lots e.g.
Matterhorn Terminal Täsch | Alpine Parking multi-storey parking lot Täsch
Profilbild von Solène Stucker, Mitbegründerin von Hike&Dine
Solène’s Dine-Tip

Dine-Tips Hike Riffelalp – Zermatt: Stopover at the restaurants Alphitta, Chämi-Hitta, Ritti or at the Riffelalp-Resort

“Hiking from Riffelalp – Zermatt is Hike&Dine in its purest form! On the way, there are several possibilities to stop.”

Riffelalp – Zermatt hiking: facts and figures

Walking time1 h 40 min
[individual stages: 30 min to Ritti, 30 min to Moos, 15 min to Winkelmatten, 25 min to Zermatt train station]
Recommended hiking monthsAll year round (groomed path also in winter)
Type of hikeMountain hike, winter hike, all year hike
WaypointsRiffelalpRittiMoosZermatt, WinkelmattenZermatt train station
Terrain (winter)Well-marked trail, prepared with gravel or wood chips. At the end wide path.
Altitude metersUphill: 59 hm | Downhill: 664 hm
Webcam and weatherYou can see the current weather situation on this webcam
RopewayGornergratbahn (rack railroad) from Zermatt to Riffelalp
Cost rack railroadZermatt – Riffelalp (one way) from CHF 24.00.
With Half-Fare Card and General Abonnement 50% discount.
Tickets for the Gornergratbahn can be purchased here.
Other activitiesCogwheel ride from Zermatt to the very top of Gornergrat. Combiticket incl. Round trip Gornergrat can be purchased here.
RestaurantsRiffelalp: Alphitta | Mountain Restaurant Chämi-Hitta | Ritti
HighlightsRide with Gornergratbahn
Fantastic views of Matterhorn
Sunset makes everything shine in golden light – must have experienced
Good to knowHiking Riffelalp – Zermatt is possible in summer & in winter.
The path is prepared with gravel and wood chips in winter.
Zermatt is car-free. Driving by car to Täsch possible.

Objective description of the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

The hike begins with a 15 to 20-minute ride on the Gornergratbahn from Zermatt GGB to Riffelalp. The Matterhorn is a constant companion on this hike. The first views of the iconic mountain can already be caught from the Gornergratbahn. From the station Riffelalp, you walk on a wide path to Riffelalp, where the Riffelalp Resort 2222m is located. From there, you have a direct view of the Matterhorn. You will come across the first dining options: the hotel restaurants or the Alphitta restaurant. From here, one walks steadily downhill on a narrow path.

The hiking trail zigzags through the Swiss stone pine and larch forest and repeatedly opens up an immediate view of the Matterhorn. The paths are well-marked. From the restaurant Alphitta to the mountain restaurant Chämi-Hitta, it takes about 30 minutes. Continue along a narrow path in the direction of Ritti, where you can stop again (note opening times). From Ritti, you hike via Moostrasse in the direction of Zermatt.

Shortly before Winkelmatten, you cross the Findelbach, and just after the Schumattsrasse, the river Matter Vispa. At the latter, you can catch a last glimpse of the Matterhorn before walking through Zermatt village to the train station. Hiking from Riffelalp – Zermatt takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. In the process, you descend 664 meters in altitude.

Free interactive map of the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

Here you can see a free map of the hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt. In addition, you can download a GPX file of the hike here, which you can then use with your smartphone or smartwatch. Below you will find an interactive map of the hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt.

Our experience hiking from Riffelalp to Zermatt in winter

We did the hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt on a winter day in February. The trail was prepared with wood chips and pebbles. Therefore, it is an ideal winter hike. If you are looking for a sporting challenge, take the hike in the other direction: Zermatt – Riffelalp. Read all about our hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt here

Mountain restaurant Alphitta with snow-free but sun-full terrace. Floor, tables, and benches are made of wood. Many people enjoy the sun and food. In the background, the Matterhorn.
Sun terrace on the Riffelalp of the restaurant Alphitta in winter

With the Gornergratbahn from Zermatt to Riffelalp

11.00! We were late. We packed our backpacks and left our hotel. Five minutes later, we reached the train station of the Gornergratbahn. We bought our tickets at the ticket machine and got on the rack railroad just in time! We made it! From the Gornergratbahn, we had a fantastic view of the Matterhorn. We enjoyed the short ride, took photos, and left the rack railroad at the Riffelalp station.

Riffelalp-GGB stop of the rack railroad with a waiting room in winter. Everything is covered with snow. In the background are mountains and fir trees that form a forest.
Gornergratbahn stop: Riffelalp

Relaxt walk from Riffelalp Station to Riffelalp

A wide forest path leads in less than 15 minutes from the station of Riffelalp to the famous “Riffelalp Resort 2222m” in Zermatt. One day…! We passed the Ristorante Al Bosco and stood in the middle of the Riffelalp. Wow, what a great view you have of the Matterhorn from Riffelalp.

Refreshment in the Alphitta on the Riffelalp with view of the Matterhorn

To our right was the restaurant Alphitta, where we had reserved a table. With an unobstructed view of the Matterhorn, we enjoyed the sun and fortified ourselves before the hike to Zermatt. That’s right – Dine came before the Hike this time! It was one of those sunny February days where the air was cold but the sun was already shining warmly in your face. We sat in a good mood on the terrace of the Alphitta on the Riffelalpand enjoyed the moment. After dinner, we didn’t want to get up at all.

Riffelalp – Zermatt hiking: Here we go!

Two hours later ,we started the hike to Zermatt. The trail started just behind the Alphitta. At the beginning, it was quite steep. Fortunately, there were wood chips on the trail so you don’t slip. Still, we were glad to have our walking sticks with us. From Riffelalp, the trail zigzagged through a forest. Between the trees, we spotted the Matterhorn again and again, which sparkled in a white snow-robe in front of us.

Riffelalp – Zermatt hiking in winter: Hiking trail crosses ski slopes

On this hike, we crossed the ski slopes twice. The passages were well marked and the skiers were prudent. After about half an hour we passed the mountain restaurant Chämi-Hitta. I disccovered a homemade apple pie. Fortunately, Solène reminded me that the sun would soon set behind the Matterhorn. I tried to forget my favorite cake and we continued the hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt.

Fantastic view of the Matterhorn shortly after the Chämi-Hittä

The hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt offers fantastic views of the Matterhorn. One of the best spots came right after the Chämi-Hittä. Here, the “Höru” (as the Matterhorn is called in Valais) stood before us in all its glory. Solène shouted to me to hurry up taking pictures, otherwise it would be dark before we arrived in Zermatt. Knipps Knipps – and on we went!

From Ritti it takes a good hour to get to Zermatt

At the height of the Ritti mountain restaurant, I pulled out my cell phone camera one last time. The sun was now a bit lower – the beginning of the Golden Hour was heralded. As we ran down the winding trail through the forest, the sun made the path in front of us glow golden. From Ritti it’s a good hour to Zermatt. The hiking trail Riffelalp – Zermatt was prepared with pebbles. We enjoyed the descent and the landscape bathed in gold a lot. In the end, the path became wider (Moosstrasse). We arrived in Zermatt Winkelmatten.

Zermatt: At the end of the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

We crossed the Findelbach and walked through the Winkelmatten neighborhood. From the Schluhmattstrasse we looked up to the Matterhorn once more. The last rays of sunlight sparkled behind the mountaintop – and gone was the sun. The left side of the Matterhorn was illuminated by the light on this February day. A magical moment that did justice to this beautiful hike.

Evening atmosphere. Snowy houses of Winkelmatten Zermatt. In the foreground fir trees and in the background mountains with snow and a blue sky.
View towards Winkelmatten on the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

Conclusion of the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

The hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt is Hike&Dine in purest form. If we counted correctly, there are four opportunities to stop. There is something for every budget. We can’t wait to try the other pickles as well. The views of the Matterhorn are spectacular. On the hike from Riffelalp to Zermatt it is also relatively quiet. The trail is very well prepared and doable in winter. Nevertheless, it goes downhill for almost 700 meters in altitude. Strong legs and some mountain experience are therefore a prerequisite. If you want to train your calves, do this hike in the opposite direction. And if you are looking for another hike in Zermatt: How about the 5 Lakes Trail?

Preparation for the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

Practical information for the hike Riffelalp – Zermatt

How to get there by public transport

The starting point for the hike Riffelalp can be reached via Zermatt train station and Zermatt GGB. From Zurich, the train journey takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes, and from Bern about 2 hours and 10 minutes. Just opposite the train station is the Gornergratbahn (Zermatt GGB). From Zermatt GGB you take the rack railroad to Riffelalp. The ride on the rack railroad takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You can find the connection for public transport in the SBB timetable.

How to get there by car

Since Zermatt is car-free, you drive to Täsch and park your car in one of the parking garages, e.g. in the parking garage Matterhorn Terminal Täsch.
or in the Alpine Parking multi-storey parking lot Täsch. Both parking lots are open around the clock.
From Täsch to Zermatt train station you can either take a cab (with a special permit; one way from about CHF 30.00) or the train. The train from Täsch station leaves several times an hour (about every quarter of an hour). The train ride takes about 15 minutes. Train tickets are available from CHF 8.20. There are several cab companies that have a special permit and are allowed to drive up to Zermatt. One of them is the company Taxi Fredy Zermatt/Taesch.

Restaurants on the hike Riffelalp

Restaurant Alphitta
Open daily from 9:00 to 17:00. Phone + 41 76 461 94 22

Ski Hut & Restaurant Chämi-Hitta
Open daily from 9.00 to 17.00. Note: Closed in the off-season. Phone: +41 27 967 10 96

Mountain restaurant Ritti
Table reservation by phone +41 27 967 14 82 mandatory (partially booked exclusively)

Other restaurants at Riffelalp Resort 2222m


The Riffelalp – a historic place

Riffelalp is located on the route of the famous Gornergratbahn (electric rack railroad) and lies at 2222 m.a.s.l. Already in the 19th-century people passed by this place who dared the first ascent of the 4000 m mountains. Early on, international guests were attracted to Riffelalp because they found peace, nature, and a direct view of the Matterhorn. Since the first ride of the Gornergratbahn, there was a stop on Riffelalp. In the beginning, the railroad stopped only at one other intermediate station. Today, there are four intermediate stations on the Zermatt – Gornergrat route. Since 1899 a streetcar runs there – but nowadays only in summer. With the Tram, hotel guests can be chauffeured comfortably from the Gornergratbahn to the hotel.

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