Winter hikes

Rotenboden-Riffelberg (Nr. 113)

Winterwandern von Rotenboden nach Riffelberg


The winter views here are some of the finest in the Zermatt region. The trail leads below the shady Riffelhorn and back into dazzling sunshine, revealing a breathtaking vista culminating in the Gornergrat. A fairy-tale adventure with views that seem to go on for ever.




2.27 km


1:00 h


This particular fairy tale begins at Rotenboden, where the winter hiking trail leads off to the left. The loop towards the Riffelhorn is particularly special - depending on the time of day, the Riffelhorn casts cold blue shadows in winter and walkers can see and feel for a moment just how much the sun warms the landscape, and how cold it can be in the shade.

The trail then heads up a small incline, where effort is rewarded with stunning views of the Matterhorn, before winding gently down to Riffelberg; children will love being pulled down this stretch on a sledge.

  • Suitable for children aged 4 upwards
  • Magnificent Alpine views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and other four-thousanders

Turn-by-turn directions

Rotenboden - Riffelsee - Riffelberg

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 1h 30)


Rotenboden (2,815 m) (2815m)


Riffelberg (2,582 m) (2582m)

Author's recommendation

Take a ride right up to the top on the Gornergrat Bahn, where you can marvel at the view of 29 four-thousanders and a breathtaking panorama of glaciers and mountains before heading back to Rotenboden.

Technical information












Best time of the year

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec


  • Linear route
  • Scenic
  • Refreshment stops available
  • Family-friendly
  • Cableway ascent/descent
  • Groomed snow
Getting there

Public transport

By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).


Zermatt is car-free. Private vehicles are permitted only as far as Täsch (5 km before Zermatt). The Täsch–Zermatt road is closed to the public.

Onward travel to Zermatt is either by private taxi or shuttle train. Trains depart every 20 minutes; the journey takes about 12 minutes, and ends at the Bahnhofplatz in Zermatt.


Täsch has car parks with both covered and open-air parking – e.g. at the Matterhorn Terminal or privately operated facilities.

Onward travel: see “Getting there”.


We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Warm winter clothing appropriate for the weather

Safety information

  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes; do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.

Tip: “Be searchable”. Equip yourself with an additional RECCO rescue reflector*. Whether summer or winter. Available in our Online-Shop or our information desk.
*The additional reflector does not replace an avalanche beacon.


This activity is brought to you by Zermatt - Matterhorn. Valais/Wallis Promotion is not responsible for the content provided.