Hike from Matterhorn to Zermatt

Hi, wondering about the difficulty of the hike with the naturalist. Are collapsible walking poles needed for this trip? On older posts, most folks say sneakers are OK.


  • The hike is part way down Gornergrat towards Zermatt. You take the train down the rest of the way unless you want to walk further. The hotel will supply hiking poles. Its a not steep or really difficult but there are a fair number of rocks so I found my ankle boots dug into my leg as my foot tilted.Sneakers would have been fine.

  • The difficulty of the hike was overstated.

  • I’m beginning to realize that a hike means a walk in US speak. I was raised to understand a hike was a tough, rough probably uphill climb with probable aid of hiking boots and maybe walking stick to cover uneven ground. Which is correct in the US?

  • This is what the "hike" looks like.

  • That picture is worth a thousand words, Claudia Sails. I will be doing the "hike" in September and really appreciate this info. I bought some Merrills thinking I needed better traction for the hike and now I'm not so sure my regular walking shoes won't be enough. Shoes are the heaviest and bulkiest things to pack in my opinion. I am spending 6 days in Paris with my granddaughter prior to the Crown Jewel trip that starts 9/13. We have some scheduled dinners at Le Jules Verne, Guy Savoy, and Ducasse on Seine which require dressier clothes/shoes so the more room I have in my suitcase and carryon the better. And then I'm going on the Bellissima Northern Italy so packing for a month is a challenge.

    Thank you so much for posting this photo.

  • Yes, if we'd had this info we would gave done the hike, too. It was very easy. But we did get off the train at the Mark Twain trail and hiked a bit there.

  • I'm just bummed that behind those clouds is the Matterhorn. Didn't get a clear shot of it until the next morning at dawn.

  • It is not a hard hike, but it is over 2 hours. Our tour director emphasized that you had to be well hydrated. An 87 year old who was NOT hydrated, attempted it, passed out and had to be heliported out. TD had helicopter there in 5 minutes.

  • I found it to be steep in parts but very scenic, we did it on our own.

  • Thank you, MotherOfPoodles, for emphasizing that. It's very important to stay hydrated at all times. I'm assuming there's a rest stop before you start the hike as I imagine there isn't one along the way.

  • Once the group gets up to Gornergrat on the train there's quite a bIt of time to wonder around and explore then the group making the hike gets together and leaves while the rest take the train back to Zermatt. Part way down there is a break to rest and our local guide gave out tiny glasses of a local herbal liquor. It was all fairly slow paced. I never felt rushed.

  • To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, "That's not a hike; this is a hike." (3 weeks ago, from the top of Loveland Pass, CO (11,990 ft ASL at the Continental Divide) to the top of Mt. Sniktau (13.2K ft ASL)). We were planning on doing a 14er, but there was still too much snow above 13K ft.

    And a rock scramble to the top:

  • We had somewhat better...actually beautiful weather...on the hike in 2019. As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

  • This hike is not difficult at all. I almost passed on it because the explanation of it sounded daunting. The guide lent me a walking pole and it was nice to have but not sure it was necessary.

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