“A pleasant hike leading right to the base of the Matterhorn.
— Nick Wilder
Get up close and personal with the Matterhorn on this challenging but rewarding route right to the base of the rock climb.
From the top of the Schwarzsee lift, pass the lake of the same name and take in the excellent views of the Weisshorn to the north across the valley (this craggy peak is taller than the Matterhorn!) Continue on past some ski lifts and unattractive bulldozed ski runs.
Once you've worked your way out of the ski area, ascend a short rocky section and you'll be faced with your first giant view of the Matterhorn, so close it feels like you could just hop right up it. But the view just gets better, so continue on past a metal bridge that protects a particularly dangerous section. The huge I-beams stuck in the rock are pretty impressive.
Take an easy level hike across the ridge right to the very northeast corner of the Matterhorn. The trail has been relatively easy until here... but now it's time for the final set of steep switchbacks that take you up the final 1,000 feet to the hut. Take a few moments to rest while you enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding mountains. You'll be surrounded by fellow hikers and those pushing for the summit in the next days, making for a jaunty atmosphere.
Once you've rested up, head back the way that you came to return to the ski area and Zermatt.