Hike at the Matterhorn – the 5-lakes hike from the Sunegga train to Lake Stelli

Eine Frau, die auf einem Felsen vor dem Stelliisee steht.

Overview of this article:

1. Hike to Hörnlihütte or 5-lakes hike – which hike close to Matterhorn is better?
2. Starting point of the 5-lakes hike: the Sunegga train
3. The 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn – a photogenic circular route
4. When is the best time to do the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn?
5. How long does the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn take?
6. Other hikes close to Matterhorn – mountain tours and hikes

You are planning a hike close to Matterhorn, but you are not yet sure which one it should be? The classic hike to the Hörnlihütte or up with the Sunnegga cable car and from there via the 5-lakes hike to lake Stelli – and always having a great view at the Matterhorn? One thing is clear in any case: hiking in the Matterhorn area is unique and no matter whether you choose the circular route along the lakes close to Matterhorn or opt for the very well-known tour to the Hörnlihütte close to Matterhorn – you will definitely get to know one of the most beautiful corners of Switzerland.

In this blog post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the 5-lakes hike from the Sunegga mountain station to Stellisee, because I did this circuit in June and it was one of the most beautiful hikes this year so far.

1. Hike to the Hörnlihütte or 5-lakes hike – which easy hike close to Matterhorn is better?

The Hörnliweg, the hike to the Hörnlihütte, is probably the best-known hike close to Matterhorn. At just under 4 hours (both ways), it’s an easy hike and takes you very close to the Matterhorn, to a great vantage point with a direct view of Switzerland’s iconic rock. The climbing route to the summit of the Matterhorn starts from the Hörnlihütte, and the first climbers of the Matterhorn also took this route – thus, a true classic. The disadvantage is unfortunately that the hike to Hörnlihütte is very crowded.

Here’s a detailed description of the hike to Hörnlihütte close to Matterhorn: https://www.zermatt.ch/Media/Wanderungen-Touren-finden/Hoernliweg-Nr.-27

The 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn is a great and easy hike with equally good views. As the name suggests, this circular route leads past five lakes, and the Matterhorn is even reflected in three of them. The most famous lake among them is the Stellisee. This circular hike does not require a lot of altitude gain, takes about 3 hours to complete (if you take the cable car back) and you have a view of the Matterhorn almost the entire time – there is hardly a more panoramic hike than this one. At just under 10 kilometres, this circular route is a little longer than the hike to the Hörnlihütte, but less steep and with only a small difference in altitude. Personally, I liked the 5-lakes hike better than the hike to the Hörnlihütte because it is significantly more varied and you have an almost constant view of the Matterhorn – and you can even swim in two of the lakes.

For this reason I have collected all the detailed information and tips on the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn in this article.

Click here for a detailed description of the 5-lakes hike, a very beautiful circular route for hiking close to Matterhorn: https://www.zermatt.ch/Media/Wanderungen-Touren-finden/5-Seenweg-Nr.-11

2. Starting point of the 5-lakes hike: the Sunegga train

The 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn starts at the top station of the Sunegga train. The Sunegga valley station is in Zermatt. As you know, you can’t get there by car, but have to take the Matterhorn train. The nearest place you can reach by car is the little village Täsch. in Täsch are various accommodations, a camping site and a camper car park, all very close to the train station from where the Matterhorn train starts to Zermatt. In summer, the first train to Zermatt leaves at 5:00 a.m., but it’s best to check the current timetable on site. 

From Zermatt, it’s only about a 10-minute walk from the train station to the Sunegga train, which takes you from an altitude of 1620 metres to 2288 metres in just a few minutes. The round trip costs about 30 euros. From here, the 5-lakes hike begins with a view of the Matterhorn.

3. The 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn – a photogenic circular route

The very panoramic circular trail leads past the five lakes Leissee, Moosjisee, Grünsee, Grinjisee and the most famous lake, Stellisee. Just a few minutes after leaving the mountain station of the Sunegga train behind you, you already reach the first lake, Lake Leissee. Here there is a small children’s playground, as well as benches to sit down and enjoy the scenery. From Leissee you already have a wonderful view of the Matterhorn and it is even reflected in the lake. However, I would recommend not spending too much time here, as the other lakes are even more beautifully situated than the Leisee, which can get very busy in high season.

We continue along a forest road past small huts to the next lake of the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn, the Moosijesee. The Matterhorn is not reflected here. Therefore, it is better to just pass this lake and continue along the easy forest road to Grünsee. Once there, you’ll find yourself in a completely different terrain. 

The Grünsee is enthroned at 2,300 m between rocks and barren mountain landscape. The wide forest road has meanwhile become a narrower path. At Grünsee, you can take a short break on a few benches with a breathtaking view of the often still snow-covered 3000-m peaks, before the climb gets a little steeper again.

After another 30 sweaty minutes, you reach Lake Griniji, my personal favourite. It’s located peacefully in a hollow, framed by a few trees, and as if nature had intended it that way, the trees thin out exactly where the Matterhorn towers high in the background, so that it can be perfectly reflected in the calm surface of the lake. There are no benches here, but it is a wonderful place for another rest in the meadow. 

But now it’s better to continue on to the last and most famous lake of the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn, Lake Stelli. Sunrise tours are also offered here, which must be simply magical. But even during the day, walking once around the largest lake of this circular route is worthwhile. Because no matter from which angle, you always have the Matterhorn in the background and the iconic mountain is reflected impressively in the lake when the water surface is calm. 

You now have 3 options for the descent:

1) Walk back the same way

2) Walk for about 30 minutes to the Blauherd cable car and take it back to Zermatt.

3) Descend via the Blauherd mountain station to the Sunegga mountain station and take the cable car from there back to Zermatt.

4. When is the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn possible?

The 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn is possible from June to October. However, in June and October it depends very much on the snow line and there may still be snow on some parts of the trail. The best place to get information is at the tourist information office in Zermatt, right next to the train station on the right-hand side. 

5. How long does the 5-lakes hike close to Matterhorn take?

The hike takes about 3 hours from Sunegga to Blauherd. The other way round from Blauherd to Sunegga is somewhat quicker. Depending on which descent option you choose, it takes about 45 minutes longer from Blauherd to Sunegga or 2.5 hours back if you choose the same route.

6. Further hikes close to Matterhorn – mountain tours and circular routes

From the Sunegga train (mountain station) there are many easy hiking trails of 1 to 2 hours with only a few metres of altitude gain, such as the Flower Trail or the Marble Trail. 

But you don’t have to climb or drive up to Sunegga at all, you can also start beautiful circular trails from Zermatt, e.g. the Direttissima or the Gourmet Trail.

A map with all the hikes in and around Zermatt, but also Täsch, can be found here: https://www.zermatt.ch/Bahnen-Pisten/Panoramakarten-Facts/Karte-Sommerpanorama

I hope you enjoyed this article and found your personal circular route or mountain tour near the Matterhorn? There is a suitable hike for everyone in the Zermatt area. My personal favourite is the 5-lakes hike with almost continuous views of the Matterhorn. 

Have I forgotten a hike near the Matterhorn that you can highly recommend? Then write me a comment below this article and share your tip with my readers.

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