Enjoy a great train trip and a majestic view of the highest peaks of the Alps, including the famous Matterhorn.
The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.
Attraction type: Scenic trip;
Natural site, Mountain top, By train
Escort: independent (no guide)
Region: Matter valley (Valais)
Duration: 1 day or less
Excursion to the Gornergrat
The cogwheel train from Zermatt to the Gornergrat is part of the fun. The ride takes about half an hour. It starts at an altitude of 1605 m and ends at 3090 m on the Gornergrat ridge.
The train crosses forests and a high-alpine landscape later on, and stops in four different stations along the way. Each of these stations is a great starting point for hiking.
Once you reach the Gornergrat, you will have an amazing view of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif. This includes the Dufourspitze (4634 m), which is the highest peak in Switzerland.
You'll find a hotel, restaurants, a viewing platform and plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the scenery here. There's also a multimedia exhibition about the Matterhorn and the surrounding area, called "Zooom the Matterhorn".
There are plenty of hiking trails from and between the railway stations along the route. Mountain bike trails are available too.
The famous black-nosed sheep of Zermatt graze near the top between July and mid-September. You'll be able to track them with a GPS signal and a shepherdess can explain all about these animals.
Below the Rotenboden station, you can visit Europe's highest alpine garden with 150 plant species.
The Gornergrat area offers plenty of snow fun. Enjoy sledding from Rotenboden to Riffelberg, or explore the region on winter hiking routes and snowshoe hiking trails.
Skiing options are great, especially for families. There are easy ski runs between Gornergrat and Riffelberg. A special sports train runs between these stations every 10 minutes.
Spending the night
The Gornergrat is one of the mountain tops in Switzerland on which you can comfortably spend the night. This hotel, and other hotels on mountain tops, can be found here.
Check the weather forecast, as there's no point in going up if the Gornergrat and the surrounding mountains are covered in clouds. Dress in multiple thinner layers so that you can adapt to the different temperatures throughout the day. Take along gloves, sun glasses and perhaps a hat. Solid shoes help if you plan to walk around a bit or combine your visit with a hike.
Allow at least an hour to visit the Gornergrat. This does not include the time to get there. The whole round trip from Zermatt takes at least 2.5 hours.
The Gornergrat is located at an altitude of 3090 m. Anyone can suffer from (light) altitude sickness from about 2000 m. Usually it helps to take things slow and sit down for a while. Special precautions apply to children under 2 years old, as well as people who are pregnant or in poor health: before visiting areas over 2500 m, you'd better consult your doctor. In most cases staying at such altitudes for just a few hours is no problem.