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Sunnegga-Rothorn

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Must knows about Sunnegga-Rothorn

  • Sunnegga, Blauherd and Rothorn form a range of mountain stations above Zermatt, connected by four different types of transportation and offering a wide choice of summer and winter activities;
  • Sunnegga-Rothorn is easy to reach and an excellent alternative to the popular attractions of Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn, still offering iconic views of the famous Matterhorn;
  • on windless days, you can see the mountains reflected in several small lakes to be reached on foot. These are perfect spots for photographers;
  • the Sunnegga-Rothorn area is very interesting for lovers of alpine flora. Marmots, chamois and ibex can be spotted too.
Matterhorn view from Sunnegga

View of the Matterhorn from Sunnegga near Zermatt, Switzerland.

Viewing point Sunnegga-Rothorn

Great views of the Matterhorn, reflective mountain lakes and lots of hiking trails and ski runs await you at the Sunnegga-Rothorn area above Zermatt.

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  • Attraction type: natural site, mountain top, by cable car;
    natural site, mountain top, by funicular
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Zermatt (Valais)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

A quick overview of Sunnegga-Rothorn

The top station of Rothorn above Zermatt can be reached by no less than four types of mountain transportation and via two mid-way stations, each worth a stop. There’s a funicular to Sunnegga, a chairlift and gondola to Blauherd and a cable car to Rothorn. All mountain stations offer fantastic views of the Matterhorn. Whether you’re sitting in the restaurant at Sunnegga, hiking among the alpine flora near Blauherd or skiing the pistes from Rothorn, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself here year-round!

Sunnegga (2288 m)

From Zermatt, you’ll first reach the station of Sunnegga at 2288 m above sea level. Kids will love the Leisee: a small mountain lake at only a few minutes from the funicular station. The Wolli’s Adventure Park can be found here too, including a barbecue area and a children’s playground. There’s a marmot watching station as well. The views can be admired from a self-service restaurant.

Sunnegga serves as a starting point for many beautiful summer hikes, including the famous Five Lakes Walk. You’ll hike between the stations of Blauherd and Sunnegga, crossing several small mountain lakes. On windstill days, some of those, such as the Stellisee and the Grindjisee, show beautiful reflections of the Matterhorn. Bikers can enjoy themselves on several mountainbike and kickbike trails.

In winter, Sunnegga offers access to ski and snowboard runs, some of them connected to the Gornergrat ski area. Snowshoe and regular winter hiking are possible too, and those not familiar with winter sports can take their first classes in the Wolli’s ski and snowboard park for beginners.

Blauherd (2571 m)

There’s both a gondola as well as a chairlift from Sunnegga up to Blauherd, located at 2571 m. A children’s playground is available here too, and in favorable weather conditions you can watch paragliders take off. Several interesting hikes start from Blauherd, and if you’re lucky you can spot ibex and chamois while wandering through this area. Hiking trails include:

  • the themed Marmot Trail via the Stellisee, ending up at the Marmot’s Playground down at Sunnegga;
  • the Panorama Walk to Tufteren;
  • the Flower Walk, with a 1,5 hour descent of medium difficulty. Along the trail, edelweiss, gentian and many other alpine flowers can be spotted;
  • shorter trails to the Stellisee or Grindjisee. You don’t necessarily have to do the entire Five Lakes Walk to pass some of the lakes and their mountain reflections.

In winter, there are skiing, snowboarding and winter hiking options. Skiers and hikers can reach the Blue Lounge, a modern mountain restaurant with superb views.

Rothorn (3103 m)

The top station at 3103 m is officially called 'Unterrothorn' and can be reached by cable car from Blauherd. You’ll have a stunning panoramic view of Zermatt’s mountain range here, including the Matterhorn and Weisshorn. Demanding trails for experienced hikers start here. For a unique experience and beautiful photo options, you can book a sunrise trip.

In winter, multiple ski and snowboard trails start from Rothorn. Moonlight descents can be booked in advance.

Combine your visit to Sunnegga-Rothorn with other activities

You can easily enjoy yourself for a full day up at Sunnegga, Blauherd and Rothorn. If you opt for a shorter visit, you can combine your trip with other activities near Zermatt. Please find options here. A nice combination with a visit to the Gornergrat can be made if you hike from Sunnegga to Riffelalp, or the other way around.

Preparation

Check the weather forecast as there's no point in going up if the mountain area is covered in clouds. Dress in multiple thinner layers so that you can adapt to the different temperatures throughout the day. Note that it can be windy at the top. Take along gloves, sun glasses and perhaps a hat. Solid shoes are recommended if you plan to hike.

The mountain stations are all over 2000 m high. Anyone can suffer from (light) altitude sickness from this altitude. 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 though, staying at such altitudes for just a few hours is no problem.

Insider tips about Sunnegga-Rothorn

  • the funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga spends most of its 4-minute trip in a tunnel. For those afraid of heights this can be comforting; for those suffering from claustrophobia this may not be the ideal trip;
  • a 30-minute easy hike from Sunnegga brings you to the hamlet of Tuftern, featuring small wooden barns and stores from a by-gone era. It offers you the chance to photograph these classic Swiss wooden buildings, along with alpine flora and the Matterhorn;
  • in summer, the only restaurant can be found at Sunnegga. In winter there’s also the Blue Lounge near Blauherd, to be reached on foot or by ski;
  • of all rides from Zermatt, the one to Sunnegga is the shortest and cheapest. Some find that this place actually offers the very best view of the Matterhorn.

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