Where a mountaineer's heart begins to pound

Up close to the matterhorn: a visit to the Hörnlihütte

Clouds Clouds Clouds

Nowhere is the sense of being up close to the legendary Matterhorn so powerful as at the Hörnlihütte. There, at an altitude of 3260 metres, mountaineers come together from all over the world – and you can be in the midst of it.

Some climbers arrive at “Base Camp Matterhorn” before striding out full of enthusiasm for the Hörnligrat ridge to make an attempt to reach the summit of this, one of the most-climbed mountains in the world. Others already have the climb behind them and are on their way back, perhaps with heads hung in disappointment, or beaming with pride after a successful ascent.

Other people visit the Hörnlihütte just to get a close-up flavour of the legend that is the Matterhorn, to enjoy the impressive Alpine panorama, and taste some regional specialities. Sun terrace and Wi-Fi are both included!


  • Length: 8.5 km
  • Duration: 2 hr 15 min 
  • Altitude difference: 707 m
  • Degree of difficulty: difficult
  • Stopping places: Restaurant Schwarzsee, Hörnlihütte
  • Best season: July to August
  • Transport: Matterhorn-Express via Furi to Schwarzsee
  • Requirements: Surefootedness & good hiking boots 
View from Schwarzsee to the Matterhorn | © Zermatt Bergbahnen AG

From Zermatt to the Hörnlihütte

The Hörnlihütte is reached via the Hörnli trail. Take the Matterhorn Express from Zermatt via Furi to Schwarzsee (altitude: 2583 metres) and begin your hike from there. The 4.3-kilometre walk takes a little over two hours and includes a 743-metre gain in altitude. 

Caution: The path is rated “difficult” and is only recommended for experienced hikers.