The Rothorn Flower Trail (aka Blumenweg) is lovely ramble over rocky hills and through flower filled fields ending at an adventure playground and picnic area with a view of the Matterhorn. The flowers are accompanied by informational signboards and labels (in English and German), which teach you interesting facts like which magical plant was used to restore a cow’s milk. The trail is downhill and not difficult but it is narrow and rocky, not suitable for strollers. Although the Gornergrat and Riffelsee were my favorite destinations in the Zermatt area, we really enjoyed this hike and it would certainly recommend it.
|Car:||3hr30 from Zurich|
|Train:||3hr30 from Zurich|
|Trail:||4.6 km one way, about 2 hours|
|Open:||June through October|
The Rothorn Flower Trail starts at the top of the Rothorn Blauherd lift and walks down to Sunnegga Paradise. More details are available on their website as well as an interactive version of this trail map.
Get yourself to Zermatt, a long haul from Zürich. Better to spend a long weekend or holiday in the region than try to do a day trip. By car, you must park in Täsch and continue by train into Zermatt.
From the Zermatt train station, follow signs to the Sunnegga-Rothornbahn, about a 5 minute walk (though it seemed much longer with little kids).
If you plan to do the Rothorn Blumenweg trail, buy a “Combi ticket Zermatt – Blauherd / Sunnegga – Zermatt”, which takes you up to the trailhead and back down from the end of the trail. In 2016, this cost about CHF 40 Adult, SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted, children under 8 ride free.
From the ticket booth, walk down the long tunnel and board the funicular train, which is basically an underground elevator that takes you up to Sunnegga Paradise, the middle station of this mountain. There’s a playground here, but we stopped at the playground after our hike as a reward for good hiking and I suggest you do the same. So instead of stopping at Sunnegga, take the Rothorn cable car up to Blauherd. Here we started the Blumenweg trail (see Rothorn Blumenweg trail map).
Trail Details for Rothorn Blumenweg
The trail starts right next to the Blauherd cable car stations. Follow the informational signboards.
It’s a very rocky trail, so no strollers. But it’s relatively easy, mostly downhill, and our 3YO hiked about half of it and I carried him the other half. The actual hike took us about 1.5 hr, but we took a lot of breaks and had a picnic, so total time was about 2.5 hours.
They aren’t kidding about the flowers. There are so many of them and so many different kinds. We visited in late July, which was perfect for flower viewing.
There are lots of educational signs along the trail (in English). The sign below explains that people used to think that this flower would help cows produce milk again after going dry.
The trail winds slowly down, passing through lush meadows and following a couple streams. Once again, we were completely alone on this trail. You’d never think that the village below was packed to the brim with tourists.
After about an hour, the narrow mountain trail joins a dirt road at a little “village” full of super old wood cabins. You follow this road all the way back to Sunnegga Paradise.
Now your kids have earned their time at the playground. From the Sunnegga Paradise complex (with restaurant, we didn’t try it), you can either walk or take a very short funicular (shown below) down to Wolli’s Adventure Park, aka a playground and picnic area overlooking a little lake with the Matterhorn in the distance. Unfortunately, the day we were there, the clouds covered the top of the Matterhorn most of the day. But we still had fun.