The “5 Lakes Trail” in Zermatt, Switzerland, offers a captivating hike that harmoniously combines the thrill of walking trails with the serene beauty of Alpine lakes. This unforgettable journey takes you through five pristine glacial lakes – Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee, each offering unique and breathtaking views of the Matterhorn’s reflection on their crystal-clear waters
5 LAKES TRAIL IN ZERMATT: COMPLETE GUIDE
The 5 Lakes Trail is one of the most popular walking trails in Zermatt because it is accessible to everyone and has minimal steep climbing. Along the route are five stunning lakes where you can create reflections of the Matterhorn at the right angle. It’s a great day out and relatively easy for the whole family.
‘5 LAKES HIKE’ TRAIL DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The entire loop is 9km
- Hike Duration: The hike should take about 3-4 hours if you stop at each lake and wander around a bit. Total walking/moving time should be no more than 2 hours.
- Hike Difficulty: Very low difficulty. Suitable for families.
- Hike Incline: 241 meters
HOW TO GET TO THE 5 LAKES TRAIL
The 5 Lakes Hike official starting point is at Blauherd. To get to Blauherd you begin in Zermatt and take an underground funicular from Zermatt to Sunnega and then catch a lift from Sunnega to Blauherd. You can check the timetable and current prices on the official website here. The trail finishes at Sunnega.
There is a Combo Ticket offered for people doing the 5 Lakes Hike. It takes you from Zermatt to Blauherd and then from Sunnega to Zermatt.
Once you arrive at Blauherd follow the signs (and likely the other walkers) around the loop, which can be done in either direction. The trail takes you to 5 different lakes but if you are like us, you can head off the trail at times to explore glaciers, mountain huts, or other interesting viewpoints.
If you want to be at the lakes for sunrise to see the beautiful alpenglow reflections of the Matterhorn in the lakes, you will need to hike up to Blauherd, which will take 2.5-3 hours before you even get to the actual 5 Lakes walking trail.
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MY EXPERIENCE ON THE 5 LAKES HIKE IN ZERMATT
The 5 Lakes hike is a great trail for an easy afternoon of walking. Despite only doing a couple of hundred meters of incline throughout the entire hike, you will be enjoying some of the best views in Zermatt.
The day begins in Zermatt where you will catch the underground funicular to Sunnega and then take the lift to the starting point at Blauherd. The trail is quite simple each segment of the hike is quite short as you make your way to each lake for a rest and a few photos.
The trail leads you to each of the following points.
- Starting Point: Blauherd
- First Lake: Stellisee
- Second Lake: Grindjisee
- Third Lake: Grunsee
- Fourth Lake: Moosjisee
- Fifth Lake: Leisee
- Ending Point: Sunnegga
The first segment from Blauherd to Stellisee was very beautiful with the Matterhorn in the background and the vast valley below.
The first lake you will arrive at is the Stellisee. It’s quite large and sits on a plateau above the valley. The trail leads you around the entire circumference of this idyllic lake but the best part is that when you stand on the far side, you get an awesome view of the lake with Matterhorn in the background. This also means it’s a great spot to get that iconic reflection shot of the lake and the Matterhorn peak.
Before we made it to the second lake, Grindjisee, Josh and I ventured up from the Stellisee to check out the mountain hut and the glacier behind it. It’s called Fluhalp Mountain Hut, and you can get lunch, coffee, and more here at the hut. Behind the hut is a glacier, which was actually really interesting to check out. We had to scale a little ridge but this is a great excursion for those looking for a bit more adventure on the 5 Lakes hike.
After exploring new the Fluhalp mountain hut, we then walked down the ridge all the way back to the trail to reach the second lake the Grindjisee.
The Grindjisee lake was quite tranquil and natural with lots of trees, reeds, and wildlife in the lake. We could see lots of fish, ducks, and birds at the Grindjisee, and as always the Matterhorn loomed in the background.
After the Grindjisee, you continue on to the Grunsee, which had some beautiful, pink wildflowers growing on the banks. Some people even went for a little dip in this lake, which would obviously only be a summer activity!
From the Grunsee, you will make your way to the Moosjisee, which actually isn’t a lake. It’s a man-made reservoir with green color in the water.
However, when I visited it was empty. This was funny because the trail down to Moosjisee is actually the only part of the 5 Lakes hike with any incline so lots of people had made the journey down as a big effort and then saw an empty dam! I had to laugh as it happened to us as well. Good exercise anyway! In the winter or at least not the middle of summer, I’m sure it is full and nice to visit.
We continued on to the final lake of the walking trail, the Leisee. At this lake, there is lots going on. Kids everywhere on playground equipment, barbecues, crafts, and games. It’s like a dream world for kids and the ultimate family spot. It was definitely not the most picturesque of all the lakes but a great spot to the end of the 5 Lakes hike for families and kids.
From the Leisee you have a short walk back to Sunnega, where you can catch the underground funicular back to Zermatt. I hope you enjoy this beautiful walking trail that is the 5 Lakes hike while visiting Zermatt.
SWISS TRAVEL PASS or HALF-FARE CARD
OPTION 1: Buy the Swiss Half Fare Card: Switzerland trains, buses, and cable cars are EXPENSIVE! I found the best way to get around cheaply was to buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card before I arrived. It gives you 50% off every regular train, bus, and even many cable cars. It only costs $150 USD but pays itself off in just a few days with many train tickets in Switzerland costing close to $100 alone. If you are staying for more than 5 days, I suggest buying the Swiss Half-Fare Card.
OPTION 2: Buy the Swiss Travel Pass: The second option is to get the Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited train, bus, and (many) cable car rides but it’s pretty expensive at around $100 USD per day so if you don’t travel each day it isn’t worth it.
OPTION 3: Buy the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass: The final (BEST) option is to get the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to buy 8 days’ worth of transit but you can choose the night before if you want to activate the next day. That way you don’t need to travel every day to get your money’s worth, you can just activate the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass on the days when you are doing sizeable transits. My advice is to book the Swiss Half-Fare Card or the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass in advance before your trip so it’s ready to go when you arrive.
MY SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDES
I spent 100 days hiking in Switzerland and created a guide for different regions around the country. You can click on one of my Switzerland hiking guides below to help you plan your trip.
- The Complete Guide: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND
- The Via Ferrata Guide: 4 EPIC SWITZERLAND VIA FERRATA COURSES
- Lauterbrunnen Guide: 10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN
- Interlaken Guide: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN
- Grindelwald Guide: 12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD:
- Mürren Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN
- Appenzell Guide: 9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL
- Chur Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR