This hike is one of the most beautiful summer-autumn trails in the Zermatt area, as it takes you past five lakes, each reflecting the Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is probably the most famous mountain in Europe, standing at 4,500 meters and dominating the breathtaking alpine panorama with its unique pyramid shape. Did you know that half of the Matterhorn is in Italy? Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia share one of the world's largest ski areas in winter, while in summer, over 400 km of marked hiking trails are waiting to be explored. That's why you should definitely add this hike to your list and make sure to experience it for yourself.
Arrival: Possible by car, but you have to park in Täsch and take the train from there for one stop, as Zermatt is a car-free town. The parking garage in Täsch costs 16.00 CHF per day. Alternatively, public transport is also feasible, with regular trains running from Zermatt to Visp and Brig.
Equipment: Good hiking shoes, hiking poles, sunscreen, food items, it's also important to always pack rain protection when hiking in the mountains.
Start and End: The start of the hike is at the mountain station Blauherd, and the end is at the mid-station Sunnegga.
Difficulty: The hike is considered easy, especially if you start at the Blauherd mountain station, where the trail steadily descends. This makes it family-friendly and suitable for hikers of all levels. However, if you hike in the opposite direction, the trail becomes more challenging as it involves a steady uphill climb.
Time: The pure hiking time for this trail is 2 hours and 45 minutes. However, it's recommended to allocate around 4 hours for the entire trip, including breaks for taking photos and having a picnic.
Ascent and descent: Ascent is 260 meters ; Descent is 540 meters
Unterground: The trail comprises 4 km of wide mountain road, 4 km of mountain trails, and 2 km of nature trail.
Wildlife: During this hike, you can spot various animals such as long-haired goats and marmots, which can be heard and seen occasionally. The highlight of the trail is the black-nosed sheep, which are friendly and enjoy being petted.😅
Lodging and Restaurants: There's a mountain inn called Fluhalp where you can stay overnight at 2600 meters, right next to Stellisee where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn reflected in the lake. Additionally, there are several restaurants in the area, but you may also consider having a picnic by the lake.
Tips: Here are some tips: This hike is best enjoyed in the fall season when the larches turn golden yellow, providing a stunning scenery. Furthermore, for a breathtaking view of the sunrise or sunset, it's highly recommended to visit Berggasthaus Fluhalp.
Highlight: The highlight of this hike was undoubtedly the stunning sunrise at Stellisee. Additionally, we also had a delightful encounter with the friendly black-nosed sheep, which were so sociable that they never left us alone. We even got to pet them!
The hike starts at the train station of Zermatt. You walk 10 minutes leisurely through the village in the direction of the valley station Sunnegga. An adult day ticket round trip from Zermatt to Blauherd costs 47.00 CHF, while children cost half. To reach Blauherd, you first take the funicular from Sunnegga and then the cable car. The start of the 5 lakes hike is at Blauherd and the end is at Sunnegga station. The start of the 5 lakes hike is Blauherd, the end is at Sunnegga station, so the best solution is to buy a return ticket.
When we reached the summit, we headed to a wooden platform where we could sit and take a photo with the Matterhorn in the background. The trail was clearly marked as the 5 Lakes Trail. Our goal for the evening was to reach the mountain inn at Fluhalp, so we continued hiking for about 30 minutes until we reached the first lake. From there, we caught sight of Stellisee and the mountain inn in the distance, as you can see in the picture. The inn sits peacefully and alone on the mountain, with the Findel Glacier looming above it.
As we made our way from Stellisee to the mountain inn, we found ourselves struggling to catch our breath. It's important to remember that you're hiking at an altitude of over 2500 meters, where the air is thinner. Finally, we reached our destination, and the friendly team at Fluhalp warmly welcomed us. We were shown to our rooms and could finally relax.
After dinner and a bit of relaxation, we realized that we couldn't afford to miss the sunset. Up here, it's truly a sight to behold. So we quickly made our way back towards Stellisee, and what we saw was truly beautiful and unique.
We then returned to the mountain inn, where we spent the night. Our goal for the next morning was to be at the lake before sunrise, so we packed our things the night before. At 6:00am, we set out towards the lake with our headlamps, and we were not disappointed by the sunrise that awaited us.
This was also the first lake on our hike. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast by the lake before continuing on the 5 Lakes Trail. About 15 minutes after leaving Stellisee, we were surprised by a group of unique long-haired goats. About 10 of them ran towards us, probably thinking we had food for them. At that time, we were the first hikers around, so the goats were likely eager for any potential snacks.
After our special encounter with the goats, we arrived at Grindjisee after about 1 hour and 2.3 kilometers of hiking. This was my absolute favorite spot, with its stunning view of the Matterhorn reflecting in the lake. In the autumn, the larch trees turn golden yellow, creating a truly dreamy scene.
Grindjisee is formed by a combination of meltwater from the Findel glacier and rainwater that collects in it. After a short break, we continued towards the third lake, Grünsee. The water in Grünsee is a beautiful shade of green, and it's the only lake where you can see the Matterhorn only at the top. However, the other mountains are reflected in it, creating a stunning sight. After about 1 hour and 30 minutes of hiking and covering 5.7 kilometers, we reached the small Grünsee. The panoramic view of the 4000-meter mountains was truly breathtaking.
The Lake Grünsee, like the previous one, is formed from the meltwater of the Findel Glacier. By the time it was 12:00, we were already feeling hungry and decided to have a picnic by the lake, enjoying the beautiful view. Once we were done, we packed up our belongings, took our trash, and continued on to the fourth lake, Moosjisee. The trail leading to Moosjisee was steep and zig-zagged downhill, and from afar, we could already see the almost cheesy-looking lake. After about 2 hours and 7.7 kilometers of hiking, we finally arrived at the stunning turquoise-blue Moosjisee.
As we hiked around the lake, we noticed that the whole trail was filled with black-nosed sheep. Most of them were sleeping, so we had to be careful not to disturb them. However, a few were awake, and to my surprise, one of them kept coming up to me, almost like it wanted to be petted. It was such a unique experience, and the sheep almost seemed like a mythical creature to me.
After spending some time petting the sheep, we had to continue our hike because the clouds were getting thicker. At this point, we had a choice between taking a shorter but steeper path to the next lake or following the normal path, which is the option we chose. Along the way, we passed by the picturesque village of Findeln, with its charming wooden chalets and stone roofs. It was a truly beautiful sight.
After taking a break at the Paradise restaurant, we made our way to the final lake of the hike, the Leisee. This lake is one of the most famous stops on the trail because it has a playground and offers a great spot for swimming. It is located just before our final destination, the Sunnegga middle station. After hiking for a total of 2 hours and 35 minutes, covering a distance of 9.8km, we finally arrived at the last lake.
The Leisee is also known as the "bathing beach" of Zermatt and is a popular destination for families. However, the weather was not good enough for swimming, so we just dipped our feet in the water, which was a refreshing experience after the long hike. We had the option to either take a mini funicular up to the cable car or hike the rest of the way. We opted for the funicular and once we reached the top, our hike was over. We could feel the sore muscles in our legs. 😅