The 5 Lakes hike near Zermatt, Switzerland features some of the best views of the iconic towering Matterhorn. On a calm day you’ll be treated to double the view, with the Matterhorn reflecting onto the glimmering lakes below. If you are looking to spend a couple hours away from the crowds, soaking in picture perfect views of the Matterhorn, look no further than the 5 Lakes hike. This easy 6 mile loop is great for hikers of any skill level and easily accessible from Zermatt.

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About the 5 Lakes hike in Zermatt

As the name suggests, this hike passes by 5 lakes, Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee and Leisee, all with views of the Matterhorn in the background.

While this hike doesn’t get you up close to the Matterhorn, the views are incredible. On a clear day, you can capture a perfect image of the Matterhorn reflecting into two of the five lakes.

What to expect

Now, I am going to be honest. The first two lakes are the most stunning (Stellisee and Grindjisee), the third lake (Grünsee) is pretty, but the last two last lakes (Moosjisee and Leisee) were kind of a let down.

In our opinions, the first two lakes were more than enough to make this hike worthwhile, but go into the hike knowing that all five lakes will not live up to the incredible Stellisee.

It’s also possible to hike just to Stellisee and Grindjisee if you are short on time, but otherwise the rest of the hike still provides constant views of the Matterhorn, even if the lakes are less than fabulous.

Zermatt 5 Lakes hike details

  • Hiking distance | 6.8 miles
  • Elevation gain | 460 feet (1600 feet in opposite direction)
  • Total time | 3 – 4 hours
  • Epic-ness rating | 8
  • Difficulty | easy

Find this hike on AllTrails: The 5 Lakes Walk

How difficult is the Zermatt 5 Lakes hike?

The 5 Lakes hike is mostly downhill, with just a brief (but steep) uphill section. Despite the hike being around 6 miles long, it is fairly easy. It took use close to 3 hours to complete the hike, but we were definitely taking our time at the first three lakes.

Add an additional hour or so for transportation to and from the trailheads.

Which direction should I hike?

We did the 5 Lakes hike starting at Blauherd and ending in Sunnega, as most people do. Since Blauherd is located at a higher elevation than Sunnega, the hike is mostly downhill.

If you are looking to make the hike a bit more challenging, reverse the direction, starting at Sunnega and working your way up to Blauherd. Another key advantage of doing it this way is that you get Leisee and Moosjisee out of the way first, saving the best lakes (Grindjisee and Stellisee) for last! If we could do it again, we would have started in Sunnega.

Zermatt 5 Lakes hike map

The map below displays the steps involved in the the 5 Lakes hike. From Zermatt, catch a funicular to Sunnega station followed by a cable car to Blauherd.

When you arrive in Blauherd, first head to Stellisee, followed by Grindjisee, Grünsee, Mosjesee and Leissee. Finally, from Leisee take a short walk to Sunnega station to take the funicular back to Zermatt.

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Getting to the 5 Lakes trailhead from Zermatt

Ticket Cost (roundtrip)
Adult | 43.50 CHF ($49)
Children (ages 6 – 25) | 22 CHF ($25)
With Swiss Pass | 50% off

The trail for the 5 Lakes hike starts in Blauherd, so you will have to take a funicular from Zermatt to Sunnega, and then take a cable car from Sunnega to Blauherd.

The funicular station in Zermatt was a little hard to find – the name of the station on GoogleMaps is Sunnegga Blauherd Rothhorn Funnicular And Cable Car Station. Once you arrive in Sunnega, you can easily hop right into a cable car to Blauherd.

A roundtrip adult ticket from Zermatt to Blauherd costs around $49 or $24.50 with a Swiss Pass. To learn more about the Swiss Pass, visit our Switzerland Travel Guide.

Tip: if the lift from Sunnega to Blauherd is closed, you can hike up in about 45 minutes, or start your hike from Sunnega.

Blauherd to Stellisee

As soon as you step out of the Blauherd station you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of the Matterhorn. The trail starts with a mainly downhill gravel path. The first lake, Stellisee, is about one mile from the station. Follow the orange 5 Seenweg signs to Stellisee.

Lake 1 | Stellisee

Stellisee is easily the most stunning out of the 5 lakes. On a clear day with light wind, you can capture an incredible reflection of the Matterhorn onto the lake.

Before visiting Zermatt, I had read all about the evasive Matterhorn reflection and how the whether conditions had to be just right to see it. When we arrived at Stellisee, it was even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

I stood in awe at the end of this lake, not able to believe my eyes and snapping way too many pictures. It was the ideal sunny, calm day and the reflection in Stellisee was nearly a perfect mirror. I had the shot I had been dreaming of.

Photography Tip: To get the best shot of the reflection, get down low to the ground. It’s possible the reflection won’t look very clear from eye level.

Lake 2 | Grindjisee

I’m not sure any view could live up to Stellisee, but Grindjisee comes pretty darn close. Grindjisee has a totally different feel, surrounded half way around by pine trees. Here on a calm day, you can also capture an awesome reflection of the Matterhorn and surrounding pine trees onto the lake.

There are plenty of rocks along the shore of Grindjisee, making it a great place to stop for a snack or lunch. Then continue along the gravel path, following signs for the 5-Seenweg trail to Grünsee.

Lake 3 | Grünsee

Don’t expect a magnificent view of the Matterhorn at Grünsee, like those seen at the first two lakes. The Matterhorn can barely be seen here, peaking out from behind a ridge. That being said, Grünsee is still a beautiful alpine lake, and the views of the surrounding mountains behind the lake are pretty sweet.

After taking some time to appreciate the lake, continue along the 5 Seenweg trail. From here on out, you will not be especially impressed by the lakes, but that does not mean the rest of the trail isn’t worthwhile.

Still to come, there are many incredible views of the Matterhorn, beautiful wild flowers and alpine scenery stretching as far as the eye can see.

Lake 4 | Moosjisee

The trail from Grünsee to Moosjisee is a lovely walk through the woods, with intermittent views of the Matterhorn peaking out from behind the trees.

Moosjisee is a little bit of a disappointment. The bright teal color of the lake is stunning, but the powerplant on the far side makes the view less than perfect.

Lake 5 | Leisee

From Moosjisee it is a short but steep walk to to Leisee – the toughest part of the hike for sure. Leisee was the most crowded of the five lakes, with kids swimming and benches setup along the edge of the lake.

Again, the lake itself isn’t anything too special, but be sure to appreciate the colorful wildflowers around the lake and the ever present Matterhorn looming in the distance.

Return to Zermatt

From Leisee, take a quick walk uphill to Sunnega station to catch a funicular back to Zermatt.

Planning your 5 Lakes hike from Zermatt

In the section below, we’ll break down all the details you need to know to plan your 5 Lakes hike, including when to hike, where to stay nearby, and how to get to Zermatt.

When is the best time to hike?

The best time to complete the 5 Lakes hike is during the summer months from June through September.

During the winter, the trail will be closed due to snow and reopens only once the snow has been cleared from the hiking trails, usually around late May. If you visit during May or even early June, you risk that the trail may not yet be open.

Where to stay in Zermatt

To do the 5 Lakes hike, its best to stay in Zermatt, a small ski town located in the Southern Alps at the foot of the Matterhorn.

We stayed at Hotel Bahnhof, a basic and inexpensive hostel right across from the train station. Although we shared a bathroom, Hotel Banhnof was clean and quiet and we would recommend it if you are looking to save a little money.

How to Get to Zermatt

The easiest way to get to Zermatt is by train. By train, you can reach Zermatt from:

  • Interlaken in 2 hours
  • Zurich in 3.5 hours
  • Geneva in 4 hours

Zermatt is a car-free town, so if you plan to drive, you will have to park in a garage in Täsch and then take a short shuttle ride to Zermatt.

Other useful resources

Planning a trip to Switzerland? We think you may enjoy the resources below, including can’t miss hikes and complete 7-day itinerary, packed full of adventure:

For all things Switzerland: Switzerland Travel Guide

Have you done the 5 Lakes hike in Zermatt? Did you capture an epic reflection? Let us know your favorite place for Matterhorn views in the comments section below!

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