Zermatt lake hopping: The 5 lakes trail

Being fond of waterscapes, I like my hikes with a pinch of mountain lakes. The Alps luckily have an abundance of those, but nowhere greater than in Zermatt, where one of the hiking trails passes by no less than five different lakes in the span of a few hours. It's an easy, but rewarding hike.

As with most hikes in Switzerland, the 5 lakes trail allows you to skip over an otherwise big ascent by taking the cable car to Blauherd. Starting there, my hiking pal and I kept walking uphill for too long (you should turn right for the lakes immediately after the station), accidentally passing by a lovely colony of playful marmots, a sure silver lining of an unintentional detour. 

Basking in the warm September sun, we decided to tweak the official trail and walk up to the Fluhalp hut and treat ourselves to a beer with a view of the lake and Matterhorn with its cloud hat in the distance. To make the trail circular, we took the path on a ridge opposite the hut, which revealed a stunning glacier to the back, and dramatic Matterhorn finally clearing up to the front. Funny how detours turn out to be very scenic life decisions (most of the time). 

Before we go on to the exciting part (technical details and photos), credit needs to be given where credit is due. If you read the first post after I resurrected my blog in 2020, one of the reasons I decided to document my hikes was the difficulties I experienced navigating between various different sources to find complete information about desired hikes. In Zermatt this was easier thanks to newly found goldmine - the Journey Era blog. I found his descriptions incredibly accurate and instructions very practical, so I relied heavily on it during the long weekend in Zermatt. You can read about his experience hiking the Five Lakes trail here

HIKING THE FIVE LAKES TRAIL IN ZERMATT
(STARTING AT BLAUHERD AND FINISHING IN SUNNEGGA)

  • Time of the year: I hiked in early September.  
  • How to get there: From Zermatt, walk from the main train station towards the Gornergrat station (just across the street), but then take the street behind it and walk for about 5 minutes to get to the station, where you first take the underground funicular up to Sunnegga, and then a cable car to Blauherd, where the hike starts. 
  • Hike time: Around 4 hours (excluding stops) - including the detour passing by Fluhalp and the ridge. 
  • Hike length & ascent: Around 10 km, 300 m elevation gain. 
  • Hiking gear needed: The usual hiking footwear.
  • Difficulty: Easy. 
  • Hike directions: From the Blauherd station, walk up and soon turn right to follow the 5 lakes trail - you'll see the Stellisee in the distance. Once you reach Stellisee, the 5-lake trail signposts will direct you to Grindjisee, but I recommend you take a detour and walk to Fluhalp, a lovely mountain hut (around 20 minute walk), where you can enjoy a beer with a view of the lake and Matterhorn. From there take the path behind the hut and down and then up, which will take you to the ridge opposite the hut, offering a great view of the glacier. Continue walking down the ridge (while enjoying Matterhorn views!), until you join the 5-lake trail again, walking down to Grindjisee. From there, take the yellow signposts towards Grünsee and Moosjisee (at this point, we were a bit confused as the signposts for Sunnegga pointed in the direction where we came from - but following the lake signs instead, we made it to Sunnegga just the same). At Moosjisee, you'll already see the signs for Leisee and Sunnegga - follow them to reach your final destination, and take the underground funicular back down to Zermatt. 








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