The Matterhorn is among Switzerland’s most iconic landmarks. The imposing Alpine mountain on the Swiss-Italian border is a snow-capped pyramidal peak reaching 14,692 feet (4,478 meters) of elevation. Visit the quaint village of Zermatt and capture photos of this famous emblem of the Swiss Alps.
Climb or watch expert mountaineers climbing the impressive rock formation, which is considered a fairly difficult ascent. The climb begins with the Schwarzsee cable car ride, followed by a hike along the Hörnli Ridge and a rest in the Hörnli Hut. Farther up is the Solvay Hut, which contains several beds and is only for use in emergencies. Reach the peak in the morning, before the daily afternoon clouds and storms arrive.
For a longer but less steep challenge, trek along the 10-day circuit around the mountain, making sure to bring enough food and water for the trip. Capture photos of the intriguing scenery on the trail, consisting of meadows, larch forests and glaciers.
Learn about the geology and history of the mountain by visiting the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis in Zermatt. It contains exhibits about the first climbers, including tragic and heroic stories. Visit the nearby Alpin Center Zermatt, which provides trained guides and advice for the ascent.
Note that Matterhorn translates to Zermatt’s Peak or Peak of the Meadow, in reference to the fields around the village. German, French and Italian languages are spoken to varying degrees around the area. The mountain has been featured in several movies, including Climbing the Matterhorn, Third Man on the Mountain and Disney’s flight motion simulation Soarin’ Around the World.
The Matterhorn is in the Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps in southern Switzerland. It is next to the Italian border, overlooking the Swiss town of Zermatt in the Valais canton. Visit other peaks in the region, such as the Furggen, the Picco Muzio and the Testa del Leone.