The trail to the Schönbiel Hut offers breathtaking views of the north face of the Matterhorn, the Dent d’Hérens, the Zmutt and the Stockji glacier and more. It’s a relatively straightforward, non-technical hike, but if you start in Zermatt it does climb more than 1,000 meter. You can also take a cable car to Schwarzsee and from there descend to the moraine of the Zmutt glacier where you can catch up with the trail. Since I’d already been to Schwarzsee twice I took the standard route via Zmutt. There are two nice restaurants in Zmutt, but beware, they only take cash.

The trail beyond Zmutt passes through a small but beautiful forest. I especially loved the smell of the larches. They also make for nice pictures. The trail ascends the crest of an old lateral moraine before making its final climb to the Schönbielhütte, perched at 2694 meters on a ridge above the Zmuttgletscher. The trail continues for two hundred meter or so beyond the hut from where you have amazing views of the Dent d’Hérens, the north face of the Matterhorn and the Stockjigletscher. It was super windy at the edge of the abyss that separates the two mountain ridges and I had trouble staying on my feet.

As you climb higher the views get better and better
Schönbiel hut hike
Stunning views on the way to the Schönbielhütte on a perfect day in September
Still one hour and twenty minutes to the hut and two and a half hours back to Zermatt, which means that it's about three and a half hours from the Schönbiel hut to Zermatt. Something to bear in mind...
Hard to believe but I only met five other people on the trail. It was off-season though.
Close-up of the mountain to the side of the trail
Schönbiel hut hike
In the top right corner you can see the hut. From here it's still a short but strenuous climb. Part of the ridge has collapsed, but never mind, they put a fence around the gap...
Almost there
Schönbiel hut
Looking back to the Schönbiel hut
...and looking forward...
Matterhorn north face
The Schönbiel hut offers amazing views of the north face of the Matterhorn
But at the end of the trail the views get even more spectacular
Matterhorn north face
The north face of the Matterhorn in black and white
On the way back. Amazing views all the way to the Gornergrat and beyond.
The view from the moraine of the Zmutt glacier
Some farm houses near Zmutt

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