We woke up to a cloudy Zermatt, but not as bad as yesterday evening. We could see most of the Matterhorn! We decided to visit Stellisee and Leisee, two of the lakes that are part of the famous 5 lake hike in the alpine region above Zermatt.
Zermatt in the Morning
We woke up to a mostly visible Matterhorn! We started watching it well before sunrise, not knowing how the light would play out. It was snowing at the higher altitudes overnight and we noticed that the Matterhorn definitely had more snow on it than it did on previous days.
Our first view of the Matterhorn this morning was the best we would get today. The clouds lowered in altitude and covered most of the visible portion of the peak.
Although the Matterhorn mostly faded from sight, we could still see many other places that we’ve visited on this trip. We took a look at Trockener Steg, perched high up above us.
These beautiful examples of fall foliage are between Trockener Steg and Furi, probably closer to Furi.
We saw a cog train leaving Zermatt on its way up the mountain to Gornergrat.
This is a mountain on the other side of the valley.
And a few scenes from Zermatt.
Yesterday, we noticed this building perched atop a rock cliff surrounded by trees that are just starting to change color. We saw it from the train heading down the mountain. Today, we photographed it from the valley floor.
Eventually, we started to walk over to the nearby funicular station.
Zermatt Up to Sunnegga
The funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga is completely contained in a tunnel within the mountain, except for the upper station. The lower terminal is also somewhere inside of the mountain and accessed by a pedestrian tunnel.
After arriving at Sunnegga, we took a look around outside. We were still below the clouds and the Matterhorn was absent.
We looked at some far away places that were still visible. Gornergrat could be seen through a gap in the clouds.
We could see that Riffelberg was still below the clouds.
Trockener Steg was also still mostly below the clouds.
We also managed to find one of the cog trains at a mountain-side station.
Sunnegga Up to Blauherd
As the weather above us still seemed OK, we decided to take the gondola up to Blauherd.
We managed to photograph from the very scratched up windows of the gondola. It worked out decently though there is a color cast that isn’t fully adjusted from the slightly tinted windows. We could see that the fall foliage was at peak near the treeline. It was quite beautiful!
Blauherd to Stellisee
After arriving at Blauherd, we began the hike to Stellisee, an alpine lake.
We could see that it was rather cloudy around our elevation but hoped the lake would still be OK.
We enjoyed the beautiful cloudy scenery as we hiked along what appeared to be a wide and mostly level service road.
Eventually, though, it did start going downhill. There was actually another path above us that was probably the actual hiking trail. Too late now!
After the descent, looking back, it looked a tad steep but at least it wasn’t long!
The trail then climbed a bit towards what we hoped was the lake. There were a number of people that seemed to be just standing around, which is typically what you see around popular lake hiking destinations!
We were definitely pleased that we could see the lake! The clouds were all above us.
We started walking around the lake clockwise. Unfortunately, while the lake itself was clear, the surrounded mountains were mostly enveloped in clouds.
We noticed that there were small fish in the lake! There were also larger ones though they photographed even more poorly than these little ones.
We eventually got closer to the far side of the lake. Looking backwards, we couldn’t really see the Matterhorn where it was supposed to be.
Eventually, we did see some of the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, it was still very cloudy.
After a short break to eat some Toblerone, which is what one does when near the Matterhorn, we continued hiking around the lake.
While looking up at the mountain above us, we notice that appeared to be some black and white animals. We first saw these animals while on the train from Visp to Zermatt. Unfortunately, it was difficult to photograph them from a moving train. Luckily, these were easier as they appeared to be walking and grazing. These animals are Valais Blackneck, a local species of domestic goat.
We noticed that it appeared to be getting cloudier.
We finally returned to where we first saw the Stellisee. We noticed a pointy peak in the distance, though it is not the Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is behind us.
Stellisee to Blauherd
As we hiked back towards Blauherd, we could see that the clouds had reached our elevation. These photos are all taken level – straight ahead.
When we were very close to the Blauherd gondola station, we could see the wires for the aerial tram up to Rothorn disappear into the clouds.
Blauherd Down to Sunnegga
We faced the opposite direction as we rode the gondola down from Blauherd to Sunnegga. We didn’t see as many trees in this direction but there was still plenty of fall colors to be seen once we got closer to the lower terminal.
The Leisee is just a short walk down from Sunnegga. We ended up taking an elevator inside the Sunnegga terminal followed by a short tunnel and then a short steep hike down.
We had planned on taking this funicular, consisting of a gondola carriage mounted on a platform, but failed to locate where to get on at the top.
There was some renovation going on around the Leisee so part of it looked like a mess. We saw some nice chairs to sit on next to the lake though!
We sat on some chairs on this rocky “beach” facing the lake. It was nice, though it would have been nicer if we could see blue sky and the Matterhorn!
Afterwards, we started to walk around this small lake.
We passed by a bit of beautiful fall foliage.
The lake had a nice emerald color when viewed with the right lighting.
We passed by some more seating as we returned to where we started. We took the gondola funicular back up to Sunnegga. It works somewhat like an elevator. You press a button to call it down, but then it goes back up after what appears to be a set period of time. After arriving at Sunnegga, we realized that we had misidentified the tunnel leading to the gondola funicular earlier.
Sunnegga Down to Zermatt
We ended our day, and the Zermatt portion of our trip, by taking the funicular back down to Zermatt.