Despite its height, the Alphubel is overshadowed by some of the highest peaks in Switzerland. The Dom and Monte Rosa range are all within close range and take the Alphubel out of the spotlight. However, this mountains is located in an idyllic setting between the Mattertal and the Saas valley.
About the Alphubel
The Alphubel is a 4206-meter high mountain peak in the Wallis region of the Swiss Alps. The peak itself is part of the Mischabel Group of which the Dom is the highest. Alphubel is surrounded bu the Täschhorn in the north and the Allalinhorn in the south. The mountain was first ascended on August 9, 1860 by W. Hinchcliff, L. Stephen and mountain guides, M. Anderegg and P. Perren. The normal route runs from Saas Fee via the Längfluhhütte (2870m) over the eastern face. The icy summit is formed by a glaciated plateau from which it is hard to see the actual summit. Other routes to the summit run via the Täschhütte (2701m) and the Alphubeljoch (3782m) at the same plateau. A third option is a climb from Mitellallalin via Feejoch to Alphubeljoch. In 2010, a wooden cross was placed on the summit to make it easier to locate the actual summit, since it might be hard to see in foggy weather. From the Alphubel, you have a very nice view over the Mischabelgroup and across to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa
Accommodations in the region of the Alphubel
The Mattertal is a popular holiday region in the Swiss Alps as it is home to several iconic mountains such as the Weisshorn, the Mischabel group and, ofcourse, the Matterhorn. It provides several charming villages as a base for hiking holidays.
Zermatt is a not-to-be-missed destination when it comes to visiting the Swiss Alps. One of the main reasons is the Matterhorn’s shadow hanging above the village center. Zermatt is to the Matterhorn what Chamonix is to Mont Blanc. The traffic-free center gives the village a charming atmosphere not often surpassed in the Alps. The center of Zermatt can be reached on foot or by taking the Glacier Express from the neighboring village of Täsh. There are plenty of options for accommodations, eventhough most hotels are quite pricey due to the location. Budget travelers may find alternative options at the nearby campsite, just outside the village center.
Täsch is the last village in the Mattertal before reaching Zermatt. Most tourists arrive in Täsch by car before traveling further with the Glacier Express to Zermatt or hike their way into the mountaineering village. Most visitors spend the night in Zermatt, where accommodations are widely available, if you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:
Hotel Alphubel, is in a quiet and central location and It offers a sitting room, terrace, rest-cure meadow, garden and a sauna and also free WiFi is available in every room.
Hotel Walliserhof, the 3 star hotel is in a quiet location, within walking distance you can easily reach the train station or the village center in a few minutes. From the moment you step into the hotel, the staff will do their best to make you feel at home as quickly as possible, meet all your expectations and make your stay in Täsch unforgettable.
Hotel Christiania, located in Saas-Fee, about 100 meters south of the village square and only three minutes walk from the cable cars, the ski lifts and the sports field. The ski school and the mountain guide office are nearby.
The Saas valley is described as a hospitable place in the Alps, with plenty of snow in the winter season and a diverse range of activities in the summer. Besides a wide variety of hotels and accommodations, there are a few campsites to be found in the valley. Camping Mischabel is located 15 minutes from the village center and offers an idyllic setting. Views of the Mischabel group, with the Dom (4545m) as the highest on Swiss terrain, offer plenty of inspiration for hiking and climbing. Camping Schönblick is another option nearby and has the option of renting a caravan.
This mountain hut has views of the highest mountains and most impressive glaciers in Switzerland. Beside delicious meals the mountain, the hut also offers possibility to sleep: 15 beds are available for guests.
Spending a night in the Monte Rosa Hut is a great experience. This innovative structure has a very recognizable silver-colored surface that looks like mountain crystal. Not only is the structure modern, butseveral integrated solar panels and thermal solar collectors provide 90 percent of the energy consumed by the hut. Melting water is collected in a rock cavity while a filter system cleans the wastewater. The hut is mostly used by mountaineers looking to climb the Dufourspitze via the normal route.
Täschhütte is a mountain restaurant with the opportunity to spend the night. It offers 80 beds and is located at 2701 meters of altitudein the middle of the Mischabel group, which has several 4000- meter peaks. One night will cost you 42 CHF or 84 CHF (meals included). The mountain refuge is accessible from several trails, including the Europaweg.
Hiking in the region of the Alphubel
Europaweg to Zermatt
One of the most scenic multi-day hikes in the Alps is the Walker’s Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. This trail passes Zinal in the Val d’Anniviers and ends in Zermatt at the end of the Mattertal. From the Val d’Anniviers, the Mattertal is easily reached via Turtmanntal and Augustbordpass. From St Niklaus, the Europaweg marks the final two stages of your journey. It is an epic multi-day hike with the reward of a splendid view of the Matterhorn. Duration: 4-5 days.
Gspon – Saas Grund
The hike connecting Gspon to Saas Grund is an all-time favorite among those who know this area well. It is part of the “Great Walser Trail” which traces the historic west-east migration pattern of the Walser. High above the gorge that houses the babbling Saaser Vispa, the trail is mostly just above the treeline. Because of this, it offers wonderful views of the glaciers of the mighty Mischabel range. Walking time: 4hours 10 minutes. Altitude difference: 430m ascent and 770m descent.
Grachen to Saas Fee
The Saas Fee Hohenweg is one of the great hikes in the Valais. This challenging trail follows a high route along the west side of the Saastal with stunning views of the peaks towering above the Saas Valley and the Bernese Alps to the north. The trail is about 15 km long and makes a great day hike.
This scenic walk with panoramic views of the Mischabel Range traverses high above the east side of the Saas Valley before entering the beautiful Almageller Valley. End the hike by descending to Saas Almagell or take the challenging Adventure Trail to Furggstalden.
Zermatt to Gornergrat via the Riffelsee
The Gornergrat is situated at the end of a mountain train line, so it’s easy to take a train back to Zermatt after (CHF 40 one-way). From this point, you are offered great views of the Monte Rosa, Lyskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn. You can reach Gornergrat by hiking to Riffelalp through the forest and then take the furthest trail to the south above the Gorner valley. This leads to the Riffelsee, where you will see the trail going towards the Gornergrat. It takes about five hours oneway, so if you intend to hike back down as well, be sure to make an early start. At Rifferalp, you will pass by a 5-star hotel that features some of the most delicious Rösti with bratwurst.
Things to do in the Alphubel region
Saas Fee is often described as the Pearl of the Alps, and this has more to do than with just the hiking options. On the peak of Mittelallalin, you will find the world’s biggest ice grotto. This ice cave is accessible by cable car year-round. After your visit, why not have a drink or something to eat in the world’s highest revolving restaurant, three!xty, where stunning 360-degree panoramic views are served with delicious meals.
The Saaser Museum is a good option for a rainy day or when you want to relax from hiking. It features a typical apartment from the turn of the 20th century, folklore items, and the traditional costumes of the region.
When all the hiking has made your legs sore, a relaxing day at a spa might be just what you need. There are five day spas in Saas-Fee alone, and even more further down the valley.
On the other side of the Mischabelgroup, you will find the Mattertal. While Täsch is the closest village to the Alphubel, Zermatt attracts more visitors. The village center offers great views of the Matterhorn, and there is great mountaineering vibe in the streets.
The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge is another popular attraction. It is located in Randa, and easily explored by walking the circular hike from Zermatt.
Hiking with kids
Spending your holiday in Zermatt with small children? Even if your kids can’t yet walk, there are some great options for hiking. The Rundwanderung Täsh is a great round-trip hike suitable for those who wish to get some great views. The little altitude difference makes it ideal for families with children, even if you decide to bring a baby carriage. You can swim in the Schalisee Lake, rest at one of the many playgrounds along the route, or enjoy the views of the Breithorn.