Dom – The Highest Mountain in Switzerland

Despite the stiff competition, the Dom is the highest mountain standing entirely on Swiss territory. Because of this, it passes the nearby located peaks of the Monte Rosa massif. Situated between the Mattertal and Saas Valley, it is surrounded by some of the most popular villages in the Alps.

About the Dom

The Dom is part of the Mischabelgroup located between Saas Fee and Randa in the Mattertal. With an elevation of 4545m it is the highest mountain entirely in Switzerland and the third highest in the Alps after the Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. However, the Dufourspitze is the highest summit in Switzerland because it is not located on the ridge that marks the border between Italy and Switzerland. The Mischabel group includes many subsidiary summits above 4,000 metres. The Dom lies between Taschhorn (4491m) and the pyramid of the Lenzspitze (4294m). The Dom lies between Saas Fee and Randa, but is mostly climbed from Randa in the Mattertal, a village close to Zermatt. The first ascent was made in September 11, 1858 by reverend John Llewelyn-Davies with guides, Johann Zumtaugwald, Johann Krönig and Hieronymous Brantschen from the northwest ridge. On the Mattertal side, the Dom faces the almost equally high Weisshorn and, on the Saastal side, it faces the Weissmies.

Accommodations in the Dom Region


Mattertal Mattertal, Photo by Umberto Luparelli
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 the one for those who wish to catch a glimpse of the majestic Matterhorn. Zermatt is to Switzerland what Chamonix is to France. This mountaineering village breaths history as you will see traces of the past, not in the least is the Zermatt cemetery where several mountaineers lie buried. The village is flocked with day tourists taking the Glacier Express train to the village, since no cars are allowed in the center. Most spend the night in one of the many hotels in the village. However, for those on a budget, or spending a night in Zermatt before commencing their hike, there is a campsite available--the closest being Camping Matterhorn at the entry of the village, about two minutes from the train station. It is only for tents as there is no way to reach the campsite by car. Cost is 15 CHF/ day. Randa, on the other hand, is located further down the Mattertal and is the closest village for summiting the Dom, but it has fewer options for accommodations, if you are looking for a fine hotel, these are worth checking out: Hotel The Dom, founded in 1881, is an integral part of tourism in Saas-Fee. Named after the "Hausberg" Saas-Fees and the highest peak in Switzerland, we warmly welcome you to the oldest hotel in the village. Hotel Das Dom, s situated in the centre of Saas-Grund, 50 metres from a bus stop to Saas-Fee and Saas-Almagell, right next to the a 26-km long cross-country ski trail, and 400 metres to the gondola to the skiing region of Saas-Grund/Hohsaas. All rooms at the Dom come with a balcony, and feature satellite TV. Each unit's bathroom is provided with toiletries and a hairdryer. Crotto di Gittana, composed by three cozy and spacious rooms, equipped with every comfort and with a wonderful lake view.

Saas Valley

Saas Valley Saas Valley, Photo by James Billings
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 on the Mischabel group, with the Dom (4545m) as the highest on Swiss terrain, offer plenty of inspiration for hiking and climbing. Camping Schönblick is nearby and has the option of renting a caravan.

Monte Rosa Hut

Mountain Hut - Monte Rosa HutSpending 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, but several integrated solar panels and thermal solar collectors provide 90 percent of the energy consumed by the mountain 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.


Mountain hut - TäschhütteTäschhütte is a mountain restaurant with the opportunity of spending the night. It offers 80 beds and is located at 2701 meters of altitude in 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.

Langfluh Hut

This is a mountain hut with views of the highest mountains and most impressive glaciers in Switzerland. Beside delicious meals, the mountain hut also offers the possibility to sleep as 15 beds are available for guests.

Dom Hut

Mountain hut - Dom HutThe Dom Hut is located at an elevation of 2940m near the Festiglacier, located on the normal route for climbing the Dom. It takes about 4 hours to reach from Randa in the Mattertal. Climbers or hikers who want to spend the night can book one of the 52 beds available.

Mischabel Hut

Located on the sput of the Lenzspitze, this mountain refuge at 3329 meters is best reached from Saas Fee. A well-marked and easy path brings you from the Saastal to the mountain hut in about 4 hours.

Hiking in the Region of the Dom

Tour de Monte Rosa

While this multi-day hike circumnavigates the Monte Rosa massif, it still offers some great views of the Matterhorn worth mentioning. It crosses the Theodulpass, the second highest mountain pass in the Alps, and explores the Valais region as well as Valle D’Aoste. Along the way, spending your nights in cabins such as Europahutte and Gandegghutte makes the experience of hiking in the Alps even better.

Grachen to Saas Fee

The Saas Fee Hohenweg is one of the great hikes in the Valais. The 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.

Hohenweg Kreuzboden

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.

Grachen to Saas Fee

The Saas Fee Hohenweg is one of the great hikes in the Valais. The 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.

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 afterwards (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 Dom region

Saas Fee is often described as the Pearl of the Alps, and this has more to do than just with 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 accompanied by 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 what you need. There are five day spas in Saas-Fee alone, and even more further down the valley. The Mattertal is the best option for visiting the Dom region. Here the cable car up to Klein Matterhorn makes it easyto see some of the most impressive panoramic views of the Alps. Also, with over 100 kilometers of biking trails reaching 1,400 to 3,100 meters of altitude, the region around Zermat offers a unique mountainbiking experience suitable for all levels.Day tourists will have no problem filling their day in Zermatt by visiting the Matterhorn Museum, wandering the streets, and enjoying some delicious Valais specialties in one of the many restaurants. Chances are high that you will need to take the train to leave the Mattertal (or at least Zermatt). However, the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Brig is known for its scenic mountain views and is considered one of the best train journeys in the world.

Hiking with kids

Spending your holiday in the Mattetal with small children? Even if your children can’t yet walk, there are some great options for hiking. The Aussichtsweg 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. Another great option is the circular hike from Zermatt leading to the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Randa.