The Matterhorn Trail can be done in either direction. If starting at the top - which is the way it is usually done - the cable car is taken to Schwarzsee at 2583m to begin the 10km descent to Zermatt. The path is easy throughout with wonderful views. In an upwards direction the route involves an ascent of 1000m which I suppose is why most choose to go downwards.
Sustenance can be obtained at the Hotel Restaurant Schwarzsee which is a short distance from the gondola station. This is the start of the Matterhorn Trail in a downwards direction or the finish if you have walked up from Zermatt in which case the gondola will be very welcome!
The beginning of the Matterhorn Trail in a downwards direction.
The small chapel of Maria zum Schnee - Maria of the Snows - beside the mountain tarn of Schwarzsee a short way down the trail. The tarn is at the foot of the Matterhorn's Hornli Ridge.
The North Face of the Matterhorn dominates the view in the initial stages.
Looking back up towards the Matterhorn from Stafel where the forest is once again reached.
Views down from the Matterhorn Trail below Stafel towards Zermatt in the valley.
Haybarns near Zmutt typify the lower part of the trail as it returns to the valley.