The Golden Madonna statue

The Golden Madonna statue

Mattmark reservoir

Mattmark reservoir

The natural landscape

The natural landscape

Steps to the Golden Madonna

Steps to the Golden Madonna

Village life in Macugnaga

Village life in Macugnaga

Tour description

The Mattmark dam was constructed between 1960 and 1965 and is Europe’s largest earthen dam. The dam was officially inaugurated in 1969 by the bishop Nestor Adam. On 30 August 1965, 88 construction workers lost their lives when an avalanche crashed down from the Allalin glacier, burying their cabins under 500,000 m³ of ice. No other dam in Switzerland caused as many fatalities during its construction.
The reservoir’s waters claimed the Hotel Mattmark and Distelalp, which at that time were on the same level. The Hotel Mattmark was built and run by Father Johann Josef Imseng, a pioneer of tourism in the Saas Valley and a mountain guide who found fame as Switzerland’s first-ever skier. One day, the father of Saas Valley tourism was mysteriously found dead in the Mattmark, which at that time was a natural lake. To honour his achievements, today a statue of Father Imseng stands in Saas-Fee’s village square. More information about him can be found on a DVD in the tourist offices.

This trail sets off in a southerly direction from the dam until it reaches the end of the reservoir. From Distelalp the path leads up to the Monte Moro Pass. From here, hikers catch a glimpse of the shimmering Golden Madonna statue that is located on the pass. After Tälliboden, the trail continues up over the recently expanded Walser Trail and reaches the pass, where hikers are greeted with a breathtaking view of the majestic east face of the Monte Rosa. The G. Oberto hut lies just below the pass.


Alternative A: From the pass, hikers can continue on a steep ascent either on foot or via cableway to Macugnaga – a small, pretty Italian village. (6km; 1490Hm; 3h).


Pay attention to the Postauto bus timetable.

Pay attention to the cableway timetable.

Make sure you plan enough time for the hike and be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and good outdoor clothing.

Don’t forget to take your passport or ID card.

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Places along the route: Mattmark - Monte Moropass - G. Oberto-Hütte


Key figures for the last 12 months (since November 2017)



List view (without GEO map) of the tour together with other tours

Tour detail views

View of the detailed tour information (e.g. this page)


References to the tour sheet

Mobile look ups

With the GPS-Tracks app for iPhone or Android

Popularity index

Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Wallis region

Tour history (B02035)

First published: Dienstag, 14. Mai 2013

Last updated: Donnerstag, 6. Juli 2017

Tour published by: Presented by www.saas-fee.ch

Tour characteristics

Distance: 7.4 km | Time requirement: 3 h
Ascent: 721 m | Descent: 148 m
Aufstieg bei OeV-Benutzung!: -769 m
Highest point: 2853 m.a.s.l.

Printing, information

See also

Saas-Fee/Saastal Tourismus
Obere Dorfstrasse 2
3906 Saas-Fee
Tel.: +41 (0)27 958 18 58
E-Mail: info@saas-fee.ch
Homepage: www.saas-fee.ch

Restaurant Mattmark
3910 Saas-Grund
Tel.: +41 27 957 29 06
E-Mail: info@restaurant-mattmark.ch
Homepage: www.restaurant-mattmark.ch

Busterminal Saas-Fee
3906 Saas-Fee
Tel.: +41 27 58 454 26 16
E-Mail: wallis@postauto.ch
Homepage: www.postauto.ch/wallis

Piazza Municipio 1
28876 Macugnaga (VB) Italien
Tel.: +39 (0)324 65 050
E-Mail: iat@comune.macugnaga.vb.it
Homepage: www.macugnaga.it