Schwarzsee (2,583 m) is the starting point for ascents of the Matterhorn – and for the Matterhorn glacier Trail. In winter, Schwarzsee offers direct access to the ski pistes.The Schwarzsee lake lies in a hollow. A small chapel, “Maria zum Schnee”, stands on its shores; many mountaineers stop by after a successful ascent of the Matterhorn (4,478 m) to give thanks. The Schwarzsee region is also home to numerous endemic pioneer plant species.The alpine landscape of boulders and scree is scattered with streams and lakes. These and other traces left by the retreating glaciers are the theme of the fascinating Matterhorn glacier Trail, which leads from Trockener Steg (2,939 m) to Schwarzsee. The path also shows how the receding glaciers created habitats for plants and animals, and how local people have made use of the resulting landscape.