This exhilarating ascent of the Eggerhorn (2,503 m) starts in the main Rhône valley and concludes with a descent beyond into the wild Binntal valley. The contrasts along the way and the spectacular summit views of the two valley systems make for an unforgettable hike.
In fact the entire route lies within the confines of the Binntal Landscape Park, known for its pristine scenery, geological variety and wealth of plant and animal life. The historical villages seem to live in a state of suspended animation, having been bypassed by modern traffic routes; several have won awards for their superb state of preservation.
The hike begins in Ernen, one of the first Swiss villages to win the Wakker Prize for the conservation of its architectural heritage. Over recent years, Ernen has made a name for itself as a music village, thanks to its classical concerts in summer featuring international musicians.
A steady climb through the forests above Ernen leads to a gentler ascent across the flower-covered pastures at Alpe Frid. The trail then becomes much steeper, but the reward is well worth the effort: spectacular panoramic views from the summit of the Eggerhorn.
The route then leads into a different realm: the pristine Binntal valley, which was entirely cut off from the outside world for months every winter until construction of an access tunnel just half a century ago. The historical settlements of traditional wooden houses and barns, bronzed by the sun, are full of charm. Our route down from the Eggerhorn cuts across the pastures to the village of Imfeld (also known as Fäld); an alternative route features a steeper zig-zag descent to Binn. Both ancient villages are among the best-preserved in Valais.
- Ernen – historical “music village” with a renowned international summer festival
- Eggerhorn – exhilarating climb, panoramic views
- Binntal valley: pristine landscapes, charming villages of ancient wooden houses
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on «Print» icon, top right of this page.
- Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
- Close gates after passing through.
- Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
- Do not leave any waste in nature.
For mountain hikes:
- Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
- Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
- Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
For high-altitude hikes:
- Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
- Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
- Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.
Tips and hints
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway and main road up the Rhône valley to Lax; shortly after, take right turn for Ernen. At end of walk, take bus back to Ernen.
ParkingErnen. Follow the local car park routeing in Ernen.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)
For certain walks: