Saas-Fee has a long history of mountain adventure, from Switzerland’s first recorded descent on skis (in 1849) to pioneering first ascents and construction of some of the first mountain hotels in the Alps. This route takes us to one of the best-loved of all Alpine mountaineers’ huts: the Britannia, built in 1912.
The trail begins at Felskinn, summit station for the Felskinn and Alpin Express cable cars (2,988 m). This is also the base station for the Metro Alpin – the world’s highest funicular as well as the world’s highest underground railway, which leads to the world’s highest revolving restaurant and highest glacier grotto.
Our hike, however, takes us from the Felskinn station on to an alpine trail across the snows of the Chessjen Glacier to reach the Egginerjoch pass (2,988 m). The views are sublime. The sparkling Fee Glacier adorns the flanks of the Mischabel massif, the third-highest in the Alps (after the Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa massifs). Its summit, the Dom, is the highest peak entirely within Switzerland at 4,545 m.
The trail drops into the glacial bowl beyond the pass before climbing across the glacier once again to the Britanniahütte (3,030 m), one of the most-visited mountain huts in the Swiss Alps. Originally built by the «Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club» as a thank-you for hospitality received in the Swiss mountains, the iconic refuge was renovated in 1997 and equipped with solar-powered lighting.
We retrace our steps back down into the glacial bowl before following a new trail northwards, high along the flank of the valley all the way to the summit station of the Plattjen gondola. The views of the Saas valley, the Mattmark reservoir and the surrounding peaks are mesmerising.
- Dramatic route for experienced mountain hikers along high-altitude trails
- Scenic ride up to start of hike by cable car, down from end of hike by gondola
- Historical Britannia hut with restaurant and spectacular views of glacial landscapes
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, hints and links
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway and main road up the Rhône valley to Visp. Turn south up the Vispertal valley, following signs for Saas-Fee.
ParkingSaas-Fee ist car free. Multi-storey car park at entrance to Saas-Fee.
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: