Highlight of this walk is the ascent of a sequence of eight wooden ladders, which once provided the only link between Leukerbad and Albinen. The latter is a traditional Valais village of ancient wooden chalets blackened by sunshine. The two-hour hike from Leukerbad to Albinen is only for those with a good head for heights.
Starting in the village of Leukerbad, the trail leads southwards and through the Lochwald forest to reach the beginning of the thrilling ascent of the Albinen ladders. These once provided the only link between Leukerbad and Albinen, and were primarily used for the transport of agricultural goods. It is also likely – although unproven – that the ladders formed an extension of the Gemmi Pass route linking the Kander valley with the Rhône valley.
The sequence of ladders represents a climb of about 100 vertical metres and ends by the base station of the Flaschen–Torrentalp gondola. Here, the Restaurant Flaschen offers a welcome break for refreshments.
The trail continues, partly through forest, partly through fields and meadows, passing above the hamlet of Dorben before reaching Albinen. This is a typical Valais mountain village with many well-preserved houses and barns. Only the village church is built in modern style, as its predecessor was destroyed in an earthquake. The population was largely self-sufficient until the mid-20th century; the access road was built only in the 1960s.
To make the most efficient use of the land available, locals built their houses very close together. As all the gables of the houses face the same way, across the valley, the village has a remarkably uniform appearance, and is today a heritage site of national importance.
From Albinen, hikers can either continue in the direction of the mountain villages of Guttet-Feschel and Erschmatt or return to Leukerbad. In order to follow a different route back, walkers can return to Leukerbad via Torrentalp and another dramatic passage, the Wolfstritt.
- The dramatic Albinen ladders, which once provided the only link between Leukerbad and Albinen.
- The unspoilt mountain village of Albinen with its well-preserved wooden houses dating from the 17th and 18th
Safety informationUse of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. My Leukerbad 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 destinations:
Getting thereFrom Basel and Zurich: A1 motorway to Bern; A6 to Spiez; direction Kandersteg; Kandersteg - Goppenstein car transport; direction Gampel; Leuk - Leukerbad.
From Geneva: Motorway A1 to Lausanne; direction Sion/Sierre; Leuk - Leukerbad.
From Milan: Motorway A8/A26 direction Simplon; car transport Iselle-Brig; direction Leuk - Leukerbad.
ParkingDifferent underground car parks in Leukerbad. Follow the local car park routeing in Leukerbad.
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: