Loop around the high valley above Leukerbad, through alpine pastures to an atmospheric rock chapel. Fabulous views of the surrounding mountains.
Leukerbad owes its existence to the abundant hot springs in the spa resort and along the Dala gorge above. This hike climbs out of the town to trace a high-altitude loop around the entire upper Dala gorges, and showcases Leukerbad’s magnificent mountain setting in grand style.
In and around Leukerbad, 3.9 million litres of water bubble every day out of 65 thermal springs at a temperature of 51 degrees, feeding a variety of pools and spas. The hot springs have drawn bathers since Roman times, and for centuries have been an attraction on the historical route linking Valais and the Bernese Oberland via the Gemmi Pass. This climbs the towering Daubenwand cliffs above Leukerbad via a zig-zag mule trail hacked into the rock more than 250 years ago; the sight of this vertiginous trail from our hike makes the mountain scenery all the more impressive.
Our route climbs from the centre of the resort straight up to the Folljeret pastures to the west, and then on up to the Majing pastures further up the valley, and finally up to Flüealp. In summer, alpine flowers create a dazzling display of colour in the meadows on which the cattle graze; you can taste the natural goodness in the resulting cheeses.
At the far point of the loop, just beyond Flüealp, a natural rock grotto was enclosed in the early-19th century to make a tiny rock chapel. This place of pilgrimage is a wonderfully peaceful, contemplative spot, with its own spring just below. From here, the trail leads back to Leukerbad along the opposite side of the valley, via the pastures of Clabinu. The restaurant at Buljes offers a relaxing spot for refreshments just above Leukerbad.
- High-level walk around upper valley with spectacular views of mountain scenery
- Alpine pastures along route with working cheese dairies; charming rock chapel
- Spas in Leukerbad – dozens of thermal pools and a vast range of wellness facilities
- Other outdoor attractions include theme trails (thermal springs), gorge walk, via ferratas
Safety informationBring 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.
Tips and hintsThe tourist office in Leukerbad has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region and will give you detailled information about this hike.
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.
ParkingVarious parking options in the village of Leukerbad. Follow the local parking guidance system.
Car parks in Leukerbad: Sportarena parking, Rathaus parking, Torrent parking, Leukerbad Therme parking, Alpentherme parking.
Author’s map recommendations
EquipmentDay hiking bag (approx. 20 litres) with rain cover, sturdy and comfortable footwear, multi-layered clothing suitable for the weather and hard-wearing, telescopic poles, sun and rain protection, provisions and drinking water, first aid kit, pocket knife, mobile phone, maps.
- 5 Waypoints
- 5 Waypoints