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
The alpine taxi takes you comfortably to Alpe Folljeret in an all-terrain vehicle. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the programme includes a trip to Alpe Majing for a cheese-making demonstration. For an additional charge, a hearty alpine breakfast is also available to start the day on a high note. Further trips and prices at: www.taxileukerbad.ch/alpentaxi
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 linksMore information about the destination:
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: