Discover the right bank of the Rhône on a hike into untamed nature, leading through the impressive Joli gorge.
Distance 8.7 km
Highest point1,094 m
Lowest point633 m
Overlooking the village of Raron, St-Romanus castle church with its old rectory is perched imposingly on a rocky outcrop above the Saint-Michael Church, which is cut directly into the rock. This historic area is home to the tomb of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Shortly before the Church of St. Roman, the path to the "Lötschberger" branches off towards the southern ramp. After walking for nearly two hours stop for a break and some refreshment the Rarnerchumma self-service. From there the trail continues to the unspoilt Jolischlucht gorge, visible from the Rhone valley. Hikers will also have a view of the wildly raging gorge from the 20-metre high suspension footbridge. Thrills and adrenalin guaranteed!
Listen to the audio play the “Tuff von Gestelnburg”, which, over the course of 13 stations, brings to life the story of the incessant feuds of Middle Age lords on the streets of the old village of Niedergesteln and among the ruins of Gesteln castle.
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.
From Raron station, head north and take the cobbled path heading up to the castle church. Halfway up, take a left turn and walk along the pastures until you reach the Lötschberger railway line. A rest area featuring benches and tables is a great spot to take a break and admire the view of Rhône Valley in all its glory. Next, follow the Lötschberger line north until you reach the natural bridge over the Bietschbach stream. Once you’ve passed the Rarnerkumme restaurant, the path will lead you into a pine forest and then through fragrant junipers up to the side of the Joli gorges. Cross the road and follow the bisse until you reach the suspension bridge. Continue along the wooden planks through a 30-metre-long tunnel, and then along Stägeru bisse, which you will follow for the next kilometre or so. Lastly, follow the signs showing you the way down towards Niedergesteln.
all notes on protected areas
From Geneva or Brig/Visp, take a train to Raron station.
From the main road coming from Sierre or Brig/Viège, follow the signs to Raron station.
Parking spaces are available at Raron train station.
32T 407688 5128789
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
The tourist office in Raron provides you with hiking brochures of the region.
Author’s map recommendations
SwissTopoMaps 1:25'000: 1288 Raron
clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
hat or cap
bottle for water
hiking poles (optional)
printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)