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Winter Hikes recommended route

Alpe Äpnet Waldrand Weg

Winter Hikes · Valais
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Valais Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The snow-covered landscape of Grächen
    / The snow-covered landscape of Grächen
    Photo: Grächen und St. Niklaus Tourismus und Gewerbe
  • / A trail for young and old.
    Photo: Grächen und St. Niklaus Tourismus und Gewerbe
  • / Especially recommended in case of fresh snow.
    Photo: Grächen und St. Niklaus Tourismus und Gewerbe
m 1800 1750 1700 1650 1600 4,0 3,5 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km Alpe Äpnet Lac de Grächen
This winter hike from Grächen to Alpe Äpnet has plenty to offer in terms of culture, history and relaxation. It’s perfect for families and winter hikers with a thirst for knowledge.
Distance 4.1 km
1:13 h
148 m
149 m
1,762 m
1,614 m
Fresh air, amazing views and lots of interesting history. The winter hiking trail from Grächen to Alpe Äpnet impresses, surprises and delights. It’s not just because of the view – there’s also the captivating section of trail through the snowy forest of Grächen. The Drieri and Eggeri irrigation channels (bisses) lead the way to Alpe Äpnet and are part of an irrigation system with roots in the 12th century that is still in use today. It’s worth taking a pit stop at the Restaurant Zum See to enjoy the regional specialities. The view of the Weisshorn and the frozen lake makes the perfect accompaniment to your break. Once you’ve reached Alpe Äpnet, cross the valley ski run and hike downhill towards Egga. At the chapel of the same name you can immerse yourself in the history of Grächen. Before finally heading back to the village, take one last look at the “mountain of mountains”, the Matterhorn. 

Author’s recommendation

The view over the village is exceptional. Grächen is like a fairy tale, especially when there’s fresh snow on the ground. Stop off for a break at the Restaurant Zum See along the way.
Profile picture of Nicolas Mari
Nicolas Mari
Update: January 17, 2020
Highest point
Alpe Äpnet, 1,762 m
Lowest point
Grächen, 1,614 m
Best time of year

Safety information

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.

  • 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.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals. Do not leave any waste in nature.
  • 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.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible, avoid going alone.

Tips and hints

More information about the destination: Grächen


Grächen (1,617 m)
2'630'932E 1'116'148N
46.196085, 7.839344
46°11'45.9"N 7°50'21.6"E
32T 410445 5116489


Alpe Äpnet

Turn-by-turn directions

This winter hike to Alpe Äpnet starts at Grächen village square. It then continues between charming chalets, passing the sports centre on its way up to the edge of the forest. Once there, follow the path as it makes a broad turn to the left, then continues on level ground through Grächen forest to the Restaurant Zum See and on to Alpe Äpnet, following the Drieri and Eggeri bisses along the way. After crossing the valley ski run at the barbecue area, hike on towards Ritti, Egga and finally back into the village.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Accessible by train and bus. From Visp or St. Niklaus train station, take the bus to Grächen.

Getting there

Motorway A9 direction Visp. Main road direction Saas-Fee / Zermatt junction Grächen.


Grächen is partially car-free. Two parking garages are available at the entrance of the village.


2'630'932E 1'116'148N
46.196085, 7.839344
46°11'45.9"N 7°50'21.6"E
32T 410445 5116489
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in Grächen has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo Maps 1:25'000: 1308 St-Niklaus


We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water, picnic
  • camera
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, top right, to download)

Basic Equipment for Winter Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots appropriate for winter use (B1+ recommended)
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Long, warm technical socks plus liners and spares
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Water- and windproof mountaineering jacket and trousers with ankle adjustment or separate gaiters
  • Lip protection (SPF 30+)
  • Water- and windproof gloves plus thin fleece inner gloves
  • Neckwear
  • moisture wicking skull / knit cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Winter Hiking

  • Hiking poles fitted with snow baskets
  • Trail ‘spike’ crampons at minimum and a basic ice axe are recommended when covering steeper terrain
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others

4.1 km
1:13 h
148 m
149 m
Highest point
1,762 m
Lowest point
1,614 m
Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Flora and fauna Accessibility Clear area
1600 m 1800 m
1600 m 1800 m

Avalanche conditions



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