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Winter Hikes recommended route

Winter walk along the Planets Trail

Winter Hikes · Valais
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Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Planets Trail to the historical Hôtel Weisshorn
    / Planets Trail to the historical Hôtel Weisshorn
    Photo: Sierre Anniviers Tourisme
m 2400 2300 2200 2100 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
This enchanting winter walk doubles up as a fascinating journey through the solar system. The trail begins high above the resort of St-Luc and takes you to the historical Hôtel Weisshorn; leading between altitudes of 2,200 m and 2,500 m, it provides magnificent views of the Valais Alps.
easy
Distance 12.2 km
3:59 h
384 m
385 m

This itinerary is ideal for all who appreciate tranquillity and pristine nature; the panoramic views of our mountains are superb. At the start of the walk, you pass close to the François-Xavier Bagnoud Observatory, where you can observe the sun by day and the stars, planets and galaxies at night (dates and reservations: www.ofxb.ch).

This is the starting point of the “Sentier des Planètes” (“Planets Trail”), a fascinating theme trail for all the family. It invites you to explore a scale reproduction of the solar system: you effectively travel 6 billion km through space along the 6 km of trail between Tignousa and the Hôtel Weisshorn. The planets, located to scale, are represented by works of art; each has its own information panel with scientific details.

Author’s recommendation

When you reach the Hôtel Weisshorn, don’t miss the chance to taste their legendary and delicious “tarte aux myrtilles” (bilberry tart).

The final planet, Pluto, is located 1.5 km after the Hôtel Weisshorn.

Profile picture of Hélène Delaloye
Author
Hélène Delaloye
Update: January 17, 2020
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Hôtel Weisshorn, 2,407 m
Lowest point
Chalet Blanc, 2,138 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

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.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger, especially the danger of avalanches.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible, avoid going alone.

Tips and hints

More information about the destination: 

Start

Tignousa (2,183 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'613'209E 1'119'778N
DD
46.229315, 7.609855
DMS
46°13'45.5"N 7°36'35.5"E
UTM
32T 392803 5120465
w3w 
///hasten.readjust.peach

Destination

Hôtel Weisshorn

Turn-by-turn directions

The walk begins at the summit station of the funicular (Tignousa). The trail passes close to the François-Xavier Bagnoud Observatory, located 100 m to the right of the funicular station. From here, you set off along the Planets Trail, a route without difficulty along which you encounter the members of the solar system. At the “Chiesso”, after crossing the bridge, things get serious: from here, a small path climbs up to the Hôtel Weisshorn.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Regular trains to Sierre then post bus to St-Luc (change at Vissoie).

Complete schedules on cff.ch

Getting there

Motorway A9, exit 29 (Sierre-Est), follow the signs towards Val d'Anniviers.

Parking

Parking in Vissoie, take the postal bus to the start of the hike in St-Luc.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'613'209E 1'119'778N
DD
46.229315, 7.609855
DMS
46°13'45.5"N 7°36'35.5"E
UTM
32T 392803 5120465
w3w 
///hasten.readjust.peach
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist offices in Val d'Anniviers have got brochures and information material about winter hiking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo Maps 1:50’000: 273S Montana

Equipment

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
  • Blister kit
  • 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


Difficulty
easy
Distance
12.2 km
Duration
3:59 h
Ascent
384 m
Descent
385 m
Out and back Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Way cleared
1600 m 1800 m
Morning
1600 m 1800 m
Afternoon

Avalanche conditions

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