Oeschinensee Loop

Distance: 5.2 miles (loop)

near Kandersteg in Bernese Oberland

Great views of the peaks forming the cirque above the Oeschinensee

Great views of the peaks forming the cirque above the Oeschinensee

 

This terrific loop trail features ever-evolving views of the magnificent glacial cirque towering above the Oeschenensee, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Swiss Alps. (full description)

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (one way) to Ober Bergli
    5.2 miles (loop) to Complete Loop
  • Elevation: 5,530-ft. at Trailhead
    6,473-ft. at Ober Bergli
    6,588-ft. at Complete Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 943-ft. to Ober Bergli
    1,395-ft. to Complete Loop
  • Difficulty:
  • Basecamp: Kandersteg
  • Region: Bernese Oberland

Why Hike Oeschinensee Loop

The Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Swiss Alps, lies nestled beneath the sheer cliffs and rugged flanks of a stunning cirque of 3,000-meter peaks. Glaciers, clinging to the peak’s upper slopes, spawn streams coalescing into waterfalls that tumble into the lake. This great loop trail offers wonderful views of the Oeschinensee and the glacial cirque, dominated by the Blüemlisalp, Oeschinenhorn, Fründenhorn and Doldenhorn, from a variety of different perspectives.

The day starts with a scenic gondola ride from Kandersteg to the edge of the hanging valley cradling the Oeschinenee. A half-hour walk through pretty meadows and pine forests leads to the lakeshore where great views open to the magnificent wall of peaks encircling the pristine lake.

From the lakeshore, a scenic trail ascends along the north side of the lake, crossing the inlet stream and then climbs steeply to the small alp of Ober Bergli. Views along the way encompass the high peaks towering above the south and east sides of the lake. At the alp the trail turns northwest and then west, contouring high above the north side of the lake.

From the high trail views extend east up the valley to Hohturli pass and the Bluemlisalp massif. The Bluemlisalp glacier tumbles down the slopes between the Bluemlisalp-Rothorn, Ufem Stock and Wildi Frau, rugged horns protruding from the flanks of the Bluemlisalp massif. To the south the Oeschinenhorn, Fründenhorn and Doldenhorn soar above the Oeschinensee. Glaciers, tumbling down the rugged slopes beneath the peaks, and waterfalls, fed by glacial meltwater, glisten in the sun.

As the high trail nears the northwest end of the lake it drops down to and joins the trail to the gondola station. Hikers can either return to Kandersteg via the gondola or walk down to Kandersteg following a pleasant trail that descending along the Oschibach, the outlet stream for the Oeschinensee.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile - Oeschinensee Loop Hiking trail

Trail Resources