We chose Oeschinensee lake in Switzerland as the location for our second walk on our trip to Europe. When prepping this trip I wanted to do a proper walk on the Swiss side of Mont Blanc, but while researching the area I couldn’t help but fall in love with the views of the lake and its surrounding landscape.
The walk starts by taking the cable car next-door to Rendezvous campsite in Kandersteg. The perfect place to spend the night before walking, however it is quite expensive (as is everything in Switzerland!) You can avoid taking the cable car, but similarly to the walk in France you will have to deal with a very steep climb with very little to see along the way.
The cable car opens from 8:00 to 18:00 in high season and costs 18CHF (Swiss Francs) for a single or 26CHF for a return, plus 5CHF if you use the car park. If you stay at the campsite, the price includes a good discount on the cable car tickets. Dogs are allowed at no extra cost and you can find toilets at both ends.
From the cable car carry on straight ahead heading East along the well marked track for around 1km. You carry on very slightly downhill where you will see a path coming from your left; this is the path you will return by. Carry on along the track for another 500m till you get to the lake. Soon you will hear the pleasant sounds of the big bells around the local cow’s necks as they graze around you.
It is impossible to pass the lake without stopping to take in the stunning landscape. When you are ready to continue you have to head to the left side of the lake, over towards the North shore.
You will see a beautiful small waterfall ahead of you, the walk will take you above it.
The ascent begins and keeps going for around 1.5km. It is a steady climb up till you get to the bridge that crosses the river, from there the main ascent starts.
This is a section of farm land and its full of cows. I’d recommend putting the dog on its lead at the bridge (if you have a dog!) The cows didn’t seem very friendly! Although there are further uphill sections to the walk after this part, this 1.3km section was the only tough part of the walk. It zigzag’s sharply up the side of the hill gaining 300m. Along the way you see lots of different bolted climbing routes.
The cherry on the cake is when you get to the top of that section and look around to admire the landscape. From glaciers to green meadows, huge rock walls to wild flower fields. It is unbelievably pretty. At this point you get to a junction in the path. This is your chance to challenge yourselves. You can keep heading East to the peaks and glaciers. In our case, we took the path to the left that guided us back towards the cable car. It is basically a parallel track to the one we used up to this point but at higher altitude.
Along the path on the way back, there are some exposed parts that may not suit someone that gets nervous about heights. But apart from that, you can relax and enjoy the views because the rest of the walk is easy and beautiful!
You won’t have to worry about navigation either, as there are no other paths to get lost on till you reach the main path you started on! So ENJOY!!
It was a total of 8.7 km and we gained 1174m in altitude, taking us just over four and half hours. It could easily have been done in 3.5, but the views well deserve that extra hour and more! It is an easy walk. If I hadn’t seen the pictures beforehand I would have had no intention of doing it. However after doing it we can say that it’s probably the most beautiful place we’ve ever been.
You can buy the map for the walk in themapshops.co.uk.