Drei Personen wandern durch einen herbstlich verfärbten Wald.

Hiking

Three autumn hikes in Switzerland

  • #Hiking
Sarah
Sales, Transa store Europaallee Zurich
© Fotos

Autumnal hikes exude a very special charm thanks to the colourful foliage and pleasant temperatures. A group of Transa employees trekked through the landscapes of the Valais. Here, they share insights from their trip – and we showcase other hikes perfect for the autumn months.

I have such fond memories of our autumnal hike in the Valais: it was a wonderfully unique atmosphere. The larch trees were ablaze with the golden shades of autumn and created a very special ambience, even in the rain and fog. The autumn weather was exactly as you’d expect in the mountains and we kept needing to change what we were wearing: adding a waterproof jacket over our t-shirts, taking our knitted caps off and then putting them on again, ad infinitum. On our tour, we immersed ourselves in Switzerland’s rugged mountain scenery, enjoyed a refreshing drink from a mountain stream and inhaled the cool breeze, with a hint of snow in the air. It was so peaceful – and we were even able to observe a few animals at close range. And although winter was just around the corner, we were able to pick a few ripe berries, too.

Autumn hike in the Valais

Autumn hike in the Valais

The first day of the autumn hike saw us spend three hours journeying along the historic ‘Säumerweg’ mule track from Grimsel Hospiz towards Handegg. Hundreds of mules trod this path every week in the 14th century, carrying goods such as cheese, spices, rice or wine.

The hike continued to the Räterichsbodensee lake and along the Aare. We walked a little way along the Kristallweg trail and over the rocky Böglisbrüggli. Our jaws dropped when we discovered the glacial mills hollowed out by the rushing water. Accompanied by the sound of the Aare and passing untouched dips filled with larch and birch trees, we soon reached the smooth, granite steps of the Hälenplatte. We continued on via Säumerstein until we reached the suspension bridge on the Handeggfall – a vertigo-inducing structure! We walked across it to cross the Aare: it felt like we were floating.

  • Drei Personen auf einer Herbstwanderung. Sie sitzen und machen Pause. Die Bäume sind gelb verfärbt, weiter oben liegt Schnee.

    Taking a break during an autumn hike in Valais.

    Photo © Ruedi Thomi
  • Drei Personen auf einer Wanderung im Herbst, sie stehen bei einem Wegweiser. Im Hintergrund sieht man den herbstlichen Wald.
    Photo © Ruedi Thomi
  • Zwei Personen auf einer Wanderung im Herbst, sie packen beide etwas aus dem Rucksack

    Temperatures can often fluctuate greatly in autumn. Ideally, wear multiple layers so you can quickly change what you’re wearing.

    Photo © Ruedi Thomi

On the second day, we explored the Moosalp. Over the course of the pleasant two-hour panoramic trail, we enjoyed 360-degree views of Oberwallis and a dozen 4,000-metre peaks, plus a picnic by Breitmattusee lake. During the season, you can indulge in Valais specialities on the terrace of Panorama restaurant. You could really sense the peaceful atmosphere of the upcoming winter here, too. We continued to the next viewing point: the Stand. We suspected that there were probably more 4,000-metre mountains to see – such as the Bernese and Valais Alps – but the poor visibility kept them hidden from view.

The thing I liked the most about our adventure was that we got on so well, despite being a motley group of people from different stores and departments. And one other thing: during our hike in the Moosalp nature conservation area, we saw and heard spotted nutcrackers, which have a strange, jarring call. They bury hazelnuts and Swiss stone pine seeds in the soil in autumn to see them through the winter, but they don’t find many of them. The seeds then grow into new trees – which is crucial for the continued existence of Switzerland’s mountain forests.

Autumn hike in the Engadin

Autumn hike in the Engadin: Maloja to Soglio

This hike starts in Maloja, with the mountain trail taking you through one of Switzerland’s most isolated valleys. During the ascent, you’ll pass a 2,000-year-old ramp that was part of a Roman trade route. A little later, you’ll see the ruins of the Gothic church of San Gaudenzio. You’ll keep climbing and ultimately end up hiking on a mountain trail.

Once you get to about halfway, you’ll reach Alp Durbegia. Treat yourself to a break here (if you haven’t already) to enjoy the stunning panoramic views: across from you, you’ll see the granite peaks of the Sciora group soaring skywards. As is so often the case when hiking, the journey is the destination, with huge granite chunks bridging streams or acting as artistically positioned steps down to the valley.

Your destination, Soglio, is visible in the distance. This village is situated on a sun-drenched mountain terrace so you can even soak up some rays in autumn, too.

Circular hike in central Switzerland

Autumnal circular hike in central Switzerland

The Brunni cable car will have you on the Holzegg in just a few minutes. From here, you can get up close and personal with the Grosser Mythen. Now, hike through the Ibergeregg nature conservation area. The first leg takes you to the Alptal valley, past the chapel of Brother Klaus von Flüe. Continue via Stäglerengg and Müsliegg to reach Alpwirtschaft Zwäcken.

Once you’ve crossed a moor, you’ll end up on a ridge that offers stunning views. From here, you head upwards slightly to reach the Furggelenstock, where you can look towards Zurich and see Tödi, Clariden and the Muotathaler mountains.

It will take around an hour to get back down to Brunni. Again, you’ll cross a moor and pass through fairytale forests.

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