An exhilarating circuit south of the Simplon Pass taking in ancient mule tracks, a panoramic high trail and a descent of the Laggintal valley, a pristine natural paradise
This enchanting hike through wild landscapes between the Simplon Pass and the Italian border boasts spectacular scenery, a wealth of flora and fauna – and an experience of how our ancestors travelled through the Alps centuries ago.
Starting point for the hike is the hamlet of Gabi on the historical Simplon Pass road, just upstream of the dramatic Gondo gorge. The Simplon route was already used in Roman times, but it was a 17th-century entrepreneur from Valais, Kaspar Stockalper, who developed the network of mule trails over the pass to lay the foundation of a mighty trading empire. Later, in the first decade of the 19th century, Napoleon ordered construction of a route wide enough to transport cannon – regarded in its day as a masterpiece of engineering.
Our hike begins on this road – but instead of following Stockalper’s track through the gorge, leads up an ancient mule trail that bypasses the ravine by zig-zagging up through the pastures to the south and past a picturesque chapel to the col of Furggu. From here, our route turns to the right to follow a high panoramic trail across the slopes of the Guggilihorn. The views of the trio of glaciated peaks at the head of the Laggintal valley – Fletschhorn, Lagginhorn and Weissmies (4,017 m) – are mesmerising.
A tranquil mountain lake makes an ideal spot for a picnic – to a soundtrack of marmot whistles and cascading streams. From here, the path drops steeply to the Laggina river, and then leads along the valley floor back to Gabi. The pristine Laggintal is known for its rich fauna and flora, wealth of flowers and especially its abundance of butterflies. These include one of the rarest in Europe, a species of international importance: Raetzer’s ringlet (Erebia christi).
To find out more about the history and nature of this area, visit the various exhibition venues of the fascinating local Ecomuseum Simplon.
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.
For all hikes:
For mountain hikes:
For high-altitude hikes:
For certain walks:
More information about the destinations:
A9 motorway and/or main road along Rhône valley towards Brig, then follow signs for «Simplon». Continue beyond pass through Simplon Dorf to the tiny hamlet of Gabi.
Small parking area in Gabi.