The hike begins in Gletsch, a place where you feel as if you were back in the Belle Époque. The historical Grand Hotel Glacier du Rhone has never changed its appearance and beckons passers-by to drink a coffee. We recommend a look inside the Dépendance Blaues Haus where there is an exhibition – ‘Landscape around the Rhone Glacier and a display through the centuries’, which gives an impressive account of the retreat of the glacier.
At the start of the hike a short ascent takes you to the undeveloped side of the valley. Then you walk towards the valley, the first part is narrow and sometimes steep, following the young Rhone. With a bit of luck you might see a steam train from the Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway passing and appearing between the rocks at the end of the helical tunnel on the Rotten (Rotten: local word for Rhone) Viaduct.
The trail now continues with a super view above the left bank of the Rhone before climbing briefly towards the Restaurant Rhonequelle. Why not take a short break at the two, small lakes before tackling the final descent to Oberwald?
Rest StopRestaurant Furka Oberwald
Hotel Restaurant Rhonequelle
Hotel Glacier du Rhône
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- 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.
- Close gates after passing through.
- 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.
Tips and hints
Are you travelling to the Goms region by public transport? If you are travelling for several days, it is worth using the Adventure Card. This gives you 2-5 days of free travel on a large train and post bus network as well as discounts on mountain railways.
Getting thereThe hike is a route tour with different start and end points. We therefore recommend travelling by public transport. The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway runs hourly between Brig and Oberwald.
ParkingAt the station in Oberwald there is a small number of chargeable parking spaces available. We recommend travelling by public transport.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- 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.