Day 6: Griesalp to Kandersteg

I hiked the long way around to Kandersteg from Griesalp via the Höhenweg Nordrampe instead of taking the more direct, and steep, route over the Höhturli.

Hiking Distance



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Hiking Route
Bus and Ski Lift
Morning in Griesalp

After breakfast in the Griesalp restaurant, I took the postbus down to Kiental. And not just any bus – a special Mercedes coach for the steepest bus route in Europe. The bus descended down the steep and very narrow canyon (though which the bus just barely fit), down to Kiental in the valley below.

Postbus From Griesalp to Kiental, the steepest postbus route in Europe (28%), through a narrow gorge.
Big peaks above Griesalp from Kiental

From Kiental I took the ski-area chairlift up to Ramslauenen and the Berghaus, where I talked to the staff about taking a more direct route to Kandersteg up and over the Giesegrat. They were very opposed to that idea, however, so I set out on the Höhenweg Nordrampe as planned on the longer route around the ridge separating the Kiental valley from the Kandertal in which Kandersteg is located.

Start of the Nordrampe Trail at Ramslaunen, the Lötschberg Panoramaweg 56 – Wanderland Schweiz
Looking Down to Frutigen from the Nordrampe

The route stayed high up on the ridge and was beautiful and scenic in places, with views back to the peaks in the Jungfrau region, out to the Thunersee, down to towns and villages, and up to the peaks above Kandersteg. There were long stretches through the forest where views were obscured. The trail was in good condition through many sections, and overgrown, rotted, and more difficult in a few others.

Looking up the Kandertal to the peaks above Kandersteg

I originally planned to depart the Nordrampe and drop down to the Blausee for lunch, a pretty blue lake off the highway in the Kandertal valley, but decided I was still feeling strong after 8 miles and could skip lunch and keep going up to Kandersteg. I was particularly pleased that for the first time I had kept pace with the times on the signs.

View toward Kandersteg

The remaining 3+ miles were a little tiring, but the trail finally deposited me onto a sidewalk along the highway entering Kandersteg. After a long walk through town along the silty grey glacially-fed Kander river, I finally arrived at the Hotel-Restaurant Bernerhof Kandersteg.

View from my room at the Hotel Bernerhof, looking up toward the peaks above the Oeschinensee

I arrived just as they set out tea and cakes for the afternoon, which I ravenously devoured after skipping lunch earlier. I cleaned up for dinner, and ate in the hotel restaurant where I had a delicious Rösti.

From the moment I checked in I had a great experience at the Bernerhof. The owners and staff were so accommodating and helpful, and the property was immaculate.

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