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From Kandersteg into the Gasterntal

Short facts

  • start: Kandersteg
  • destination: Selden
  • medium
  • 10,55 km
  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • 427 m
  • 1550 m
  • 1171 m
  • 100 / 100
  • 40 / 100

best season

The Gasterntal is hidden between the mountains behind Kandersteg. A simple walk leads through a gorge alongside the Kander river, and then up to wide Alpine meadows and mountain restaurants.

From Kandersteg, you climb up through the narrow gorge on a small rocky path. Naturally, you could also take the Gasterntal bus up, which is also a fairly spectacular journey. But the most beautiful route is on foot, beside the gurgling waters of the river Kander. Gastereholz marks the point where the Gasterntal starts. This is where the Kander river makes its way more quietly and with many arms through the valley floor which is filled with debris and boulders. During the mountain spring, an abundance of Alpine plants including rare species like Turk's cap lily flowers and lady's slipper orchids turn the landscape into a dazzling array of colour. Beautiful spots next to the river invite you to rest. You continue along the river up to Selden, the only hamlet in the valley; it has beautiful wooden houses and several convivial restaurants. If you want to extend your stay in the Gasterntal, you can choose between three "hut" or mountain shelter tours: a steep hike up to the Balmhorn mountain shelter, a somewhat longer hike to the Lötschenpass shelter on the Lötschenpass or, the icy option to the Mutthorn mountain shelter, since the route to it leads across the glacier. Granted, the ascent is challenging, but it leads right into the centre of a spectacular landscape that forms part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage region.

General information

Directions

From Kandersteg train station (1176 m), go through the village to the bottom station of the Sunnbühl lift, then up along the gorge path to the valley floor (Gastereholz) of the Gasterntal (1352 m), past the Waldhaus mountain hotel and follow the river Kander to Selden.

Safety Guidelines

An easy hike on marked mountain hiking trails. Climb grade: T2.

Equipment

Normal hiking equipment.

Tip

In the Gasterntal, the expression "guest" is actually true to its meaning and, for the experience, it is worth staying a night in one of the hotels – like the "Gastern-Selden", the "Steinbock" or, even further down, the "Waldhaus".

Getting there

Drive to Kandersteg. Continue with the Gasterntal bus or with your own car.

The access road to the Gasterntal is at the end of Kandersteg, approx. 400 m after the Kandersteg-Sunnbüel cable car (Gemmibahn). This road leads over a rock gallery and through two tunnels. A fee of CHF 12 per day is charged as a contribution towards road maintenance costs (ticket machine at the beginning of the road).

Fixed times of opposing travel direction operate in the first section across the rock gallery, since cars are unable to pass each other. Upwards travel is permitted from 15 minutes to the hour to 5 minutes past the hour; downwards travel is permitted from 15 minutes to 35 minutes past the hour.

Parking

Car parking spaces are provided in Kandersteg and in the Gasterntal.

Public transit

Getting there: Travel by train to Kandersteg.

Getting back: From Selden by private bus (Kander Reisen, bookings essential), Tel. 41 (0)33 671 11 72, return to Kandersteg train station.

Literature

Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 5/2017: Bergbeizlitouren – Wandern und Schlemmen. Rothus-Verlag, Solothurn, www.wanderwege.ch

Daniel Anker: Berner Oberland West. ISBN 978-3-7633-4282-2, Rother-Verlag, www.rother.de

Maps

LK 1:50.000, 263T Wildstrubel.

Additional Information

Kandersteg Tourismus, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 80 80, www.kandersteg.ch

www.gasterntal.ch

Einkehren, z.B.:
Berghotel Waldhaus, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 12 73
Berghotel Steinbock, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 11 62, www.steinbock-gasterntal.ch
Berghotel Gasterntal-Selden, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 11 63, www.hotel-gasterntal.ch
Berghaus Heimritz, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 14 34, www.heimritz.ch

Pavings

  • Asphalt Coating (37%)
  • Path (30%)
  • Hiking Trail (33%)

Weather

This tour is presented by: Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, author: Jochen Ihle

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