From Kandersteg over the Gemmi to Leukerbad

Short facts

  • start: Kandesteg/Sunnbüel, Bergstation
  • destination: Gemmipass, Bergstation
  • medium
  • 8,66 km
  • 3 hours
  • 474 m
  • 2338 m
  • 1871 m
  • 100 / 100
  • 40 / 100

best season

The tour from Kandersteg over the Gemmi to Leukerbad is one of the great Bernese Oberland classics. Two gondola lifts will take the brunt out of an impending climb or descent, making for a relaxing and enjoyable hike.

This popular pass hike starts at the Sunnbüel top station. The Sunnbüel cable car will take you up from Kandersteg-Eggeschwand. From Sunnbüel, where set-off coffees can be had in the mountain restaurant of the same name, the path leads down to the altitude of Spittelmatte. By way of exception, the Bern-Valais cantonal border doesn't run along its customary watershed, but here, along the Spittelmatte. In 1792 and 1895, several million cubic metres of glacier ice fell from the Altels mountain onto the Spittelmatte alp below, burying both people and livestock. A memorial stone commemorates this. Right behind this lies the small Arven lake, which is definitely worth a short side trip.

The trail now rises slightly and takes you to the Schwarenbach mountain hotel. It presents a very welcome opportunity to take a break. The Schwarenbach, which was constructed in 1742, was originally a toll house. It has been the destination for naturalists, painters and alpinists for many years. You now continue to follow the path up and will soon find yourself at the Daubensee. You can go around this lake either on the left or right. The Gemmi Pass with the Wildstrubel mountain hotel can already be seen in the distance. From the Gemmi Pass, take the Gemmi cable car down to Leukerbad. If you wish, you can also relax in one of the thermal baths there to conclude your hike. 

General information


Sunnbüel (1934 m) – Spittelmatte/Arvenseeli (1872 m) – Schwarenbach (2060 m) – Daubensee (2207 m) – Gemmi Pass (2322 m).

From the Gemmi Pass, take the cable car down to Leukerbad and from there continue by bus to Leuk, then by train back to Kandersteg (round-trip ticket available).

Safety Guidelines

Mountain hike on marked trails. Climb grade: T2.


Normal hiking equipment.


Instead of taking the Gemmi cable car down from the Gemmi Pass to Leukerbad, you could also «append» the descent via the steep Gemmi Trail (extra approx. 2 hours).

Getting there

Travel by car to Kandersteg via Spiez and Frutigen, until you reach the bottom station of the Sunnbüel cable car.


Car parking spaces are available in Kandersteg and at the bottom station of the Sunnbüel cable car.

Public transit

Getting there: Travel by train to Kandersteg via Spiez, then by local bus to Eggeschwand, the bottom station of the Sunnbüel cable car.

Getting back: From the Gemmi Pass, take the cable car down to Leukerbad and a bus from there to Leuk where there is a rail connection, allowing you also to return to Kandersteg.


Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 4/2020: Ferien in der Schweiz – inkl. die schönsten Passwanderungen. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch 

Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 8/2015: Berner Oberland. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch

Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 1/2/2012: Gemmi. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch


LK 1:50.000, 254T Interlaken, 264T Jungfrau.

Additional Information

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

Luftseilbahn Kandersteg–Sunnbüel, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 81 41, www.sunnbuel.ch 

Leukerbad Tourismus, Rathaus, 3954 Leukerbad, Tel. +41 (0) 27 472 71 71, www.leukerbad.ch 

Gemmibahn, Tel. +41 (0) 27 470 18 39, www.gemmi.ch 

Einkehren/übernachten, z.B.:
Bergrestaurant Sunnbüel, Tel. +41 (0) 33 675 13 34, www.sunnbuel.ch
Berghotel Schwarenbach, Tel. +41 (0) 33 33 675 12 72, www.schwarenbach.ch
Berghotel Wildstrubel, Gemmipass, Tel. +41 (0) 27 470 12 01, www.gemmi.ch 


  • Hiking Trail (99%)
  • Path (1%)


This tour is presented by: Tourenplaner SCHWEIZ, Author: Jochen Ihle

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