Snowshoeing

Activities

Heimischgarte-Trail closed

The Heimischgarte-Trail takes snowshoe hikers through the hamlets and the winter landscape above Saas-Balen and ends in Saas-Grund.

The Saas Valley shows a different, quieter side to itself on this trail. On the way, you’ll pass by different rustic old buildings and through alpine pastures as well as crossing the snow-covered "Löübinobodme" natural forest reserve. Several vantage points with breathtaking views of the Saas Valley, its mountains and villages await you. This trail starts in the smallest village in the Saas valley communities, Saas-Balen. The trail initially follows the forest road out of the valley past the waterfall and then continues on an old alpine path through a snow-covered larch forest via Matt and Ze Gartu to Heimischgarte. It is worth taking a break at the Heimischgarte chapel, offering a sweeping view over the villages at the bottom of the valley up to the dam and the white-capped mountain peaks of the Saas Valley. From this point, follow the path through the various alpine pastures such as Obru Brend, Unnru Brend, Tewaldji and Bodme before finally reaching your destination at Saas-Grund.

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Turn-by-turn directions

The trail starts at the village square and goes up the street to the left of the main road to the waterfall and over the bridge further up the mountain. After about 500 m, the road turns right onto the hiking trail and crosses the road twice to the Matt alpine pasture. A little after the houses on the Matt, the trail turns right into the forest and zigzags up. At the third crossroads, continue on the right along the road until the next crossroads, where you will turn right again to reach the chapel and the Heimischgarte alpine pasture.

The descent is via the path in the direction of Saas-Grund. Start by going through the hamlet and across the meadows down to the river, then on to the Obru Brend and the Unru Brend alpine pastures. Cross the Unru Brend road to the crossroads, then go right down the path. The road is crossed twice and the path comes out at the Rittmal (a detached house). It goes left up the road to Alpe Tewaldji, where the trail turns right and goes through a natural forest reserve. At the end of the forest, the trail continues straight ahead through Alpe Bodme to St. Joseph's Chapel. The trail continues down via two hairpin bends and two crossroads. Pass the St. Anna wayside shrine, the protective wall and the bridge at Ziebel, until you reach the edge of the village of Saas-Grund. The last section goes along the groomed path or the hamlet Unter dem Berg to the valley station in Saas-Grund.

Start: Saas-Balen, Village centre (1486 m)
Destination: Station Saas-Grund (1553 m)

Author's recommendation

From the Rittmal, there is the option of descending directly down to Saas-Balen.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2090 m 1487 m

  • Ascent

    602 m

  • Descent

    520 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 4 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Take the SBB to Visp and change there to the post bus in the direction of Saas-Fee (bus 511).  Get off at the “Saas-Balen Dorf”.

Approach

Saas-Fee/Saas Valley can easily be reached by car from all directions, whether from Switzerland or abroad. From the north you can reach us via Bern via the Lötschberg car transporter. From the east, head over the Furka Pass or use the Furka car transporter. From the south you can reach us via the Simplon Pass or Simplon car transporter and from the west, drive via Lausanne along the Rhône valley to Visp and from there towards Saas-Fee.

From Visp, drive south in the direction of Saas-Fee. At the "Killerhof" roundabout after Stalden, take the second exit towards Saas-Fee.

Parking

After the bridge in the village on the right side of the road.

Alternative: Large car park at Hohsaas valley station

Equipment

We recommend:

  • Good waterproof footwear
  • Snowshoes
  • Hiking poles
  • Clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Bottle for water, picnic
  • Camera
  • Printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, top right, to download)

Safety information

Use of snowshoe trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. 

  • Bring a map. Download the full description of this route including a large-scale map by clicking on the “Print” icon, at the 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.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals. Do not leave any trash behind you.
  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan your hike carefully, taking into consideration the fitness level of each participant, the weather forecast and the season.
  • Inform others of your planned route, and whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • 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.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.

Maps

Winter hiking map Saas-Fee/Saastal

1:50'000 Swisstopo map 284S Mischabel