Hikes

Hikes

Ascent of the Torrenthorn

Climb the Torrenthorn (2,998 m) and you’ll be able to reach an altitude of 3,000 m with your fingertips. The cable car to Rinderhütte (2,310 m) facilitates the ascent.

Starting point for the hike is Rinderhütte, the summit station of the cable car from Leukerbad. The climb leads across the alpine pastures of Torrent, where many cows, sheep and goats spend the summer. The path leads steadily towards the western ridge of the Torrenthorn via the Rinderhalte pastures, where hikers will frequently hear the whistling of marmots. At an altitude of around 2,700 m, the grassy alpine meadows give way to rocky terrain. Up on the ridge you enjoy a magnificent view of the Majingalp pastures and the dramatic Montanji cliffs: best known for the precipitous Gemmiwand rock face above Leukerbad, they extend eastwards all the way to the summit of the Balmhorn on the border between Valais and the Bernese Oberland. After about another kilometre you reach the summit of the Torrenthorn, also known as the “Rigi of Valais”. From the summit you have a complete 360° panoramic view, and on a clear day you can see peaks including the Jungfrau, Bietschhorn, Monte Leone, Weissmies, the Mischabel massif, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Grand Combin and even Mont Blanc. For the return leg, the most direct route is along the ridge and via the historical Hotel Torrenthorn back to Rinderhütte. However, it is also possible to extend the hike via alternative descents. For example, you can follow the ridge south towards the Schafberg and climb another peak before following the alpine route (marked white-blue-white) down to Rinderhütte. Another alternative is to turn north at Rinderhalte to descend to the Majingalp pastures, and then walk along the Dala river back down to Leukerbad.   Highlights: Summit of the Torrenthorn, with superb panoramic views of the Valais and Bernese Alps – and on a clear day, the French Alps. Many options for extending the hike via a variety of alternative descent routes.

Turn-by-turn directions

Take the cable car up to the summit station of Rinderhütte, and then climb the path across the alpine meadows to Rinderhalte. The route then leads along the western ridge up to the summit of the Torrenthorn. The descent as described leads initially along the ridge but branches left just before Rinderhalte to descend across meadows. The trail leads past the former Hotel Torrent and continues descending to Rinderhütte.

Start: Rinderhütte, cable car summit station (2301 m)
Destination: Rinderhütte, cable car summit station (2305 m)

Author's recommendation

Relax after the hike in the soothing thermal spring water at one of Leukerbad’s spas.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2994 m 2302 m

  • Ascent

    692 m

  • Descent

    688 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: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

 Train to Leuk, change on to bus to Leukerbad. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

Approach

A9 motorway and/or main road up the Rhône valley to Leuk; then follow signs for Leukerbad.

Parking

Various underground car parks in Leukerbad; follow the local parking instructions.

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)  

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

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

For mountain hikes:

  • 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.

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Additional information

More information about the destination: 

Literature

The tourist office in Leukerbad has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1267 Gemmi