From Visperterminen to the Simplon Pass via the Nanztal valley

The panoramic high trail over the Bistine Pass to the Simplon Pass leads past the crystal-clear Gibidumsee lake and through the pristine natural landscapes of the wild Nanztal valley.

  • Difficulty


  • Length

    18.7 km

  • Duration

    5:00 h

  • Show on map

A chairlift carries you from Visperterminen to the upper station of Giw. Immediately you embark on the steepest climb of the whole hike, up to the Gibidum Pass. It is definitely worth making the short detour via the Gibidumsee lake, which serves as a reservoir and also feeds the Heido, one of the famous “Suonen” or historical irrigation channels of Valais. Once, the Upper and Lower Heido served to carry water to the meadows of Visperterminen, but today only the upper channel remains in operation. Since 1916, a 2.65-kilometre tunnel under the Gibidum has carried water direct from the Nanztal valley to Visperterminen. From the Gibidum Pass, the trail follows the course of the “Suone” into the upper reaches of the wild and pristine Nanztal valley, accessible only on foot. Alternatively, you can take a more direct route to the Bistine Pass by descending to the valley floor near Bististafel and climbing the far side. This is a shorter option but considerably tougher, thanks to the steep descent and ascent, than the gentler route via the upper valley. The Nanztal runs from south to north, and lies between the Vispertal valley and the Simplon Pass.  At Obers Fulmoos, you cross the river Gamsa and start climbing the eastern slopes of the Nanztal towards the Bistine Pass. Up here, you can already see the final goal of the hike: the Simplon Pass with its mighty eagle sculpted in stone. The monument was built during the Second World War by the 11th mountain brigade, who guarded the Simplon Pass, as a powerful symbol of vigilance. The hike from the summit of the pass down to Blatte represents a descent of about 500 vertical metres, followed by a short climb up to the Simplon Pass.    Highlights: Gibidumsee lake and the historical Heido “Suone” for the irrigation of the meadows and vineyards of Visperterminen. The magnificent natural landscapes of the wild and pristine Nanztal valley. 

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Alpine passes trail - Binntal - Grimentz

The Alpine-passes trail connects the most beautiful valleys of Valais. This tour starts in Binntal –...
From 1135 CHF

From Binntal to Val d'Anniviers

The Alpine-passes trail connects the most beautiful valleys of Valais. This tour starts in Binntal – a dreamy valley and a nature reservoir. The enchanting landscape is followed by the first alpine experience. The walk via Salfischpass takes you up to almost 3000 metres and shows you amazing views on the snow-covered peaks of Valais. The end of the trip is rough and rocky. Snow covered peaks tower above the valleys of Mattertal and Val d'Anniviers and some of the wildest tales of mountaineers were written in these valleys.


Day 1: Individual arrival in Brig | Binn - Rosswald

By train and bus to Binn. The attractive pass hike over the Saflischpass affords the first views of the Valais 4000-metre-mountain world. The village of Rosswald offers views down into the Rhone Valley from its scenic terrace.

Approx. 17 km, 1'350 m ascent, 900 m descent, length approx. 6.5 h.

Day 2: Rosswald - Simplonpass

By bus and cable car back to Rosswald. A varied stage, with panoramic scenery throughout: Alpine climb to Bortelhütte, blueberry picking above Rothwald in autumn. The trail leads along the pass road gallery from Schallbett to the Simplonpass.

Approx. 17 km, 1'150 m ascent, 1'000 m descent, length approx. 6.5 h.

Day 3: Simplonpass – Visperterminen

Panoramic tour to Bistinepass: glaciated mountains above the Simplon, the Bernese Alps to the north. From little Fulmoos lake along the water channel to Gebidumpass. View of Mischabel mountains with Switzerland’s highest peak, the 4545m Dom.

Approx. 19.5 km, 840 m ascent, 880 m descent, length approx. 6 h.

Day 4: Visperterminen - Saas-Fee

A classic high-level hike with wonderful views in upper Valais. With little height difference along mountain slopes through forests and Alpine pastures. Sun-browned old storage huts, barns and stables. Views of the grandiose 4000-metre mountain chain.

Approx. 24 km, 1'245 m ascent, 1'410 m descent, length approx. 8 h.

Day 5: Saas-Fee - Grächen

Demanding high-level trail between Saas-Fee and Grächen, extremely exposed in parts. Steel cables providing secure holds on precarious sections. Dizzying views deep into the Saastal and enthralling views to the Fletschhorn, Lagginhorn and Weissmies. By cable car from the Hannigalp towards Grächen.

Approx. 20 km, 1'250 m ascent, 1'450 m descent, length approx. 7 h.

Day 6: Grächen - Gruben

By bus to St. Niklaus and with the cable car up to the hamlet of Jungu, perched like an eagle’s nest above Switzerland’s deepest valley. Overwhelming views: Mischabel mountains with the Dom (4545 m) and Weisshorn. Medieval trade route to beautiful Turtmanntal.

Approx. 13 km, 1'025 m ascent, 1'200 m descent, length approx. 5.5 h.

Day 7: Gruben - Hotel Weisshorn

Impressive views to Bishorn and Weisshorn from Meidpass. Planetenweg (planet trail) at historic Hotel Weisshorn.

Approx. 11 km, 1'160 m ascent, 645 m descent, length approx. 4.5 h.

Day 8: Hotel Weisshorn - Grimentz | Departure

Descent into the Val d'Anniviers past the Pointes de Nava. The tour through the village of Ayer and then back up to the Ancien Bisse de Morasse. A long, varied stage.

Approx. 12 km, 530 m ascent, 1'290 m descent, length approx. 4 h.

Tour characteristic

A smooth start in the beginning in the valley of Goms. As soon as you reach Simplonpass the trails get more rugged. Especially the walk from Saas-Fee to Grächen is difficult. You must not suffer from vertigo if you walk this part. Good physical condition is required to walk the long legs. A walk for experienced hikers.

Services included:

  • 7 overnight stays with breakfast

  • Halfboard in Hotel Weisshorn

  • Daily luggage transfers (except Hotel-Weisshorn)

  • Carefully elaborated route

  • Detailed travel documents (1x per room)

  • GPS data available

  • Service hotline

Not included:

  • Rides on the bus and cable cars are not included in the price (Hannigalp - Grächen, St. Niklaus - Jungen) approx. CHF 20 with half-fare card

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!

Possibility of additional nights - booking after your payment (you will be contacted by our booking team):

  • Brig: CHF 85.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

  • Binntal: CHF 85.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

  • Grimentz: CHF 85.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 29 days before start of the trip: 20%

  • 28 – 15 days before start of the trip: 50%

  • 14 – 08 days before start of the trip: 70%

  • 07 – 1 days before start of the trip: 90%

  • 0 day before start of the trip / No–show: 100%

Your accommodation in a click

On our e-Shop, you can easily find and book the accommodation of your dreams from a wide selection of offers throughout the canton.

Turn-by-turn directions

From Giw (2,000 m), a climb of 200 vertical metres leads via Stafel to the Gibidum Pass (2,202 m). The route then follows the Heido “Suone” (irrigation channel) as far as Obers Fulmoos in the upper Nanztal valley. The hike continues on the opposite side of the valley up to the Bistine Pass. The more direct alternative route from the Gibidum Pass down towards Bististafel and up the opposite side of the valley is tougher, thanks to the steep descent and challenging climb of 600 vertical metres over a distance of 4 km up to the Bistine Pass. The final descent from the Bistine Pass is steep once again, especially at first. After about 5 km you finally reach the Simplon Pass at 2,000 m.

Start: Visperterminen, chairlift (1963 m)
Destination: Simplon pass (2003 m)

Author's recommendation

Allow time for a break at the Gibidumsee lake, with its fine views. Because of the shallow water, you can enjoy a dip here in summer.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2485 m 1889 m

  • Ascent

    762 m

  • Descent

    723 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Regular train connections from throughout Switzerland to Visp. Continue by PostBus to Visperterminen. At end of hike, travel by PostBus from the Simplon Pass down to Brig. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch


A9 motorway and cantonal road 9 to Visp. Follow the signs for Visperterminen, taking the Terbinerstrasse road via Unterstalden and Oberstalden as far as Visperterminen.


Parking at the Visperterminen-Giw chairlift; follow local parking directions in Visperterminen. Better still, park instead in Visp or Brig and travel by public transport to Visperterminen and back from the Simplon Pass to your car.


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.


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


SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1289 Brig / 1309 Simplon