Hikes

Hikes

Laggintal loop in the Simplon area

An exhilarating circuit south of the Simplon Pass taking in ancient mule tracks, a panoramic high trail and a descent of the Laggintal valley, a pristine natural paradise

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Length

    14.7 km

  • Duration

    6:00 h

  • Show on map

This enchanting hike through wild landscapes between the Simplon Pass and the Italian border boasts spectacular scenery, a wealth of flora and fauna – and an experience of how our ancestors travelled through the Alps centuries ago. Starting point for the hike is the hamlet of Gabi on the historical Simplon Pass road, just upstream of the dramatic Gondo gorge. The Simplon route was already used in Roman times, but it was a 17th-century entrepreneur from Valais, Kaspar Stockalper, who developed the network of mule trails over the pass to lay the foundation of a mighty trading empire. Later, in the first decade of the 19th century, Napoleon ordered construction of a route wide enough to transport cannon – regarded in its day as a masterpiece of engineering. Our hike begins on this road – but instead of following Stockalper’s track through the gorge, leads up an ancient mule trail that bypasses the ravine by zig-zagging up through the pastures to the south and past a picturesque chapel to the col of Furggu. From here, our route turns to the right to follow a high panoramic trail across the slopes of the Guggilihorn. The views of the trio of glaciated peaks at the head of the Laggintal valley – Fletschhorn, Lagginhorn and Weissmies (4,017 m) – are mesmerising. A tranquil mountain lake makes an ideal spot for a picnic – to a soundtrack of marmot whistles and cascading streams. From here, the path drops steeply to the Laggina river, and then leads along the valley floor back to Gabi. The pristine Laggintal is known for its rich fauna and flora, wealth of flowers and especially its abundance of butterflies. These include one of the rarest in Europe, a species of international importance: Raetzer’s ringlet (Erebia christi).   Highlights Variety: ancient mule track, panoramic high trail and peaceful path through a hidden valley Glorious views of the Laggintal valley, framed by 4,000-metre peaks Exceptional wealth of wildlife – and especially butterflies

Turn-by-turn directions

From the bridge at Gabi, the route leads south for just over 0.5 km before turning sharp left to climb the zig-zag mule trail up the Feerberg. At the col at Furggu, turn sharp right and follow the path all the way to the lake. Here, drop downhill and follow the valley back to Gabi.

The first section of trail, from Gabi to Furggu, forms part of a variant of the ViaStockalper, a three-day hike along Stockalper’s mule trails from Brig to Gondo. The main route leads through the Gondo gorge, while the variant climbs to Furggu, drops into the Zwischbergental valley beyond, and follows this to Gondo.

Start: Gabi, bus stop (1228 m)
Destination: Gabi, bus stop (1228 m)

Author's recommendation

To find out more about the history and nature of this area, visit the various exhibition venues of the fascinating local Ecomuseum Simplon.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2134 m 1219 m

  • Ascent

    990 m

  • Descent

    990 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Brig, change on to bus to Gabi. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch

Approach

A9 motorway and/or main road along Rhône valley towards Brig, then follow signs for «Simplon». Continue beyond pass through Simplon Dorf to the tiny hamlet of Gabi.

Parking

Small parking area in Gabi.

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 destinations: 

Literature

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

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1309 Simplon