Loop along the Turtmann valley with ascent to the Turtmann hut
This loop to the Turtmann refuge follows a high trail along the eastern slopes of the Turtmann valley. The return leg drops to Lake Turtmann before leading back via the western side of the valley.
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This circular hike features an ascent to the Turtmann mountain hut, built in 1928 and renovated several times since. From here, you enjoy a superb view of the Brunegg and Turtmann glaciers, the 4,153-metre Bishorn and the dramatic Barrwand cliffs. Starting point for the hike is the bus stop in Gruben/Meiden. From here, the path zig-zags steeply up through the forest to the alpine pastures of Grüobu Mittelstafel. Above the treeline, the hike follows a flattish trail southwards up the Turtmann valley. Eventually, at an altitude of about 2,300 metres, the path leads above the Turtmannsee lake – actually formed of two reservoirs, used to generate electricity. These provide water for the Gougra hydroelectric power station, primarily fed by reservoirs in the Val d’Anniviers. The final ascent to the mountain refuge involves a climb of about 200 vertical metres over a distance of about a kilometre. The breathtaking views are well worth the effort. The hut also makes an ideal overnight stop on a longer hike, as well as a base for all kinds of activities including glacier treks on the Turtmann or Brunegg glaciers and rock climbing on many routes of all levels of difficulty. The descent initially follows the outward leg of the hike, before branching to the left above the lake and dropping down to lead along the crest of the dam between the two reservoirs. Beyond, a short climb leads to another high trail – this time on the opposite side of the valley. The pastures here provide a summer home for many cows of the Herens breed, who frequently lock horns to establish a hierarchy within the herd. The route eventually leaves the high trail to drop fairly steeply back down to the floor of the valley near Blüomatt, shortly before the end of the hike at Meiden. Highlights: Turtmann mountain cabin: panoramic, high-altitude location with many options for hikes and rock climbs. Magnificent high-altitude trails to the hut and back.