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.

  • Difficulty


  • Length

    18.5 km

  • Duration

    6:30 h

  • Show on map

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.

Turn-by-turn directions

Starting point for the hike is Meiden, the final bus stop in the Turtmann valley. A steep climb up the eastern side of the valley accesses a trail that leads southwards, high above the valley floor, to the Turtmann mountain refuge. The return leg follows the outward route for about a kilometre before descending to the Turtmannsee lakes. Cross the dam of the upper reservoir and then follow the gently climbing trail high on the opposite side of the valley as far as the Massstafel alpine pastures, where a zig-zag trail leads you down to the floor of the valley. The final 1.5 kilometres of the hike follow the valley floor to Meiden.

Start: Meiden (1821 m)
Destination: Meiden (1821 m)

Author's recommendation

Time your hike to coincide with the annual ascent or descent of the cattle to/from the high pastures and see the traditional cow fights at Gruben/Meiden.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2520 m 1819 m

  • Ascent

    992 m

  • Descent

    992 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 5.0 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

Regional train services to Turtmann. Continue by cable car to Oberems, and then by bus into the Turtmann valley. The bus runs infrequently from June to September.


Cantonal road to Turtmann; then via Unterems and Oberems to Meiden in the Turtmann valley.


Large car park in Gruben/Meiden.


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: 


Das Tourismusbüro in Turtmann stellt Ihnen Informationsmaterial und Broschüren zum Wandern in der Region zur Verfügung. 


SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1307 Vissoie / 1308 St. Niklaus