Goms high trail
Panoramic high-altitude trail along the sunny side of the upper Rhône valley. Glorious views of the Valais mountains. Easy to walk in sections, thanks to the railway linking the villages.
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The Goms is the name given to the valley of the young Rhône, and the Gommer Höhenweg (Goms high trail) runs its entire length. The trail leads along the sunny side of the valley, a couple of hundred vertical metres above the valley floor – promising gorgeous views of the whole valley, its historical villages and the snow-capped peaks beyond. The full trail measures nearly 28 km, but it is also easy to walk in stages. The railway line of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn runs the length of the valley, linking all the villages – each of which is no more than 20–30 minutes’ walk from the trail. Each village, with its wooden houses bronzed by the Valais sun, has its own special historical charm. The path glides above them all, through flower-filled pastures and fragrant forests of pine, promising excellent chances of spotting alpine wildlife. The trail also passes through part of the Binntal Landscape Park. Most of the woodland along the valley is designated as “protective forest”, carefully maintained in order to protect the villages and infrastructure along the valley floor from potential hazards such as avalanches and rockfalls. Above Ritzingen, the route passes through a forest known as the Bawald, where an audio theme trail (smartphone required) explores the many roles played the forest and the work of the foresters. The trail begins at Oberwald, for centuries a key transport hub at the heart of the Alps. Today, it remains the gateway to the historical Furka and Grimsel passes, as well as the starting point for the Furka heritage steam railway. End point is sunny Bellwald, one of the oldest and best-preserved mountain villages in Valais. Highlights Scenic high-altitude trail, gorgeous views of the Rhône valley and snowy peaks Charming historical villages at start and finish Easy to walk in sections, thanks to the railway stopping at all the villages along the valley