Loop to Flüealp alpine pasture
Loop around the high valley above Leukerbad, through alpine pastures to an atmospheric rock chapel. Fabulous views of the surrounding mountains.
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Leukerbad owes its existence to the abundant hot springs in the spa resort and along the Dala gorge above. This hike climbs out of the town to trace a high-altitude loop around the entire upper Dala gorges, and showcases Leukerbad’s magnificent mountain setting in grand style. In and around Leukerbad, 3.9 million litres of water bubble every day out of 65 thermal springs at a temperature of 51 degrees, feeding a variety of pools and spas. The hot springs have drawn bathers since Roman times, and for centuries have been an attraction on the historical route linking Valais and the Bernese Oberland via the Gemmi Pass. This climbs the towering Daubenwand cliffs above Leukerbad via a zig-zag mule trail hacked into the rock more than 250 years ago; the sight of this vertiginous trail from our hike makes the mountain scenery all the more impressive. Our route climbs from the centre of the resort straight up to the Folljeret pastures to the west, and then on up to the Majing pastures further up the valley, and finally up to Flüealp. In summer, alpine flowers create a dazzling display of colour in the meadows on which the cattle graze; you can taste the natural goodness in the resulting cheeses. At the far point of the loop, just beyond Flüealp, a natural rock grotto was enclosed in the early-19th century to make a tiny rock chapel. This place of pilgrimage is a wonderfully peaceful, contemplative spot, with its own spring just below. From here, the trail leads back to Leukerbad along the opposite side of the valley, via the pastures of Clabinu. The restaurant at Buljes offers a relaxing spot for refreshments just above Leukerbad. Highlights: High-level walk around upper valley with spectacular views of mountain scenery Alpine pastures along route with working cheese dairies; charming rock chapel Spas in Leukerbad – dozens of thermal pools and a vast range of wellness facilities Other outdoor attractions include theme trails (thermal springs), gorge walk, via ferratas