Riederalp Aletsch Glacier and Panorama Hike for Families

Wow, this glacier is impressive! We took a series of cable cars up to the top of Riederalp to get this this amazing view of the Aletsch glacier. It looks like a river flowing through the valley, but it’s all slow-moving ice. We’ve done a couple hikes in the area when our kids were little. We liked best the Panorama trail from Moosfluh to Hohfluh described below. This hike and glacier view is one of our all-time favorites in Switzerland. Now that my kids are older, I hope to go back and hike more challenging trails in the area.

Location: Valais Switzerland
Address: Furkastrasse 28, 3983 Mörel VS-CH
Car: 2hr40 from Zurich
Train: 2hr30 from Zurich
Trail: various, 2 km panorama recommended
Condition: narrow dirt path, no strollers
Skill: easy
Open: mid June through mid October
Price: Adult CHF 20, Child CHF 10, SBB Halbtax and Junior Card accepted.
Services: restaurants and playground in Riederalp, fire pits along trail
More info: www.aletscharena.ch – panorama map

Overview

You can see the Aletsch glacier from three resorts: Riederalp, Bettmeralp, and Fiescheralp. We chose Riederalp, taking a gondola from Mörel to the alpine town Riederalp, then another cable car to Moosfluh for the view of the Aletsch glacier.

There are lots of hiking options from here. I really wanted to hike down to the glacier but we decided our little kids weren’t quite up for that. That would involve a lot of elevation down and then back up.

One time we hiked the Panorama trail (about 2 km, 138m descent) from Moosfluh across to the Hohfluh chair lift, which we then took down to Riederalp. This is a great trail with amazing views and even some educational signboards along the way. We also loved that we didn’t have to hike down. But the Hohfluh chair lift only runs during the summer school holiday, about mid July to mid August. So this isn’t an option outside those dates.

Another time we hiked from Moosfluh down to Riederalp (about 3km, 435m descent). The views were great and the first section to the Blausee was very nice. After that, it was a lot of elevation descent down a ski hill, which was a little hard on our knees and not as scenic. So we much prefer the Panorama trail, but this is a fine option if the Hohfluh chair isn’t running.

Check out the Aletsch Arena summer hiking maps for more options.

Getting There

Get yourself to Mörel, the base of the Riederalp resort. There is a parking lot at the base of the gondola. The train and bus drop off directly in front of the gondola station.

Take the big gondola from Mörel to Riederalp-Mitte (not the Riederalp-West gondola, which drops off on the wrong side of town). Once in Riederalp, walk east through town, following signs to the Moosfluh cable car, which will take you to the glacier overlook.

Glacier view from top of Mossfluh

Here’s what you’ll see from the top of Moosfluh. There are lots of little footpaths meandering along the ridge. Our kids had a great time running around, jumping off rocks and chasing grasshoppers.

Panorama Trail from Moosfluh to Hohfluh

This trail is the best option for little kids as it is short and easy, about 30 minutes of walking. Remember it’s only possible during the school summer holidays, because the Hohfluh chairlift is only open during this time.

From the top of Moosfluh, follow trail signs to Hohfluh. There are lots of little dirt paths going all over the place, just make sure you are following the ridgeline and signs for Aletsch Panoramaweg 39.

The path also follow the “Gratweg – Erlebnispfad” which has a series of educational signboards about water works in the area. The text is also in English.

These benches halfway there would be a nice place for a picnic.

When you reach the Hohfluh chair lift, simply ride down, walk to the Riederalp gondola and ride down to the valley.

Trail from Moosfluh down to Riederalp

The trail down to Riederalp starts on the ridgeline then heads down to Blausee. Follow signs to Blausee, then signs to Riederalp. Here’s what the trail looked like, easy for kids but not stroller-friendly. After leaving the ridge, you walk along or on ski slopes, which was a little tricky to manage as you walk on steep grassy slopes instead of a trail (thus my lack of pics for that section).

More of the trail and view.

We followed signs to Blausee, which is about 30 mins from the top. It’s a small pond, a popular picnicking area and some people even swim. We wish we had brought our swimsuits; it was a hot day.

There are couple fire pits around the lake; I think at least one had a table. We wanted to be on our own so chose this one, a little set back from the Blausee. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by smelly cows.

Plenty of room to safely roam.

Back in Riederalp, there is a little amusement area with mini-golf and little go-carts that run down the bunny hill (a little pricey and a short ride – fun but not particularly recommended). It’s right off the road you walk back on to the Mörel gondola.

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2 comments

  1. Good point. We went at the end of July in 2010. I think mid-July through mid-September is the best times to visit the mountains. I'll try to put the date we visited on more posts. Enjoy the sun today; who knows how long it will last!

  2. That looks wonderful but I gather you visited last year? What time of the year is good…? Still not good, right, weather wise, with the lousy, rainy, cold spring we are having? Thanks for comments!

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