Oeschinensee Panorama Hike

This spectacular hike loops around the mountains above the gorgeous Oeschinensee lake. When the kids were little, we simply walked to the lake, picnicked by the lake, enjoyed the views, and walked back, a great (and easy) family outing described here. But if you want a proper hike and even more amazing views, this panorama loop trail is a great choice for families.

Location:   Berner Oberland
Address: Öschistrasse 50, 3718 Kandersteg CH
Car: 2hr from Zurich
Parking GPS: 46.497312, 7.682427
Train: 2hr20 from Zurich HB to Kandersteg then 1km walk to cable car
Adult return half-fare CHF 75
Trail: 8 km loop, about 3 hr walking time
Condition: narrow, rocky, dirt alpine trail
Skill: moderate
Open: July to October
Cost 2017: Adult CHF 26, Child CHF 13,
SBB Halbtax and Junior Card accepted
Services: restaurant, fire pit, sculpture garden, alpine slide
More info: www.oeschinensee.ch  – webcam  –  weather

Overview

The trail starts at the top of the Oeschinensee cable car. The trail heads up the mountain and skirts under the peaks, past many waterfalls, with views of the lake below. At the halfway point, you reach the bare bones Ober Bärgli mountain hut, selling snacks but not proper food the day we were there. Then the trail heads back down to the lake. When you reach the lake shore, you find fire pits, a sculpture garden, lots of places to lounge and restaurants a bit further up the the path. Take any of the paths that lead back to the cable car. There is an alpine slide at the cable car station. Click on the map to view a larger interactive version.

The trail is a narrow, rocky, dirt alpine trail. No strollers. There is lots of uphill walking, but all the kids in our group were faster than the adults and had no trouble. We saw several families with children as young as five walking on the trail. Much of the trail has steep slopes dropping off to one side, there are many places with tricky footing. I wouldn’t say it was super dangerous but your kids should be sensible, experienced hikers. We had to jump over lots of streams, rock to rock, and some of got wet feet doing so.

Getting There

By car: Get yourself to Kandersteg and follow signs to the Oeschinensee cable car. There’s a parking lot by the cable car station and some in town, but it can fill up fast on a busy summer weekend. So get there early. Parking costs CHF 5 for the day, coins only.

By public transport: Take the train to Kandersteg, then a 1km through town to the Oeschinensee cable car.

Click through for a larger interactive version of the map.

Tickets & Opening Times

The summer season is from early May through mid October, however this trail is probably not accessible until late June. The cable car runs generally from 9:00 to 17:00, longer during peak season. In 2017, an adult full fare return ticket cost CHF 26. They accept SBB Half-fare and Junior cards. See website for current information.

Trail Details

Once you go up the cable car, you have a lovely view of the valley. Start walking on the dirt road toward Oeschinensee.

After about 400m, the trail splits to the left up the hill. Follow signs to Heuberg – Ober Bärgli.

Picnic at Heuberg. There’s a fire pit there, you’ll have to gather your own wood.

Walk back through the forest.

Two restaurants on the lake shore.

 

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