Leave the winding streets of Leukerbad behind and hike up the forested valley slopes, passing charming wooden chalets at Majing where the family make mountain cheese specific to the region. Continue up the Dala valley to the alpine meadows and the little restaurant at Fluealp. From Fluealp you can take a shortcut to cross the river lower down the valley, but just 10 minutes further up the path it’s worth the extra ascent to see the small chapel, with it’s stained glass windows, built into the rock. There are often lingering, gravel covered, snow banks in the gullies here so take care and bring your walking poles for stability. From Fluealp descend to Leukerbad on a meandering path on the north side of the Dala River.
An interesting way to enter Leukerbad is via the Dala Gorge walkway – featuring metal platform path, stairs ad bridges (not recommended if it’s been raining or if you don’t have a head for heights). Alternatively, follow a good path down the valley into Leukerbad’s centre.
Take care on any sections of the route that you might share with vehicles or bikes, the roads in Leukerbad and some sections of track up to Fluealp.
The narrow path, which follows the north side of the Dala River should not be attempted after heavy rain because the path is prone to erosion with a drop down to the river on the left. The Dala Gorge walkway with it’s metal walkways and ladders will likely be closed also as it will be especially slippery. If this is the case please turn around and make the route a linear one following the track you ascended on back down into Leukerbad, or ask at the Tourist Information office for the most updated path information before making your own decision regarding what route to take.
Most of the route is on well-marked, and well-trod trails, but there are some sections around the Fluekapelle where some snow banks linger in the stream gullies – these are generally covered with gravel/moraine and are easy to pass but you’ll find walking poles useful here. Depending on the conditions when you do the route please make your own decision about whether these are safe to cross.
Tips, hints and links
Points of Interest
The farm at Fluealp is situated at approximately 2040m in altitude. Here the family use the dairy produce from their 70 cows to make milk, butter and alpine cheese. They have a small menu from which you can sample their homemade produce along with drinks. Check their opening times, and find out more about the hut by checking their website.
Telephone: 0041 762 179 075
Dala Gorge Walkway
The walk finishes by following the Dala River Gorge walkway through the gorge before the river flows through Leukerbad’s centre. The metal walkways, and suspension bridges attached to the gorge sides are 600m in length from start to finish. You can find more information on the current condition of the Dala Gorge walkway on the Leukerbad tourist information site: https://www.leukerbad.ch/adventures/summer/hiking/thermal-canyon-walk/
Please don’t attempt the route in wet conditions though as you will find the metal walkways potentially very slippery and therefore unsafe. This route is also only for those with a head for heights.
Food & Drink
There are a couple of small supermarkets in the centre of Leukerbad where you can pick-up provisions for a packed lunch. En route you’ll pass the cheese-making farm at Majing, and a small mountain restaurant at Fluealp. Please bring enough food and water (at least 2 litres per person) for the walk though as the mountain restaurants normally just serve refreshments and snacks. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Leukerbad for your evening meal.
The route is well-walked but please make sure that you’re suitably equipped (see your information pack for a complete recommended kit list). Waterproofs, warm layers, gloves, hat, sunhat and sunscreen are all recommended in a ~25 litre or less backpack. Make sure to bring plenty of water (around 2 litres per person) and food for the day.
If you prefer to wear sturdy walking shoes rather than walking boots feel free to wear those (as the terrain can be rocky you’ll find that gym trainers won’t have enough support). Walking poles are a useful aid for helping to take pressure off your knees.