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Oeschinensee to Kandersteg

· 1 review · Hiking trail · Kandersteg · closed
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  • Near the Lager-Oeschinensee signpost at the start of the walk.
    / Near the Lager-Oeschinensee signpost at the start of the walk.
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Looking back at the Heuberg promontory.
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The path to Oberbargli
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Views over the lake descending from Oberbargli
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The Swiss red and white path markers as seen along the trail
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / The path to Oeschinensee
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Oschinensee
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / In Kandersteg
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 10 8 6 4 2 km
Leave the cable car behind and wander the wild-flower strewn slopes of the Oeschinensee valley before descending to Kandersteg. 

This route passes through an inaccessible area and is therefore closed. Current information

Distance 10.8 km
5:30 h
315 m
835 m

Take the cable car from the Oeschinensee Gondelbahn in Kandersteg village (signposted from the village centre).  Purchase a one-way ticket at approx. 20 CHF and hop on the cable car – the journey takes less than 10 minutes. 

Leave the station and follow the path as it winds its way up the mountainside giving excellent views over the lake below.  Pause to savour the view at the Heuberg before continuing past the small collection of chalets and the berg restaurant/café at Oberbargli.  From Oberbargli begin your descent to the lake and follow it’s shores to Oeschinensee village at the far end of the lake. Descend on wide tracks and paths to Kandersteg. 

Some sections of the route have steep drop offs to one side so please only undertake the route if you and your party are sure-footed and have a head for heights.  The route should also be avoided after heavy rainfall, but you can take a shortcut directly to  the lakeside restaurants to Oeschinensee, see safety notes for more information and an alternative. 

Author’s recommendation

If conditions allow don’t miss the Heuberg viewpoint and the outdoor seating at the small Oberbargli restaurant – both have excellent viewpoints high above the lake!
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan 
Update: November 19, 2018
Highest point
1,987 m
Lowest point
1,176 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Please note the route should only be undertaken if you are sure-footed and have a head for heights.  Do not walk the mapped route given here passing Heuberg and Oberbargli after heavy rainfall as the narrow path is rocky and could be eroded/slippery. You can do a shorter version of the route if this is the case, see 0.35 km into the route notes for our diverted route suggestion which takes you directly to Oeschinensee missing the Heuberg detour. 

On the ascent (first 5 km) of the route the path can be narrow and exposed with a steep drop down on the right.  Take great care when passing other walkers on these narrow sections of the route. 

There are some stream crossings throughout the route, take care of any slippery rocks – you may find walking poles useful for this. 

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Heuberg Viewpoint

Excellent views down over the blue lake can be had from the viewpoint at the end of the rocky promontory known as Heuberg. There are a couple of benches here so take of your pick, relax for a while and enjoy the view!


The small settlement of Oberbargli (at approx. 1978 m) can be found at the end of the tricky terrain high above the lake.  Oberbargli is merely a collection of charming wooden chalets scattered amongst a boulder field, but its commanding position is reason enough to stop and spend some time here.  Grab a seat at the restaurant and admire the view while enjoying a well-earned refreshment. 


Both the lake and group of buildings at the valley-side of the lake share the name Oeschinensee.  In the sunshine the lake is a beautiful shade of turquoise, derived from the minerals washed into from the rocks by the rivers and melt-water streams in the area.  There are two restaurants at Oeschinensee, a gift shop, and some small rowing boats for hire by the lakeside.  Pick a spot by the lake and while away the afternoon before descending to Kandersteg. 


The Kandersteg-Oeschinensee cable car:


Food & Drink

There are a some berg restaurants along the route – at the top of the cable car, at Oberbargli, and a couple at Oeschinensee.  The viewpoint from the Oberbargli restaurant (providing drinks and snacks) is worth a stop in itself, however the restaurants beside the lake are bustling and have more options.  Otherwise, you can pick up supplies for a packed lunch from one of the two little convenience stores in Kandersteg village – Volg and Co-Op. 


Kandersteg-Oeschinensee cable car station (1,684 m)
2'619'862E 1'150'120N
46.502098, 7.697382
46°30'07.6"N 7°41'50.6"E
32T 400051 5150660


Kandersteg centre

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – After taking the cable car from Kandersteg to the station near Oeschinensee leave the cable car station and with the signpost at Lager Oeschinensee ahead TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for Oeschinensee (20 min.).  Then in 20 m BEAR LEFT to follow the wide gravel track.

0.35 km – BEAR LEFT to follow the signpost for Lager.  In 100 m BEAR LEFT again and follow the Wanderweg signpost.  Soon you’ll pass a building on your left-hand side, continue to follow the track into the forest. 

If you don’t wish to do the Heuberg-Oberbargli route, or if there has been heavy rain then we recommend you bear right here and follow the signposts to Oeschinensee which will take you to the lakeside and it’s restaurants.  You can pick up the route notes for descending to Kandersteg at 7.50km.

0.85 km – Follow the track as it curves to TURN LEFT with the grassy clearing ahead. 

0.95 km – At the signpost just after a huge boulder on your right-hand side TURN LEFT off the track onto a path following the Heuberg-Oberbargli signpost.  The path begins it’s ascent to Heuberg – take care on the path between here and Oberbargli it can be narrow and rocky in places (especially if wet or passing fellow walkers). 

1.10 km – Take care when crossing the stream here, and another in 200 m.  Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the path, taking care of the steep drop on your right down to the lake. 

1.60 km – A further stream crossing – take care here, the path is very narrow and there’s a rockface on your left-hand side. 

2.30 km – At the path junction TURN RIGHT to walk out to the viewpoint of Heuberg.  After spending some time here retrace your steps and continue STRAIGHT ON then follow the path as it curves right and traverses the mountainside with the lake below on your right. 

3.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the path and take care crossing the stream, the path is especially rocky here. 

3.60 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON across the metal bridge (with handrail) – take care if wet this will be very slippery – and ascend to pass through a small metal turnstile.  Follow the path as it descends to the wooden chalets scattered among the boulder field at Oberbargli. 

4.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON crossing a small wooden footbridge then pass on the right-hand side of the wooden chalet ahead and follow the path as it heads for a signpost ahead. 

4.10 km – with the Oberbargli signpost (1978 m) and the restaurant ahead you may wish to enjoy a refreshment with a view before continuing.  When you’re ready to continue TURN RIGHT in front of the signpost and follow the arrow for Oeschinensee (45 mins) to begin the descent on a gravel path. 

4.90 km – With a small chalet on your left-hand side follow the red and white marker to BEAR RIGHT and continue descending. 

5.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the path to cross the wooden bridge and walk into the trees.  The path soon becomes narrower (~1 m wide) below cliffs on your right with a drop on the left so take care here especially if wet or when passing other hikers. 

6.50 km – Follow the path and cross the stream with the waterfall high on your right. 

6.70 km – At the Chuematti (1590 m) signpost with the lake on your left BEAR LEFT on the gravel track to descend to the lakeside and follow this track for 500 m. 

7.30 km – Ascend to pass the restaurant on your right-hand side then BEAR LEFT on a paved road to pass another restaurant.  You are now in Oeschinensee.

7.50 km – At the Oeschinensee signpost (1593 m) BEAR LEFT on the road to follow the signpost for Kandersteg station (approx. 1 hour).

8.00 km – As the road curves left continue STRAIGHT ON to the wide gravel track through the trees (signposted for Kandersteg and Wanderweg).

8.80 km – Ignore the path ahead and TURN LEFT to stay on the track and continue descending. 

8.90 km – At the T-junction with the road TURN RIGHT onto the road and follow the Kandersteg signpost.  Soon after TURN RIGHT off the road onto a track signposted for Kandersteg into the trees.  The track soon narrows to a path – take care of protruding tree roots on the path. 

9.70 km – At the T-junction TURN RIGHT onto a track to follow the Kandersteg signpost and continue descending.  In 100 m BEAR LEFT to descend following the Kandersteg Talstation signpost on the road, soon you can use the gravel Wanderweg track on the left-hand side of the road. 

10.00 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the gravel track and the road bears away slightly to the right.  Keep the river on your left-hand side. 

10.30 km – With the bridge on your left TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for Kandersteg.  Soon after TURN LEFT onto the road following the Wanderweg signpost. 

10.50 km – At the road junction BEAR LEFT to follow the signpost with the train station symbol on it.  There’s a camping ground up on the right. 

10.60 km – At the crossroads continue STRAIGHT ON following the brown signpost for “Zentrum”.  Follow this paved path until you pass the church on your left and reach Kandersteg’s main road. 

11.20 km – The walk finishes here at the T-junction with Kandersteg’s main road – the Hotel Bernerhof and a sports shop are ahead.  Turning left will take you into the village centre.    


all notes on protected areas


2'619'862E 1'150'120N
46.502098, 7.697382
46°30'07.6"N 7°41'50.6"E
32T 400051 5150660
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


The route does not feel remote and is well-walked, but passes through some high terrain so 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.  We recommend that if you prefer to wear sturdy walking shoes rather than walking boots that you wear those (gym trainers are not recommended as the terrain can be rocky so they don’t have enough support).  Walking poles are a useful aid for stream crossings or for taking pressure off your knees, especially during descents. 

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Lukas Engbers
September 10, 2020 · Community
Wunderschön! Am besten zu genießen bei klaren sichtverhältnissen!
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When did you do this route? September 09, 2020
Photo: Lukas Engbers, Community

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10.8 km
5:30 h
315 m
835 m


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