Leave the cable car behind and wander the wild-flower strewn slopes of the Oeschinensee valley before descending to Kandersteg.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Points of Interest
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: https://www.oeschinensee.ch/en/info/
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.