• Activities:

    Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2000 Feet

Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Hike or kayak along the shores of the crystal clear Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful and pristine mountain lakes in Switzerland. Enjoy breathtaking photo ops of the 12,000 Blumlisalp and surrounding Alps. The alpine lodging offers delicious local Swiss fare and unbelievable views of the surrounding mountains.

Words and photos cannot accurately depict the beauty you will find in this area. The breathtaking emerald waters of Oeschinen Lake are the highlight of this incredible hike that requires little effort reach. The surrounding Alps provide and unbeatable backdrop, and in warmer months, multiple waterfalls can be seen and heard cascading into its waters from the surrounding mountains. You will likely come across cattle along the trail, and potentially mountain goats as well, so be sure to respect their space.

This hike is best accessed from the town of Kandersteg and requires a few trains to get to. In Interlaken, hop on a train to Spiez and then transfer to a train to Kandersteg. Travel time for Interlaken to Kandersteg is only about 1 hour, depending on train times. Once in Kandersteg, walk 10 mins to the trailhead. Here, you have two options. You can continue to hike up to the lake, a little over an hour, or if your legs are weary from backpacking, you can give yourself a break and hop on the chairlift, which cuts your travel time in half. From the top of the lift, it is gentle 20 minute stroll down to the lake.

Once at the lake, I recommend soaking up the scenery and taking a dip in its crystal clear waters. It is a perfect spot for a picnic or enjoy lunch and a brew at Berghotel Oeschinensee. Berghotel Oeschinensee is also an incredible place to sit by the fire and spend the night as well.

I recommend continuing on after your picnic or stay at Oeschinensee up to Unterbargli. This takes about 1.5 hrs and gains about 600 feet over a mile, but provides incredible vistas over the lake and surrounding mountains. Unterbargli is also a great spot for lunch or to spend the night (20 spots) and take in the night sky. http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/baergbeizli-unterbaergli.html From here, continue up if you wish (recommended) to Blumlisalp Hut at 9,305’ for breathtaking sunsets over the Alps. Note: this adds 3,500’ of elevation gain, and total hiking time from Kandersteg to Blumlisalp Hut is about 5.5 hrs or just over 4 hrs if you take the chairlift. I would recommend adding a significant amount of time for photo ops and stops to soak in the views. Blumlisalp Hut has 130 beds and you can rent or buy sleeping bags at the hut. I recommend contacting them directly at the hut for reservations, availability, and weather conditions.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera and tripod
  • Bathing suit
  • Lunch, snacks
  • Sleeping bag (if continuing on up to Blumlisalp Hut or Unterbargli)
  • Day pack or backpack depending on length of visit
  • Hydration pack or water bottle
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Appropriate clothing layers (can be quite cold over the evening and early AM even in summer)
  • Trekking poles (optional)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Overall rating: 

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This lake is absolutely stunning! Well worth the short but very steep hike up. I highly recommend riding the toboggan while you're up there. For those expecting a super remote experience, there is a few buildings/restaurants right on the lake. Anytging above the lake is mostly out of reach of tourists. Stay CLEAR of livestock. We had a sheep and a cow challenge us even though we made plenty of noise to warn them of our presence.

5 months ago
5 months ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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