Logo Aletsch Arena

About the Aletsch Forest Hike

Aletsch Arena
13 km(8 mi)
Type of trail
Day hike

Difficulty is highly personal. Be aware of the weather conditions as bad weather turns easier trails in difficult trails especially in the mountains.


Lodging means a mix of hotels, hostels or AirBnB’s.

Elevation gain
566 m(1857 ft)
Forest, Mountains
Some of the time
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Hike in the magical atmosphere of the Aletsch Forest, located in the Aletsch Arena in Valais, Switzerland. This day hike gives you a glimpse of the old ecosystem, home to centuries-old Swiss stone pines, which create a fairy-tale-like setting. Some of these pines are as old as 1000 years. In the Aletsch Forest, a 400-hectare Pro Natura nature reserve since 1933, you can also find impressive spruces and larches.

An absolute must-visit for everyone who wants to learn more about the conservation of this UNESCO World Heritage site is the Pro Natura Centre Aletsch at Villa Cassel. Opened in 1976, this was Switzerland’s first nature conservation center, dedicated to preserving the unique ecosystem of the Aletsch Arena. This is the natural sanctuary of some rare species such as the red deer, chamois, black grouse, golden eagles, and the pygmy owl. The paths also offer views of the Aletsch Glacier.


Elmar Teegelbeckers

Passionate hiker Elmar spends months of his time on the trail. He’s usually on the lookout for hidden gems in one of his favourite countries such as Slovenia, Switzerland and Japan. He founded hiking-trails.com in need for a community and detailed information about the trails. Before this, he worked for the Alpine asscociation in the Netherlands[ (NKBV) but lost his heart to the trails.

With this website and socials, he hopes to shape an inclusive community for hikers all over world. No matter your speed, experience or level, you can get out there to enjoy the trails and connect with the heartwarming hiking community. Life is so much better outside and he hopes to inspire hikers to take their first, or next, step on the trail.

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The Trail

You can easily start the trek from the car-free village in Bettmeralp. The forest is known for its balance of nature, including the ancient Swiss stone pines. Each season changes the forest’s appeal. During the summer months, from mid-June to mid-October, the forest provides a cooler environment. In autumn, the changing colors of the leaves in gold and brown are beautiful. Winter presents a different experience, allowing you to explore the trails on guided snowshoe tours for a total winter wonderland in the Swiss Alps.

The Aletsch Arena has trails that provide an opportunity to explore the diverse natural landscapes of the region, from the unique and longest glacier in the Alps: the Aletsch Glacier, to ancient stone pine forests, some of which are over 1000 years old. The region is known for its five suspension bridges in the Aletsch Goms area, offering unique days on the trails.


You can choose a variety of accommodations in the car-free villages in the Aletsch Arena to start this day hike. Riederalp, Fiescheralp, and Bettmeralp are perfect basecamps for discovering the region. Bettmeralp is the closest village to the trailhead of the Aletsch Forest Hike.

Best time of the year

The best time to hike the Aletsch Forest Hike and overall in the Aletsch Arena is undoubtedly from June through late September. This period is the best hiking season in the Aletsch Arena because the weather is the most enjoyable with longer daylight hours, and by July the snow should be melted from the trails.

Safety & Gear

Before starting on the trail, check the weather forecast and trail conditions, especially for snow. Make sure you’re fit enough for the trail.

Carry a map and have the GPX file on your phone for navigation. Start with a fully charged phone and consider bringing a power bank if you need it. Dress in layers and pack a hardshell and warm jacket for changing weather. Opt for hiking shoes with reliable grip.

Pack a first-aid kit, extra food, and water. Mountain weather can change rapidly, so be prepared for sudden drops in temperature and unexpected rainfall. Start your hike early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms common in mountainous areas. Stick to marked trails to minimize environmental impact and reduce the risk of getting lost.

Extend courtesy to fellow hikers and wildlife, and remember to leave no trace by carrying out all trash.

Good to know

The trails in the Aletsch Arena cover a varied terrain including high-altitude trails and rocky paths. Weather in the Alps can change rapidly. Before you hit the trail, check the local weather forecast to be prepared for all conditions.

Highest point
2323m (7621 ft)


Logo Aletsch Arena

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Terms of Use: important to all visitors on this website. We strive to publish high quality content and information on this website. However it’s always possible that we’re missing out on some crucial information. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps) were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. Therefore, hiking-trails.com and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals hiking or following this route. Should you choose to hike this trail, this is always at your own risk. Check out our guidelines for safety hiking and Leave No Trace principles at the hiking 101 page.

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