Lake Oeschinen hike

On a warm sunny August Sunday my husband and I went exploring the jewels of one of the most beautiful regions of Switzerland – Berner Oberland. Our destination was beautiful Oeschinen Lake (Oeschinensee), a stunningly beautiful alpine lake located in the mountains above the village Kandersteg in Oeschinen Valley.

Beautiful Oeschinen Lake (Oeschinensee)

The Oeschinen Lake can be reached by foot from Kandersteg. This hike would takes app. 1 hour. Because my husband and I wanted to do some hiking by the lake, we decided to save time and took gondola lift instead.

Kandersteg village as seen from gondola

After a short scenic ride, we arrived at the upper gondola station. From there we walked for app. 20 minutes before we reached the lake. There is also electric car shuttle to the lake (and back) available, but we didn’t use it.

Easy walking path runs from the upper gondola station to the lake


The Oeschinen Lake lies at the altitude of 1,578 metres and is surrounded by the majestic mountains covered with glaciers and ancient woods of pine. I have no words to describe the beauty of this place. I’ve seen many stunning places in the Alps, but the first sight to the emerald Oeschinen Lake still managed to take to take my breath away. It is most certainly one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Swiss Alps. No wonder, it was included to Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage site which stretches across the 824 square kilometres of Bernese High Alps.

Breathtaking scenery

My husband and I hiked the panoramic trail above the lake. What a beautiful trail that was! High mountains, glaciers, lake, creeks, waterfalls, green pastures with cows grazing  – simply amazing. Views were breathtaking from every single part of the trail.

Scenic hiking trail

On the way up, we stopped by the creek to rest. We dipped our sore feet in the cool clear water. When we were sitting there and relaxing, a cow came to the creek to drink. Friendly as most of the Swiss cows are, she wasn’t bother by our presence. She drank the water and even allowed us to pet her. Then, all the sudden she turned to our backpacks that were lying on the ground by the water and started to lick them. We rushed to move the backpacks out of her reach, but it was already too late. The straps were dripping her saliva mixed with creek water. Luckily we were by the water so we were able to wash it out.

Swiss Cow – not the one that licked our bagpack

Rested and reacher for the memorable encounter with the cow, we continued our hike. When we’ve reached the mountain hut, we stopped for a quick lunch. Simple platter of locally produced cheese and sausages filled our empty bellies and we were ready to return back to the valley.

Our lunch with the view

When we reached the shore of the lake, we stopped and spend some time resting by the lake. It was a hot summer day and the conditions were perfect for swimming. Regrettably we didn’t bring our swimsuits with. We’ve only watched people swam in refreshing crystal clear water.

Returning back to the valley

After a rest by the lake, we walked back to the upper gondola station. Before we’ve returned to the valley, we stopped by the summer sled run conveniently located just next to the gondola station. I am usually a big fan of such attractions, but because we purchased the ticket combo where the sled run ride was included in the price of the gondola ticket I did it. It was not the most exciting ride, but it was fun.


After the summer sledge ride we’ve boarded the gondola and returned to the valley. Reacher for another amazing experience we drove back our home to Lucerne determined we will return to the Oeschinen Lake soon.

Spectacular hiking trail


By public transport:

By train & bus:
Take the train to Kandersteg. From the Kandersteg train follow the signs to the Oeschinensee (Oeschinen Lake).

By car:
Drive to Kandersteg, then follow the signs to the lower station of the Oeschinensee cable car.

Till next time Oeschinensee!


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