Indian Summer in the Simplon area – hike in the larch forest

Actually, we had planned the tour Simplon Pass – Bistinenpass-Gibidumsee for this weekend. But the early onset of winter threw a spanner in the works for us. Above 2,000 metres above sea level, Mother Hulda had shaken out her bed linen in the last few days. Depending on the location, up to 50 cm of fresh snow. Definitely too much to trudge comfortably through the landscape with your hiking boots – not to mention the fact that you can no longer see the hiking trail markings. So an alternative had to be found. After a short back and forth, we decided to stay true to the original direction, but to stay a little longer in the post bus. The larch forests in the Simplon region make the region shine golden at this time of year and invite you to go on long hikes at altitudes between 1,000 and 2,000 metres above sea level. Probably the oldest larch forest in Switzerland, the Hittu Forest, is located just opposite Simplon village on the Chastelberg.

Our alternative route starts at the “Gabi” post bus stop, directly to Simplon village and runs the same as the first stage of the Stockalperweg, which leads from Gondo over the Simplon Pass to Brig. Here, at almost 1,200 metres above sea level, the snow has already melted away. But the shady northern slopes and higher altitudes present themselves in white splendour this morning. We follow the hiking trail uphill towards Furggu. The path climbs steeply and soon we start panting. Passing abandoned hamlets and through glowing yellow larch forests, we soon come across the first snowfields. The path is still visible without any problems. But at the Mittelhüs clearing at a good 1,700 m above sea level, the snow has powdered the mats with up to 30 cm of fresh snow. Shortly before Furggu, I miss the right fork in the road because of all the snow and take an unplanned shortcut straight up the slope.


Curious Cow

Hike-Simplon area










Downhill towards the Zwischenbergtal it is easier to hike again. The damp autumn snow took a toll on the ascent. Now we can really enjoy the view of the colorful larch forest. The most beautiful section follows at the end. From the Sera reservoir near Zwischbergen, the hiking trail runs in a slight up and down through sparse, red beech forests. In combination with the yellow-coloured larches at higher altitudes, a magnificent play of colours. Another colour component is the shimmering turquoise “Great Water”, which bubbles down from the Zwischenberg glacier down the valley. By the way, with a bit of luck you can still find gold here in the river today. The Zwischenberg Valley experienced its heyday during the “Gold Rush” in the 19th century. This is still remembered today by the abandoned hamlets, whose buildings are slowly falling into disrepair. Apart from a flock of cheeky sheep, we didn’t meet anyone on the way. The cold snap probably intimidated everyone a bit. But it is precisely the Zwischenberg valley at almost 1,200 m above sea level that forms the perfect backdrop for leisurely autumn hikes.













Practical information and tips for the Gabi-Furggu-Gondo

The route can be found on the map below. The hike from the Gabi post bus station (to Simplon village) to Gondo is about 10.7 kilometres long, includes an ascent of 720 metres in altitude and a descent of 1,100 metres in altitude. The pure runtime is around 4.5 hours. The starting point can be reached from Brig by post bus over the Simplon Pass in the direction of Domodossola. The same post bus line passes by the destination. The Postbus serves the Simplon Pass route all year round. Depending on the season and time of day, however, it only runs every two hours (check the timetable in advance).

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