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Belalp to Riederalp Route (Suspension Bridge over the Massa Gorge)

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 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This satisfying route connects sleepy Belalp with Riederalp, including a suspension bridge and superb alpine views.


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Map Key

7.1

Miles

11.4

KM

Point to Point

7,000' 2,134 m

High

5,129' 1,563 m

Low

1,892' 577 m

Up

2,479' 756 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

64%

Max Grade (32°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

Hiking this route will encourage you to visit the slightly less tourist-filled town of Belalp. You'll have interesting views of the nose of the Aletsch Glacier from the impressive suspension bridge. The ice-scoured gorge now corrals a torrent of meltwater on its way to the reservoir down valley. Thankfully the steep climb back out of the gorge is mostly forested and so provides welcome shade.

Need to Know

Check the operating times for the trams so you don't get stranded!

Description

From Brig, catch the post bus up to Blatten. From the cute town of Blatten, take the Luftseilbahn tram up to Belalp. Upon exiting the tram, turn right down a steep dirt service road towards the paraglider launch zone. Pick up the trail from here as it contours the hillside just a few feet below and parallel to the more established access road. Lots of ski lifts and holiday homes on this hillside. The upscale Hotel Belalp sits on a prominent point of land, and upon passing it, the steep descent begins. Follow signs for the hangebruke (hanging bridge).

Head downhill across grassy benches and under cliffs. You can see the reservoir and scattered houses below. One very steep drop is accessed by a well-built series of rock walled switchbacks. After crossing a broad meadow with grazing goats, the trail makes a dramatic hairpin turn and continues downhill over a long series of rock domes. The ancient glacier scars on these rocks is striking.

Cross the hanging bridge, being sure to admire the dirty glacier tongue and the sediment-filled water rushing through the gorge. The climb out of the gorge begins immediately on the other side of the bridge. After passing a small pond and picnic area, take the left fork and settle in. The rocky ascent winds between small rock outcrops and is often through shallow flowing water. Watch for red and white paint marks to stay on course. After some time, the grade decreases and travel becomes more pleasant through pretty stands of larch trees.

After topping the ridge, you re-join civilization. There are several large buildings here including a restaurant, the imposing Villa Cassel and a botanical park. From here, there are several alternate routes down to Riederalp on dirt trail or dirt road, some with paved sections. The route ends at the tram that takes you from Riederalp down to the valley floor at Morel.

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#5

in Brig

#4328

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Brig

#33

in Switzerland

#4,328

Overall
1 Views Last Month
15 Since Jul 5, 2022
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Photos

Decent views of the debris covered end of the glacier.
Jul 5, 2022 near Fiesch, CH
Heading down to Reideralp
Jul 5, 2022 near Naters, CH
Villa Cassel - tea room, self-guided tour, basement glacier museum.
Jul 5, 2022 near Naters, CH
Old stone road just below the ridge.
Jul 5, 2022 near Naters, CH
Green pastures and scattered huts high on the hillside.
Jul 5, 2022 near Naters, CH
Red and white paint mark the trail along rock domes scraped by the glacier.
Jul 5, 2022 near Fiesch, CH

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