High Alpine Lakes

July 12, 2014

Alpine lakes are fascinating. Big lakes in alpine valleys are beautiful and easy accessible while smaller lakes at higher altitudes are real gems and usually not easy to reach. After a long hiking trip you get rewarded by a blue, turquoise or green pearl, reflecting the surrounding mountains.

There are different types of lakes. Although most high alpine lakes consist of melting water, some have a permanent stream feeding them and some are just the rest of a melted snow patch, disappearing in the course of summer. Glacier surface lakes are very special as they might disappear from one day to the other – the moving glacier ice simply opens natural drains, and the lake is gone. This special introduces a few very nice, little lakes.



Iffigsee, located in the Bernese Alps near the village of Lenk at 2’065m altitude. If you climb the mountain Wildhorn or visit the alpine hut Wildhornhütte, you will be passing the lake. How to get there: route information wanderland.ch


Wildsee Pizol

Wildsee Pizol is to be found in the Canton of St. Gallen, Heidiland region, north of the village Sargans at 2’438m altitude. It’s part of the 5-lakes-hike. More information at pizol.com


Illhorn Illsee Lac Noir

Illsee and Lac Noir, Canton Valais, 5 km south-east of Sierre, 2’360m altitude. It’s part of a hydro-power system. Hiking information on myswitzerland.com


Blue Lacs de Fenetre and Val Ferret Great Vista

Lacs de Fenêtre, Canton Valais, between Grand St Bernhard and Mont Blanc Massif, accessible from the Pass Grand Saint-Bernard, 2’512m altitude. In summer, the three lakes invite for a bath. Route information on switzerland-hiking.ch


Chaltwasserpass green lake Monte Leone

Meltwater lake Chaltwasserpass, Monte Leone, east of Simplonpass, 2’756m altitude. You pass this lake when hiking to the Monte Leone Hut SAC. The swiss term “Chaltwasser” means “cold water” – you have to decide by yourself whether you take a swim or not… Hiking information on cas-sommartel.ch


Bergsee Lej Verd

Lej Verd, Canton Grisons, 7 km west of Bever beneath Piz Ot, 2’652m altitude. The color of this group of lakes is just amazing. Visit information on tourensuche.eu


Gletschersee Aletschgletscher Fels

Glacier lake near Märjelen, Canton Valais, north of Eggishorn, 2’266m altitude. This very special lake is coming and going. The massive ice of Grosser Aletschgletscher holds back the water from a small stream and builds the lake between rock and ice. Don’t wonder when you visit the place and the lake is gone. It was drained by some crevasse or ice crack but will return. Best to reach by a 2 hrs hike from Fiescheralp cable car top station, accessible via Fiesch. More information on myswitzerland.com

These and many more lakes are waiting for you. Start your hike now!

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