Lötchental Höhenweg - Goppenstein to Fafleralp
A long but glorious high level route above the Lötschental valley.
The Lötschental valley from Faldumalp on the Lötschentaler Höhenweg:
This is a Höhenweg walk with many variations. The complete Höhenweg climbs from Goppenstein station up to Faldumalp and then meanders along the high-level path to Fafleralp at the top of the Lötschental valley. A much easier variation would be to take the Post Bus
from Goppenstein and the cable car from Wiler, up to the Lauchernalp and then walk up the Höhenweg to Fafleralp.
The climb from Goppenstein station is a steep zigzag path passing largely through forest with occasional patches of meadow. After nearly 2 hours you emerge onto the rough road track that provides access to the small village of Faldumalp; it is another 15 minutes to the village with its tiny church perched on the edge of the alp, 800m above Goppenstein. The views all the way up the Lötschental valley with its background of majestic mountains, dominated by Bietschhorn, are well worth the climb.
From here, the path traverses the alp passing through a number of small villages, never gaining or losing much height. There are many opportunities for eyes to follow the bubbling alpine streams up to their snow-capped mountain sources. Restialp is the first hamlet, followed by Kummenalp and Hockenalp, all of which have small restaurants. Restialp has a steep zigzag path down to Ferden; from Kummenalp there are paths up to the Lötschenpasshütte and down into Ferden. Passing through Hockenalp (with a route down to Kippel) you come to the largest village by far; Lauchernalp is a large community at the top of the cable car that takes you back down to the valley at Wiler. It is a very popular skiing destination in winter and the village has a number of restaurants and an ever expanding number of chalets. If you are continuing on the Höhenweg, do not follow signs for the cable car or you will have to lose and gain at least 100m. There is a restaurant on the higher path if you need refreshments.
The next section takes about 90 minutes passing through Biel (with a steep path down to Wiler via Fischbiel) and finally loses about 100m as you drop down to the small restaurant at Tellialp. This section probably has the best display of alpine flowers and butterflies - the large red lilies are particularly dramatic; also watch out for small lizards if it is a hot day. If you don't need the services of the restaurant, at least pause a while at the bridge over the raging stream. There is yet another steep zigzag path from Tellialp down to the valley at Blatten.
It is about another 75 minutes from Tellialp to Fafleralp, passing by Schwarzseeli (also signed Schwarzsee), about 45 minutes before Fafleralp. Sometimes there are huge tents set up here for groups and the lake itself is a favourite paddling, swimming and picnic spot. Fafleralp is a fairly large community with a hotel, several restaurants and a huge car park! This is the end of the road from where the Postbus will take you back down the Lötschental valley to Goppenstein. From here, over a cold beer, you can look up towards the Langgletscher glacier at the end of the valley, through a carpet of alpine flowers and contemplate the path up to the glacier and on to Anenhütte.
The distances along the Lötschental Höhenweg are approximately:
* Goppenstein up to Faldumalp is not much more than 2km (but 800m vertical!) - 2 - 2 1/2 hours
* Faldumalp around to Lauchernalp is about 7km - around 3 hours including time for lunch
* Lauchernalp to Fafleralp is about a further 10km - 2 1/2 - 3 hours allowing for stops
|| Goppenstein Station
|| Wanderweg sign
|| Join the road track
|| 10 mins rest
|| 10 mins rest
|| Trockene Stiege
|| 25 mins lunch
|| Lauchernalp Stafel
|| 10 mins beer
|| Sign to Blauseeli
|| Fafleralp car park & bus stop
|| Bus at 17:18 (2011)