Lake Oeschinen

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6 Highlights at Lake Oeschinen

  • Lake Oeschinen is a natural glacial lake fed by several streams of glacial meltwater.
  • It is located at an altitude of 1578 m above sea level above Kandersteg in the Bernese Alps.
  • You can reach Lake Oeschinen from Kandersteg via cable car and a 30-minute walk from the top station.
  • The toboggan run at Oeschinensee is near the top station.
  • In winter, you can sled from the mountain station to Lake Oeschinen.
  • Easy to difficult hikes lead to or from the lake.

For a family outing, Lake Oeschinen is a popular destination, especially in summer. Swimming is allowed in the lake. It reaches up to 20 °C, but is generally rather a cold lake. Around the lake you will find barbecue sites, which everyone can use for free. Firewood is available in the surrounding restaurants. Benches invite you to enjoy the view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Oeschinenseeder tiefblaue See (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)
Oeschinensee PicknickPicknick am See (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, David Birri)

Oeschinensee Hike

At Lake Oeschinen you will find very easy hiking trails for walks as well as challenging mountain tours. Unfortunately, a direct circumnavigation of the lake on foot is not possible.

Below are nine of the most popular tours from easy to moderately difficult:

route length (km) time (hr) difficulty meters of altitude↑ meters of altitude↓
Berghotel - Waterfall "Bärglifall" at Lake Oeschinen - Berghotel 3.26 1:15 easy 70 70
Via forest path - Oeschinensee - mountain station 4.21 1:30 medium 550 70
roundtrip above Oeschinensee - Heuberg - mountain alp "Obere Öschibärgli" - Blümlisalp -Bergbeizli Oberbärgli 6.17 2:45 medium 410 420
Beizentour am Oeschinensee - Restaurant Bergstübli - Oberbärgli - Sennhütte- Berghaus Oeschinensee - Restaurant Bergstübli 9.00 3:30 medium 470 470
Route 1: Kandersteg - mountain station via Huble 2.68 1:30 medium 470 -
route 2: Kandersteg - Lake Oeschinen via Grüenewald 3.36 1:18 medium 390 10
Route 3: Kandersteg - mountain station via forest road 3.38 1:18 medium 500 30
route 4: mountain station - Oeschinensee; direct route 1.57 0:30 easy 90 -
route 5: mountain station - Oeschinensee via Läger 1.39 0:23 easy 10 50

There are a large number of hiking trails at Lake Oeschinen. They range from easy and leisurely hikes to challenging trekking tours. Nine barbecue sites around the lake alone allow you to take leisurely breaks from hiking. You can get wood at the kiosk in front of the mountain hotel.

Oeschinensee WandernWanderung zum Oeschinensee (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)
Oeschinensee WandernWandern Rastplatz (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, David Birri)

Oeschinensee toboggan run

The toboggan run Oeschinensee starts near the mountain station Oeschinen. Over a length of 750 meters, the summer toboggan run rapidly climbs about 150 meters in altitude. It is open from May to October. The popular toboggan run at Oeschinensee is opened daily in dry weather.

You'll be pulled up by toboggan at the beginning, which is designed for 1-2 people. Once at the top, the ride begins. Comfortable or fast, just as you like it. You will pass four big and some very tight curves. When you reach the bottom of the conveyor belt, you can let yourself be pulled up again. During the ride you can enjoy the wonderful mountain aroma. The toboggan run can be used by children from 8 years of age alone, children from 3 years of age already with an accompanying person (from 8 years of age). By the way, filming and selfie photos are not allowed during the ride.

Oeschinensee RodelbahnRodelbahn (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, David Birri)
Oeschinensee RodelbahnRodelbahn (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)

Other activities at Lake Oeschinen

At Lake Oeschinen, hiking and riding the Oeschinensee toboggan run are the most popular activities. But there are many more possibilities.

In summer, boat trips and of course swimming are very popular, especially on hot days. In winter there is a nice toboggan run. And as soon as Lake Oeschinen is frozen really solid, you can skate on it with your own skates.

Swimming and boating at Lake Oeschinen

Lake Oeschinen is a mountain lake fed by glacial streams. It is therefore rather cool. In summer, however, Lake Oeschinen reaches bathing temperatures of around 20°C. The clean water is up to 50 m deep.

On the southern and western shores of the lake there are simple bathing spots with gravel beaches. Infrastructure like changing rooms etc. does not exist.

The Berghaus on Lake Oeschinen rents out rowing and fishing boats from mid-May to the end of October. You can also buy fishing licenses there.

Oeschinensee GrillierenGrillieren (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, Robert Boesch)
Oeschinensee RudernRudern (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, Robert Boesch)

Sledding at Lake Oeschinen

In winter you can sled down from the mountain station to Lake Oeschinen.

Snowshoeing and winter hiking at Lake Oeschinen

The paths from Kandersteg to the top are not accessible in winter. Since the cable car is also in operation in winter, your best bet is to hike to Lake Oeschinen.

Ice skating over the Oeschinen lake

In winter, Lake Oeschinen is usually completely covered with ice and snow and can be walked on. This condition is called "Seegfrörni". On these days you are also allowed to skate here with your own skates.

OeschinenseeOeschinensee (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)
OeschinenseeOeschinensee (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)

Oeschinensee cable car

From Kandersteg there is a cable car to the mountain station Oeschinen. From here you hike comfortably for about 30 min to the Oeschinensee.

** Offer at Swiss Activities:**

For people with walking difficulties there is an E-Shuttle in summer. The E-Shuttle runs from mid-May to the end of October. The E-Shuttle runs every half hour (or when it is full). It is reserved for people with walking disabilities. If there is room, everyone can ride (for a fee). However, no seats are guaranteed. Therefore, these tickets cannot be booked in advance.

Valais Adventure Card

With the Erlebniscard Wallis you can travel very flexibly on 2, 3 or 5 days per month of your choice. It is not only valid in Valais, but also in the vacation regions of Andermatt, Bernese Oberland and Disentis-Sedrun. The mountain railroad between Kandersteg and Oeschinen is also included.

Overview cable car and shuttle to Lake Oeschinen

Train type Start station End station Trip time Operating time
8-seater gondola Kandersteg valley station Oeschinen mountain station 5 min Mid May to end of October and mid December to mid March
Shuttle Mountain station Oeschinen Lake Oeschinen 15 min Mid May to end of October
Oeschinensee BahnOeschinensee Bahn (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)
Oeschinensee ShuttleShuttle zum Oeschinensee (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch)

Mountain restaurants and hotels at Lake Oeschinen

On the lakeshore below the hotel there is a fireplace for barbecuing. Around the lake you will find at least eight other barbecue sites.

Berghotel Oeschinensee

The Berghotel Oeschinensee has a self-service restaurant and is located directly on the lake. On offer are lamb specialties from the hotel's own organic farm and homemade spaetzli dishes.

Bergstübli by Berghotel Oeschinensee

You will find the Bergstübli directly at the Oeschinen mountain station. In summer it is run as a kiosk, in winter as a self-service restaurant. In addition to snacks, you can also get homemade Oeschi glacé here.

Alphüsi

Alphüsi are two food trucks located on the Oeschi Piazza directly in front of the Berghotel. Here you can get snacks like nut croissants, pretzels, hot dogs and garlic bread.

Oeschinensee Wandern RastRast am Oeschinensee (Foto: Oeschinensee.ch, David Birri)
Oeschinensee WanderungWanderung (Foto: Seraina Zellweger)

Berghaus Arva

Regional, seasonal home cooking is what you get here. The terrace offers a stunning view of Lake Oeschinen and Blüemlisalp.

To the Sennhütte

The Sennhütte is only open in summer. It is located above Lake Oeschinen. The home-style cooking is Swiss home cooking.

Bärgbeizli Underbärgli

The Bärgbeizli also only opens in summer. You can tell from a distance if it's open by the raised flag. From the mountain station Oeschinen you hike here in 1-1.5 hours.

How do you get to Lake Oeschinen?

You can reach Lake Oeschinen with the 8-seater cable car from Kandersteg. At the bottom station of the cable car there are parking spaces available for a fee.

by car

By car you need less than one hour from Bern via the A6 to Kandersteg. The onward journey to Lake Oeschinen is not possible by car.

by public transport

The journey to Kandersteg is by BLS via Thun or Spiez. From Kandersteg train station you need 15 min to walk to the valley station of the Oeschinensee cable car. With the local bus it takes 8 min.