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    • Oeschinensee is one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve done in Switzerland. We hope the pictures and maps in this guide will help others discover this blue gem hidden in the Swiss Alps.

       The lake is about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) east of Kandersteg village at 1,578 meters above the sea level. It is named Oeschinen and “see” stands for the “lake.” We learned about it from our local Airbnb host.

      This scenic hike along the blue lake is hard to describe in words, so here is how I’d summarize it in a picture.

    • The hike starts at Kandersteg. It is a small, beautiful village filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels like this one.

    • Street parking is limited and reserved for restaurants and shops. There are plenty of parking lots close to the cable car, which is where we’d recommend parking.

    • There two ways to hike to the Oeschinensee:

      1. Ride on a cable car to the top (10 mins) then hike to the lake (25 mins). There is also a shuttle bus at the top if needed.

      2. Hike from the Kandersteg village directly to the lake along the creek, which takes about 1.5 hours.

      We parked right next to the cable car and got one-way tickets to the top ($22 each) and hike back down. Round trip tickets cost $30 per person. More info about tickets here.

    • The cable car ride up was smooth and scenic (less than 10 minutes) with views of the Kandersteg and the Oeschinensee valley below.

      At the top and to the left of the cable car station, there is an alpine slide. Unfortunately, it was closed for maintenance at that time, and we didn’t get to ride it. But it looked like a lot of fun, and I hope one day to come back there again. 

    • To the right side of the cable car stop is a restaurant with beautiful views of the mountains, but no views of the lake.

    • We decided to hike to the lake instead of taking a shuttle. It is an easy 25-minute walk from the cable car, mostly on flat gravel roads.

    • All trails are well marked and easy to follow. Bright yellow trail signs even show how long it takes to walk to each destination.

    • Wild raspberry bushes grew along the road, and there were plenty of raspberries in early September ready for us to pick.

    • We finally saw glimpses of the lake and a restaurant at the end of the road. That is also where the shuttle bus stops.

    • We decided to take a shortcut trail instead of sticking to the official hiking trails. It was steep and hard. Bad idea.

    • The official hiking trail is wide and mellow with views of the lake and waterfalls on the other side. We counted at least ten waterfalls flowing down the mountain in early September.

    • The trail continued up to the mountain peaks, but it was time for us to head back. This point marked 2.5 miles (4 km) from the cable car.