Theme trail

Larch Trail (Nr. 28)

The Larch Trail leads across alpine pastures, along sparse forest that is home to numerous gnarled and ancient Swiss stone pine trees and tall larches. The theme trail is devoted to the nutcracker, an emblematic local bird species.

360° Panorama
  • Type Theme trail
  • Difficulty medium
  • Duration 1,40 h
  • Distance 4,4 km
  • Ascent 62 m
  • Descent 773 m
  • Lowest point 1864 m
  • Highest point 2579 m


In autumn, this hike promises a very special experience. The larch needles change colour from green to yellow and then rust-red. Here, it’s easy to understand why walkers talk so enthusiastically about golden autumn walks. In winter, the trees are bare.

For centuries, local people hunted nutcrackers. These birds were considered pests: because their diet consists mainly of pine seeds, it was thought they prevented regeneration of the forest and hindered growth of new trees.

Only in the 1950s did scientists discover the secret of the nutcracker. On balance, these birds are of great benefit to the forest: the relatively heavy seeds of the Swiss stone pine are not dispersed by wind, as with other species of conifer, but through the activities of the nutcracker. Each bird gathers between 30,000 and 100,000 seeds a year, which it buries in the ground as a food supply. In winter, it has to dig up to 1 m deep in the snow to retrieve them. However, it does not find all the seeds again…

  • Larch wood is extensively used as a building material in Valais
  • Larches are resistant to vermin (because of high levels of resin)
  • Larches lose their needles in late autumn
  • Information panels in German, English, French, Japanese

Schwarzsee - Hermettje - Furi

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h 25)

This hike is marked on the signposts as “Lärchenweg”.

We recommend:

  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
Ideal trail for observing wild animals, especially chamois and nutcrackers.
  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes; do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
  • Take note of the warning signs drawing attention to the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs.

Map and arrival