Switzerland is one of the best places in the world in autumn. We are lucky to be surrounded by mountains covered in a patchwork quilt of fiery reds and golden yellows, mirrored in serene lakes. It’s also easy to find and participate in outdoor activities that will let you take in the glory of fall.
In this article, we’ll share with you the best autumn hikes in Switzerland and some of our favorites. Each trail is sure to show you the vibrant autumn colors of fall set against dramatic landscapes.
Photo by: Pascal Debrunner
Highlights: The Via Engiadina is a classic high-altitude trail from the Upper to the Lower Engadine. This 160-kilometer long-distance hiking trail takes you through typical Engadine villages, fragrant pine and larch woods, pristine streams, and verdant alpine fields. The breathtaking scenery includes the radiant glaciers of the Bernina group and the Engadine Dolomites within the Swiss National Park.
Beginning at the Maloja pass, where the Inn River originates, you’ll encounter picturesque landscapes like Grevasalvas, Silvaplana, St. Moritz, and Upper Engadine villages like Bever, S-chanf, and Zuoz. Explore beautiful valleys like Val Lavinuoz, Val Tuoi, and Val Sinestra, each with unique features.
Start/ End Location: Maloja – Vinadi
Ascent/ Descent: 7800m/ 8500m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-87
Along the Doubs River
Highlights: This four-day hike follows the trail along the unspoilt River Doubs. It passes through impressive landmarks such as Saut de Doubs, the Échelles de la Mort, La Goule, the French-Swiss border village of Goumois, Soubey with the final destination at the medieval town of St-Ursanne.
Start/ End Location: Les Brenets – St-Ursanne
Ascent/ Descent: 1550m/ 1950m
More info: https://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/wanderland/route95
Bern-Mittelland Circular Hiking Trail
Highlights: This circular trail is in the municipality of Rüeggisberg which is best known for its monastery ruins. It was here that the pilgrims on the Way of St. James could spend the night and get food. After the Reformation the monastery was closed. This scenic hiking route will take you to the Tavel memorial site, through forests, and across pastures to the Bütschelegg panoramic mountain.
Start/ End Location: Bütschel, Gschneit – Bütschel/Gschneit
Ascent/ Descent: 345m/ 345m
More info: https://www.outdooractive.com/de/route/wanderung/bern-mittelland/auf-die-buetschelegg/15576189/
Highlights: Over the hills of the Aargau Jura Park to Aarau, this trail traverses through expansive woodlands, and open fields, and encounters numerous observation points that provide breathtaking vistas encompassing the Mittelland region, the Alpine mountain range, and extending as far as Germany.
Start/ End Location: Wittnau – Aarau
Ascent/ Descent: 880m/ 900m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/de/wanderland/route-42/etappe-2
Valle di Lodano
Highlights: From the center of Lodano in the Maggia valley, this scenic hiking trail winds through the enchanting giant chestnut forests, to serene beech woodlands. As you approach Castello, a picturesque riverside forest teems with alders, poplars, and willows. In this hike, you’ll encounter the valley’s most magnificent and awe-inspiring beech trees. These magnificent trees are around 150 to 200 years old.
Start/ End Location: Lodano – Lodano
Ascent/ Descent: 887m/
More info: https://www.outdooractive.com/en/route/long-distance-hiking/ascona-locarno/lodano-solada-castell-lodano/21773573/
Croix de Culet over the Col de Cou pass to Champéry
Highlights: ‘Varied walk starting with panoramic cable car ride, magnificent views, excellent bird-spotting on one of main migration routes across the Alps Working alpine cheese farms, welcoming restaurants, delightful Barme plateau’.
Start/ End Location: Croix de Culet – Champéry village
Ascent/ Descent: 388m/ 1288m
More info: https://www.valais.ch/en/touren/hiking/hikes/from-croix-de-culet-over-the-col-de-cou-pass-to-champery
Evolène to Arolla via Lac Bleu
Highlights: The hike starts from the traditional village of Evolène with its well-preserved stone and wooden houses. Equally untouched are the views all throughout the trail. It winds through lush meadows with rich flora, across forests, and at the foot of gleaming glacier giants and rocky peaks in the Val d’Arolla, you’ll be enchanted by the sparkling blue Lac Bleu along the way.
Start/ End Location: Evolène – Arolla
Ascent/ Descent: 1500m/ 880m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-6/stage-26
Autour Mont Gond
Highlights: How about hiking in the midst of the oldest larch trees in Europe? The forests of Valais in the Balavaux pasturelands are home to over 250 of these larch trees spanning from 300 years to 1,000 years old! This hike features the most beautiful sights of Nendaz. Upon descent, witness the magnificent Japanese garden in all its natural arrangement.
Start/ End Location: Nendaz, Tracouet – Siviez
Ascent/ Descent: 640m/ 1100m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-223
Binntal – Schapplersee Weg
Highlights: A challenging yet rewarding hike through the picturesque Binntal landscape park to reach the enchanting Schaplersee Lake. The journey commences below Fäld, navigating a demanding zigzag ascent through Nackewald forest. Binntal, renowned for its unspoiled nature and mineral treasures, adds allure to the trail. The Hockbode plateau at 2100 meters reveals a breathtaking summit panorama, showcasing peaks like Bättlihorn and Grosses Fülhorn.
Start/ End Location: Fäld – Binn
Ascent/ Descent: 740m/ 860m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-192
Holzegg – Zwäcken – Furggelenstock – Brunni
Highlights: The Mythen mountain, an iconic landmark in Switzerland, has inspired literary greats such as Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, and Inglin. This hiking trail is best if you prefer a less crowded option. There is definitely no less in the continuous array of captivating and unexpected vistas, all the while being accompanied by the majestic rock pyramids of the Mythen.
Start/ End Location: Holzegg – Brunni
Ascent/ Descent: 336m/ 649m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/snowshoe-trekking/route-818
Lugano-Paradiso – Morcote
Highlights: A classic hike that can be enjoyed by the whole family. along Starting from Monte Salvatore to Vico Morcote passing through cosy villages, , pretty woodlands and an abundance of gorgeous views.
Start/ End Location: Lugano-Paradiso – Morcote
Ascent/ Descent: 840m/ 880m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-52/stage-7
Weesen – Quinten
Highlights: The subtropical climate in this area makes this hike possible almost all year round. However, it is extra special in autumn when the palm trees and everything else are in full bloom. Regarded as the Eastern Swiss Riviera, the trail offers great lake views, beautiful restaurant terraces, traditional houses, and a chance for a boat trip or swimming. You can take the boat back to Walenstadt after your hike.
Start/ End Location: Walenstadt – Quinten
Ascent/ Descent: 560m/ 560m
More info: https://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/route-934
There are lots of hiking trails that are amazing in autumn so it’s also worth checking the areas nearest to you. Make sure to plan your hike in advance and especially to check the weather before heading out. Also, here are other helpful tips to help you plan your hike.
If you need further help, Touring Monkeys organises day and multi-day hikes as well as private bespoke tours for individuals, groups, and companies. We’ll take you to the best locations in Switzerland hassle-free!