Oeschinensee: Panorama hike + photo spots you don’t want to miss

This hiking guide will show you exactly how to hike the Panorama hike at Oeshinensee Lake. I’ll also let you in on the best photo spots along the way!

Highlights: Why do the Oeschinensee hike?

The Oeschinensee hike if fairly easy going and has jaw dropping views of one of Switzerland’s bluest alpine lakes. Make sure you don’t miss out on the Panorama hike detour (via Oberbargli) for views that are out of this world! You can skip ahead to discover where to take an amazing waterfall photo and the famous panorama photo.

Quick facts Oeschinensee (Lake Oeschinen)

  • Duration hike: 20 minute (one way) to the lake’s edge of you take the gondola up 
  • Duration Panorama hike: an additional 3 hours (for the entire loop)
  • Gondola departs from: valley station Kandersteg
  • Hike starts at: Oeschinensee gondola station
  • Gondola ticket price: 30 CHF return/22 CHF single 
  • Parking costs: 8 CHF (full day until midnight)

Getting to the start of the Oeschinensee hike

Option 1: Take the gondola from Kandersteg

What many people don’t realise is that most hikes in Switzerland start with a gondola ride. Only after that does the hike start. For the Oeschinensee hike the gondola departs from valley station Kandersteg. 

Option 2: Hike up (and save money)

If you’d like to save money you can hike up instead. It’s a pretty steep climb so add about 1,5 hours extra for your ascent, depending on your level of fitness. This trail is right below the gondola, so it’s not the most scenic hike. 

Part 1: Start hiking to the shore of the Oeschinensee

At the first intersection after the top of the gondola I recommend you take the right turn. This will lead you right to the lake’s edge. The road to the lake’s waterfront is either paved or loose gravel. To give you an idea, it’s accessible for cars to stock the restaurant. This means the road is wide an not very steep. I would say a (fit) grandparent would be able to do this hike. Don’t worry though, the hike gets more interesting when you continue past the restaurant!

If you take a left at the first intersection instead of a right, you will follow the Panorama trail which is higher up and overlooks the view. I’d recommend saving this best part for last though! 

Part 2: The Oeschinen Lake itself: keep walking for better scenery

This first part of the hike right at the water’s edge is pretty built up with a restaurant and hut. You can also rent a boat here and we saw some locals fishing. To discover the real beauty of the lake you need to keep walking, to get away from the buildings and people.

Photo spot 1: Waterfall photo at Lake Oeschinen

On the north side of the lake where the path starts going up and getting further away from the lake’s edge, don’t follow the trail but continue along the water’s edge. This is roughly at the following coordinates: 46.502129, 7.718978. You should be able to see the waterfall. It’s a bit of a scramble to get there, but it’s completely deserted and you’ll have the place to yourself!

Secret photo spot of waterfall next to the blue water of Oeshinensee
Photo spot #1

Part 3: The Panorama trail via Oberbärgli

If you’d like the more adventurous version of the Oeschinensee, continue on to do the Panorama hike. This trail follows the lake and then climbs to Oberbargli. This is the steepest part of the trail, but the views make it all worth while! At the mountain hut at Oberbärgli you can have a short break and order food and drinks. 

After this hut, take a left to enjoy the lake views from a higher perspective. The path will take you back to the start of the Panorama hike and gondola. On the way you will come across the famous photo spot as mentioned below.

Mountain hut at Oberbärgli along the Panorama hiking trail
Mountain hut at Oberbärgli along the Panorama trail.

Photo spot 2: Famous photo spot of Lake Oeschinen

Between Oberbargli and the gondola you will run into the famous photo spot overlooking Lake Oeschinen. 

Famous instagram photo spot along the Panorama trail at Lake Oeshinen
Photo spot #2: The famous Instagram photo spot along the Panorama trail at Oeshinensee.

Camping not permitted at Oeschinensee

There are many signs around the lake pointing out that an overnight stay is forbidden. 

Sign showing that camping at Oeshinensee is prohibited
Camping at Oeshinensee is prohibited.

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