Stage 16 – Lenk to Gstaad – Via Alpina 1


Leaving Lenk and cruising over the Trüttlisbergpass

This stage, and the remaining stages, could be more properly classified as “mountain walks” than “alpine hikes.” They’re more relaxing than demanding. More energizing than exhausting. Leaving Lenk is a straightforward ascent of the Trüttlisbergpass. The ascent can be done almost entirely by the Betelberg cable car from Lenk to Leiterli, leaving less than 100 vertical feet of elevation to gain the pass. Once at the pass—another broad grassy expanse—it’s a long, leisurely stroll along the Turbach River to Gstaad. One small highlight you won’t want to miss is the Tube, a small summit just north of the pass. It only requires 226 feet of vertical ascent, but it offers a big panoramic payout with views back to the Eiger and on to Les Diablerets.

Trülisbergpass Pass after Lenk
Ascending the Trülisbergpass. Photo by Sarah Clark.

Gstaad—Come up, slow down

You can’t help but fall in love with Gstaad. Prada, Louis Vuitton, cows and goats all get equal respect on the car-free Promenade shopping mile. Gstaad is ritzy, touristy, and authentically Alpine charming all at once. It’s true to its roots with 200 farms, 80 working Alpine pastures and around 7,000 cows. Strongly-rooted Alpine traditions are lived and breathed among locals and jet-set transplants alike. Be glad you’re here in summer when you’ll be able to see and smell the Alpine farm life in its peak season. You can expect to pay a bit more for everything in Gstaad from accommodations to groceries, so just accept that up front, relax and enjoy your few hours in heaven. 

Gstaad chalet
This Gstaad chalet gives a good idea of the delightful combination of Alpine culture and ritzy aura that Gstaad has to offer.


The Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) is common, but often overlooked because it’s rather small and close to the ground. It flowers from April to August in both meadows and stony soil up to 2800 meters.

Horseshoe Vetch
Horseshoe Vetch wildflower can be easy to spot among the lush, green alpine foliage.

Food Tips

You probably know by now that I love hard mountain cheeses—the sturdier the better. And in these parts, there is none better than Berner Hobelkäse, which means sliced or planed cheese from canton Bern. It’s a raw milk, semi-hard full-fat cow milk cheese that’s normally aged about 2 years. It’s then served shaved, cut with a table-mounted plane-like device. The producers specifically promote Berner Hobelkäse as being ideal for appetizers and hikers—so pack a wedge and off you go.   

Hobelkäse cathedral – a trove of cheeses to satisfy your taste.

Join us on the Via Alpina next summer on either of two exciting tours, the Via Alpina or Bernese Oberland Traverse.

Up Next

Via Alpina Stage 17 – Gstaad to L’Etivaz

Previous Stages

Stage 15 – Adelboden to Lenk – Via Alpina 1

Stage 14 – Kandersteg to Adelboden – Via Alpina 1


Greg Witt
Latest posts by Greg Witt (see all)

4 Replies to “Stage 16 – Lenk to Gstaad – Via Alpina 1”

  1. Tom Dunne says:

    How long is the walk from Leiterli to Lauenen or Gsteig? Are we better walking to Gstaad and busing back to Lauenen? My wife and I are super senior hikers and would appreciate any tips. Thanks

  2. marianne says:

    Gives me goosebumps every time I see Gstaad my home town from a long time ago.
    I visit every time I return to this fabulous country of ours.
    It gives me great pleasure this blogs of yours , great idea.
    Specially in the Berner Oberland. Don’t forget to mention the MOB Golden Pass
    Best regards

    • alpenwild says:

      Yes, it never ceases to amaze us, Gstaad is like a dream come true. How wonderful that you are from there.
      Thank you, we are glad you enjoy the blog. Please feel free to share it with your friends and family.
      Yes! The Golden Pass line is an incredible opportunity! We should do a post on that. Thank you for the recommendation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest Alpenwild news. You're free to opt out at any time.