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    Massa Gorge from Blatten b. Naters to Ried-Mörel

    Blatten b. Naters - Massa River - Ried-Mörel

    Massa Gorge from Blatten b. Naters to Ried-Mörel

    Blatten b. Naters - Massa River - Ried-Mörel

    This popular hiking trail from the typical Valais mountain village of Blatten into the Massa Gorge at the foot of the Aletsch Glacier in Canton Valais is also suitable for families with children provided caution is exercised in the areas where the trail winds along the steep gorge cliffs.

    Before starting the hike at Blatten, a quick trip through the quaint little old town with its original Valais-style dark wood beam homes is a definite MUST! This quaint little nostalgic core nestled among the typical modern structures of a ski village boasts cobblestone pathways, a tiny church, and lovingly maintained and decorated homes.

    A short walk up the road north-eastward brings us to a stream and a wooden bridge, and from there it is steady uphill through a peaceful forest along stony cliff walls for about 20 minutes to the highest point of the tour. From here it is downhill all the way to the steel bridge over the Massa River, just below the hydro-electric dam. (Caution on the descent is advised especially when wet, as the path is covered with lots of roots).

    After a long level stretch of wide trail with views South along the gorge, we reach the vertigo-inducing part of the tour along the steep cliff walls on the left and the drop into the gorge on the right. The trail is still wide enough to not prove dangerous, and there are cables and hand rails along the way.

    This trail was originally the site of one of the many irrigation channels in the Valais called Bisses (French) or Suonen (German) which were dangerously and painstakingly carved out of or mounted onto the steep cliffs by the local farmers hundreds of years ago in order to bring the water down from the mountains to the farms in this relatively low-precipitation area. Some of the original iron mounts can still be seen in the cliff walls. In some places water still flows through some of these channels and is still used for irrigation.

    At the mouth of the Massa Gorge there is a clearing with fantastic views into the Rhone Valley, to the Alps in the South and to Brig below. This is a favourite lunch spot for hikers. From here the trail heads NorthEast for another 3 kilometers to the vacation village of Ried-Mörel, where you can catch the gondola cable car down to Mörel in the Rhone Valley, and from there the train to Brig or Andermatt.


    Published on 01.12.2015 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 08.10.2015
    Published on 01.12.2015 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 08.10.2015

    Route Details

    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Time Required
    2 hours 30 minutes
    8 km
    190 m
    317 m
    Season Start / Season End
    April - October
    Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
    Points of Interest
    Old village of Blatten bei Naters, Hydro-Electric Dam, Ancient Irrigation Channels, Narrow trail along the gorge.
    Starting Point
    Blatten bei Naters, Belalp Cable Car Station
    Starting Point with Public Transport
    Ried-Mörel, Cable Car Station
    Return with Public Transport
    Places to Eat
    Blatten bei Naters, Ried-Mörel
    Things to Note
    Children should be careful on the narrow trail along the gorge cliffs. There are cables and hand rails. Also, the forest trail on the Blatten side has lots of roots and can be slippery.

    Route Description

    00:00 Start of tour in Blatten bei Naters (check out the old village first!)

    00:10 At the bend of the road head to the river and cross the bridge.

    00:25 Maximum point of the hike is reached. Descent starts toward the Massa River.

    00:45 Cross the Massa River below the Hydro-Electric Dam.

    01:15 Start of narrow trail along steep cliff gorge walls.

    01:40 End of Gorge with view into the Rhone Valley. From here the trail goes level North-Eastward to Ried-Mörel.

    02:30 Ried-Mörel. From here catch the gondola car to the valley bottom, or walk down (430 altitude meters).





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