A pass that feels so rough, untouched yet amazingly beautiful and an area you simply cannot miss. No matter your intention whether it be a family friendly hike around the Lake Sanetsch, relaxing in the natural environment or simply just planning a drive up to Lake Sanetsch in Valais for the view, please put Sanetsch Pass and the beautiful Lake Sanetsch on your Valais itinerary list.
For some reason the map is not recognising the road after point B. When you arrive there just follow the sign up to Sanetsch, there is no way you can get lost. The road will eventually stop and if you don't you will fall all the way down the mountain to the Canton of Bern 🙂
Beautiful Valais Mountain Road up to Lake Sanetsch
A beautiful drive from Sion – capital of Valais - leads you through the Valaisan vineyards and up the mountains into a mesmerizing, beautiful landscape where your mouth will open wider and wider the higher you drive. Massive mountains rise up on your right-hand side whilst the left side is opening up to the Tsanfleuron Glacier, a follow on of Glacier 3000. Several small tunnels carved through the rock will be on your route, and the question of where this road will lead you will surely be in your mind?
Let me tell you, it is the passage to a little paradise on earth, yet still so untouched and pretty unknown, but worth every metre as you climb up there.
As the windy road makes its way up the mountain, stop at a layby and look back!
Told you, wow, what a view, offering several of the Valais 4000ers on your left over to the Mont Blanc massive in France on your right. There are not many places where you can see the well-known Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc in one view. Enjoy it.
Reaching the Hight of the Sanetsch Pass
When you finally get to the top of the pass, a large stretched area opens up separating the massif of the Diablerets on the west from the mountain massif of the Wildhorn on the east whilst the sparkly Sanetsch Lake is shining in the middle.
As you reach the pass summit I always imagine the landscape to your right to resemble that of the moon, not that I have been there, but it could look like this.
The summit is quite large and firstly I suggest you drive it all the way to the other end of the lake, by the dam, to get a feel of it. You will then see the length of the lake which gives the choice of where you would like to park and start your hike or do whatever your plans hold.
At the beginning of the lake on your right the kids will recognise an area that looks just like Teletubbies land. A good area if your plan is to relax at the shore, have a picnic, try your stone throwing skills and simply be together as a family. You can park at any layby next to the road and make your way down through Teletubbies land to the shore.
Cable Car to the Berneese Alps
If you drive to the end of the road, passing the dam wall and up the other side you will be greeted by the Bernese Alps. A completely different view, nevertheless stunning, just different, with lower mountains still covered to the top with trees. Your view stretches nearly to the famous Gstaad. A small cable car is bringing visitors up to the Sanetsch pass from Gsteig, a small town in the Bernese alps. A ride in the cable car would be another adventure but I kept this for another time.
The Auberge de Sanetsch also situated at the far end of the lake and offers accommodation and beautiful local dishes during the summer months. Visit the bell of the chapel near the Auberge as it was consecrated in Rome by Pope John Paul II and some pictures can be seen inside the tiny chapel. The whole place shuts down when the first snow falls as metres of snow cover the entire area.
You can also park your car here and start your walk along the left-hand side of the lake. It is a small goat path going slightly up and down. When you get to the wooden bridge you will be at the Teletubbies land area. Have a rest, let the kids play around before you walk back along the road to your car.
Getting to Lake Sanetsch :: Valais
Car: From Sion head in the direction of Chandolin, where it is then sign posted Col Du Sanetsch. Follow the signs all the way to the pass. It is a 26km climb with many hairpins at the end so count a good 45 min from Sion.
Public transport: You can take the Post Bus from Sion station all the way to the Barrage. It will take you 2h. There are only 2 busses a day, so make sure you plan your trip. Bus Time table
TIPS for Lake Sanetsch
If the family does not feel like hiking but is totally up for a relaxing family friendly place, well this is it. Play at the shore and head over to the Bernese Alps view point later to get a different feel of the place. The environment up at the Sanetsch Pass is so calm that you will be going home totally relaxed.
Travel Advice For Lake Sanetsch
As always have some warm jackets and a sun hat with you.
FACTS about Lake Sanetsch:
Lac de Sanetsch -
Location:: Lake Sanetsch Pass
Length:: about 1h20 hike around the lake
Level:: easy hike
Highest point 2442m
Ascension 50m / Descent 50m
Good to know
- The hike around Lake Sanetsch is suitable for children as of 3.5 years old if they have some experience in hiking.
- The rocks on the west side of the lake are climbing rocks should anybody in your family be a climber.
- Not pushchair friendly.
- The Sanetsch-Gsteig aerial cableway operates between June and October.
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