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Themed trail: Great Aletsch Glacier through the Ages

Nature Trails · Aletsch Arena · closed
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  • Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    / Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    Photo: Aletsch Arena AG
  • / Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    Photo: Aletsch Arena AG
  • / Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    Photo: Aletsch Arena AG
  • / Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    Photo: Aletsch Arena AG
  • / Themenweg Grosser Aletschgletscher im Wandel der Zeit
    Photo: Aletsch Arena AG
m 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 6 5 4 3 2 1 km Bar-Buvette Moosfluh Aletsch Arena … Riederalp

How has the glacier changed since the last ice age? Four information boards along the trail link some enjoyable hiking with interesting facts about the gigantic ice flow.

6.2 km
2:15 h
383 m
383 m
Martin Nellen has been a mountain guide for 40 years. He has wanted to tell the story of the Great Aletsch Glacier for a long time, and this has now come about in the form of a themed trail, with the help of Dr. Hanspeter Holzhauser, a geographer and glacier researcher. Dr. Hanspeter Holzhauser created the concept and is the author of the texts, photos and graphics. The four information boards are born out of his many years of research.

From Riederalp Mitte, head eastwards to the Gletscherbahn Moosfluh valley station. The cable car takes you to the starting point of the hike at the Moosfluh View Point. From there follow the road east via Biel down to the Chatzulecher lakes. Four information boards along the path present fascinating facts about the Great Aletsch Glacier: they tell you about the changes in the Great Aletsch Glacier since the last ice age (Würm glaciation) and show how the history of the ice giant can be reconstructed. 

  • The first information board (Moosfluh, 2,333m above sea level) shows the extent of the Great Aletsch Glacier during the last ice age.
  • The second information board (Biel, 2,280m above sea level) documents the end of the ice age: it depicts the moraine wall as it looked 11,700 years ago.
  • The third information board is located near the Young Drift Moraine (2,130m above sea level). It shows the glacier in about 1860.
  • The fourth information board is 70 altitude metres above the glacier (2,000m above sea level) and explains how it is possible to reconstruct the history of the Great Aletsch Glacier.

Author’s recommendation

If you have any questions about the history of the Great Aletsch Glacier, contact Dr Hanspeter Holzhauser.

Want to get even closer to the glacier? Go on a UNESCO Glacier Tour with Martin Nellen! User
Aletsch Arena AG
Updated: December 03, 2019

Highest point
2333 m
Lowest point
1950 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Gondola bar Moosfluh

Safety information

Summer sports report

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Aletsch Arena AG accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on «Print» icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.


We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)  

Tips, hints and links

Aletsch Arena AG
Furkastrasse 39
CH-3983 Mörel-Filet
+41 27 928 58 58 


Riederalp Mitte (2333 m)
46.395953, 8.048110
32T 426820 5138482


Riederalp Mitte

Turn-by-turn directions

Riederalp Mitte – Moosfluh – Biel – Chatzulechern – Biel – Moosfluh – Riederalp Mitte


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public transport friendly

By train from Brig or Oberwald to Mörel-Filet, then on foot to the Riederalp cable car (Aletsch Bahnen AG). Take the cable car up to Riederalp.

Getting there

Take Kantonsstrasse 19 to the Mörel-Filet exit, then follow signs for the parking facilities. Proceed on foot to the Riederalp cable car (Aletsch Bahnen AG), which takes you up to Riederalp.


  • Limited parking spaces (charges apply) at Mörel-Filet station. Further parking options are signposted.
  • Large pay multi-storey car parks at the entrance to Mörel-Filet and in the village centre.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Get a free panoramic map at the cable car stations and info centres of the Aletsch Arena. 

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1269 Aletschgletscher

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Photos of others

6.2 km
383 m
383 m
Public transport friendly Refreshment stops available Loop Cultural/historical value Geological highlights


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