Hinterstockensee is really one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland hidden above in the mountains and surrounded by beautiful Swiss Alps peaks.

I always love the hikes where I am not  really expecting too much, but when I get there, I get blown away. Hinterstockensee is really breathtaking and is a perfect place for your weekend day trip.

Hinterstockensee
Hinterstockensee

In this article I am going to reveal you these things:

  1. How to get to the  starting point of Hinterstockensee hike.
  2. The whole hike (one more beautiful lake is included!).
  3. Hike statistics.
  4. Hinterstockensee hike map.
  5. How else to reach Hinterstockensee if you have no time to hike.
  6. What else to do in Hinterstockensee.

Ok, so let us dive in into the hike of this beautiful lake.

Short information about Hinterstockensee hike

  1. Hike duration: up to 3 hours
  2. Hike distance: 8.5 – 12 kilometres (it can vary a bit depending on what paths you choose, all will be explained in the article).
  3. Difficulty: moderate.
  4. Altitude difference: 642 meters Ascent, 642 Descent.
  5. Hiking path: mostly on the nature path and rocks.
  6. Hike is a loop.
  7. Stuff to have: at least 2 l of water, good hiking shoes, cap (in summer time), some food, some money (if you want to buy some food by the lake).

Where is Hinterstockensee?

Hinterstockensee is a lake above Erlenbach im Simmental village in the Canton of Bern, in the middle of Switzerland. The lake is sitting at an elevation of 1595 m, below Stockhorn (one of possible hiking destinations around the lake) and near Oberstockensee (another beautiful lake which you are going to visit during this hike).

A path to Hinterstockensee
A path to Hinterstockensee

The lake is reachable only by foot or by mountain gondola. You can get to lake via couple of mountain hiking paths witch goes through incredibly beautiful Swiss Alps nature, you are going to love it.

How to reach Hinterstockensee?

As mentioned before, you can not reach this lake by the car, so you must take a gondola ride or hike to it.

So where to start?

A path to Hinterstockensee
A path to Hinterstockensee

First of all, you should reach the little village called Erlenbach im Simmental. You can reach it by car or by bus.

Once you go up with your car, you will notice on the road that one street (which you are going to use to reach parking spot) – if you want to use it, you should pay 10 CHF. That money is used to maintain the road in a good condition. On the road you are going to see an old parking lot looking machine, where you have to put the money in and you will get a ticket.

Once you pass it, go higher and higher till you reach the parking lot on the left side of the road (parking lot is located right on the turn). You can not go with your car higher above, unless you live in these places, the road signs doesn’t allow to go higher.

I haven’t found an official address of that parking lot, but here are the coordinates just in cases (46°40’39.4″N 7°31’48.9″E).

The parking is free and from that place you can start your beautiful hike.

Hinterstockensee hike map

As you see in the map, hike is 8.5 kilometres, but it can become a bit longer if you choose some other paths on the road.

Highest point of the hike is right before Oberstockensee at 1798 meters. Later on you will have to go a bit down (to the lake), then up to Berggasthaus (a place to rest and get some drinks or lunch), then down to Hinterstockensee (from parking lot to Hinterstockensee is 4 kilometres).

Later on you will do a steep walk down till you reach a small settlement on the mountains and will take a turn back to the car.

The biggest part of the hike is on very nice paths, nature trails and some rocks. It is a pleasant and lovely hike.

Erlenbach im Simmental – Oberstockensee

Your first destination will be Oberstockensee which is sitting at 1,665 m elevation.

First leg of the hike to this lake is very easy and pleasant: some of the hike you will walk on the cars road which is used by locals, but not that many cars go there.

Bern surroundings
Bern surroundings

On the other side of your hiking path you are going to see more and more of amazing Swiss Alps, the whole palette of white peaks open up.

While you hike to Oberstockensee you will see multiple houses around the road where locals use them mostly as summer houses.

Path to Oberstockensee
Path to Oberstockensee

After 1 kilometer of hike you will get to meadow/nature path which leads to the viewing point of the lake. Once you reach it, you will see the whole lake and you will have to climb down to reach the lake.

Oberstockensee paths
Oberstockensee paths

In May we still experienced some snow, so it is really good to have good hiking shoes.

Oberstockensee
Oberstockensee

The lake is full of frogs and fish. There are multiple benches to sit around the lake and you can easily walk all around the lake (there is a very well maintained path).

Oberstockensee
Oberstockensee

This lake is a bit more isolated so there are now shops or restaurants next to it. I have found just this memorial and some bases of old houses.

Oberstockensee is a perfect location to sit and relax.

You should reach Oberstockensee in 20-40 minutes depending on your pace.

Oberstockensee – Hinterstockensee

Once you reach Oberstockensee, you can go on the left side of the lake around it till you reach the other end of it.

From there you should keep the direction of Hinterstockalp (strange, but in the yellow directions there is no lake mentioned, even though it is the most beautiful part of this place).

The hike now goes a bit into a nice forest on a nice narrow paths.

This time you will have to go up again (as you have to go down to reach Oberstockensee).

After about 20 minutes you will reach the Berggasthaus Oberstockenalp. It is a guest house where you can usually buy a snack or something to drink. They have a nice terrace, so it is a nice place to rest.

Hinterstockensee from the top
Hinterstockensee from the top

From Berggasthaus you can as well choose another hike direction (much more demanding as well) to Stockhorn. It is a mountain peak with a modern mountain station sitting at 2190 meters altitude – the views from the top are pretty wide and stunning. As well, you can reach Stockhorn by a gondola right from Hinterstockensee.

As this time we wanted to visit Hinterstockensee, we went down again from Berggasthaus as it was written on the signs that we should reach the lake in 20 minutes.

Once you go down, you are going to love the views which will open up. The lake is stunning. It has multiple paths going around it and leading to it, some small Swiss houses around and a huge mountain station on one end.

Hinterstockensee
Hinterstockensee

Hinterstockensee is a much more touristic place so it has a restaurant, a playground for children, a kiosk and not to mention the mountain station.

What is good: you can find public toilets by the lake as well.

In summer time it gets quite warm up there and you can spend the whole afternoon there sunbathing if you wish.

Hinterstockensee
Hinterstockensee

Once we reached our lake we had to choose: go back the same road to the car or do a loop and reach the car from the other side.

We have decided to do the loop.

Hinterstockensee – Erlenbach im Simmental

From Hinterstockensee, once you reach the mountain station, you can go straight down. That is a pretty steep part of the Hinterstockensee hike, so take it easy. You are going to climb down around 400 meters, but it is going to be pretty fast.

All the time, on the left side of you will be huge rocks, you may even see some rock climbers on them.

Later on the hike goes into the forest and finally you are going to reach a small settlement (it doesn’t have a separate name, at least I didn’t find it) with 5-7 wooden houses. There you can refill your bottles with fresh water and continue your hike.

A small Swiss settlement
A small Swiss settlement

DO NOT go straight down from this settlement, because you are going to reach Eschlen and you will get very low (much more to hike and reach the car). In this settlement take the turn to the right, cross the meadow, you will reach one more house, a small forest and a path which goes up in a meadow. That is  your direction.

After 15-20 minutes going on that path, you are going to reach the road again. This road leads to the road which we used to get to the parking lot.

Once you reach the road, you can hike the whole distance back to car on the road (that will be 5 kilometres) or cut some distance while going through some wild paths on mountain meadows (but I must warn that path signs are not very good there).

The hike back to the car is quite easy as you can go on the road, so no rocks, no very steep parts.

What else to do in Hinterstockensee?

There is quite a lot of other activities you can do up there:

  • Fishing
  • Bungee jumping
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice skating
  • Mountain biking
  • Trail running (I met one guy running there during my hike)
  • Eat fondue or raclette
  • Rock climbing
  • Explore caves
  • and much more

I would say that Hinterstockensee tourism part is very well developed and pretty much everyone can find something for themselves.

How to reach Hinterstockensee and Stockhorn?

As mentioned before, a gondola goes up to Hinterstockensee and Stockhorn.

The Stockhorn station is in Erlenbach im Simmental at this address: Kleindorf 338, 3762 Erlenbach i. S.

From there you can go up to the final destination of Stockhorn or stop in the middle stop of Chrindi and enjoy the lake.

Chrindi mountain station
Chrindi mountain station

The gondola goes pretty much every 30 minutes all year round.

The round trip to the lake will cost you 38 CHF, to Stockhorn: 58 CHF.

You can find all the information about this gondola and what else can you do on the lake or in the station right here: Stockhorn station.

Fishing in Hinterstockensee

If you are a fishing fan, you can catch some fish in this Swiss Alps lake.

Be aware – you must buy a license to do some fishing there.

The fishing license and possibility to catch up to 6 fishes will cost you 22 CHF. You can do ice fishing in winter as well.

You can buy as well a combo ticket together with gondola tickets.

Additional information right here: Fishing in Hinterstockensee.

Snowshoeing in Hinterstockensee

On my hike in spring/summer time I saw a lot of signs that snowshoeing is very well possible up there. The paths are very well signed and it is easy to find places you want to go.

I found quite a lot of snow there in May, so there’s definitely snow in winter time. That is perfect for snowshoeing.

Hinterstockensee hike conclusion

Hinterstockensee is really a great weekend destination, you can not only hike around it and in its surroundings – you can do much more.

You can relax in local restaurants, do some fishing, biking or even running.

Hinterstockensee
Hinterstockensee

It is a great place not only for lonely hikers and for big families as well.

If you have any questions about Hinterstockensee hike, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.

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