Would you like to visit one of the most exceptional mountain passes called Oberalp Pass in Switzerland as it can be reached by a train and has a lighthouse? If yes, you are more than welcome!
Where is Oberalp Pass
Oberalp Pass is right in the middle of Swiss Alps and very close to the cosy village of Andermatt.
Oberalp Pass is sitting at 2044 meters altitude and is very close to three more absolutely beautiful mountain passes: Furka Pass, Gotthard Pass and Grimsel Pass. If you would like to have an ultimate mountain passes roadtrip, Oberalp Pass is a good place to start or end, depending where you start.
Some distances from the biggest cities/airports in Switzerland: from Zürich it is just 120 km, from Basel it is 181 km, From Geneva it is 290 km. From the Swiss Alps village/ski resort of Andermatt it is just 11 km.
How to get to Oberalp Pass
This is the only mountain pass of the four before mentioned mountain passes which you can reach by train! And that is pretty awesome. Once you are there, you will appreciate it, as going up in the mountains with a train is a fantastic experience itself.
Andermatt is very easily reachable by train from all over Switzerland, so once you get to Andermatt, simply get a ticket to Oberalp Pass. Easy as that. The train ride from Andermatt to the top is around 20 minutes, but it is very beautiful up till your final destination.
Always check the prices and time schedules so you don’t miss anything or get the wrong information: Swiss trains schedules. In the first window put the place you are in now, in the second one: Oberalp Pass.
Oberalp Pass is very easily reachable by car as well. You would need just up to 20 minutes to get up there on the top. The road conditions are mostly very good, road is mostly clean and dry (in winter it can get wet, but if it is too dangerous to drive, they simply close it, they don’t risk it as in Iceland :DD ). The road from Andermatt is a bit windy, it is an usual Swiss serpentine, but that is what you are looking for: for ultimate Swiss mountains experience!
What to do in Oberalp Pass
Oberalp Pass has even two restaurants, a small train station with nice and warm toilets (which is great to use after the hike) and big parking plots.
Right next to the train station there is a huge lake (if you come in summer, it should be liquid, in other times it is mostly solid ice) and a famous lighthouse. Take some pictures there 🙂
I was once in Oberalp Pass when it was full of snow, not high level of snows, but it was snowing and temperature was just +1 and it was still a lot of cows. A lot. It’s a great place to make some nice Swiss Alps cows pictures actually.
But what I really offer to do in Oberalp Pass is to hike. There are many hiking routes, I mean, MANY, but my favourite one and I really recommend doing it is to Tomasee. Der See in german language means THE LAKE. Toma Lake is very famous in Switzerland for one reason: Rhein river (the longest in Switzerland) starts right there, in the Swiss Alps, in Tomasee.
Tomasee is sitting at 2345 meters altitude, so it wouldn’t be a very long hike for you: around 1h30min. The total distance is around 6 kilometers. It’s not hard, the hike up is very mild, not steep at all, so by the time you are at Tomasee, you won’t be that tired.
One thing I really regret right now, that I don’t have any pictures of Tomasee. Shame. You won’t believe how beautiful it is, it is, for me personally, one of the most amazing places in the Swiss Alps. And I can not believe that Rhein river, which is a huge strong fast river once it is in Basel, comes from that tiny lake in the top of Swiss Alps. Yes, I know I know, snow, ice, many thousands of other rives forms Rhein, but that majesty comes right next to Oberalp Pass.
Once you reach Tomasee, you will see that there’s a very nice green meadow in the end of it (it’s a perfect place for Insta pictures) which is crossed by many streams and actually you can continue your trip a bit up. And what waits ahead is a very nice cosy Swiss Alps hut called Badushütte.
I have visited it once and I had a great gullaschsuppe (the more you travel in the Swiss Alps, the more you see that gullaschsuppe is a must in each mountain destination:) ). The gullaschsuppe costs 9.50 CHF, but you must consider in what kind of place you eat it: over the lake where Rhein starts.
I don’t know if you had time to look through mine article Hut to hut hiking in Switzerland, but you can actually can have a great time in Badeshütte. This would be not hut to hut hiking, but Oberalp Pass to Tomasee to Badeshütte hiking, but still very very cool. You can spend a night there for a pretty decent price: Badeshütte prices. If you don’t take dinner/breakfast/supper, only the bed costs you just 32 CHF. In the middle of the mountains. Just 32 CHF. You must consider that, don’t you?
Be sure to reserve a place as these huts are pretty popular in Switzerland, especially on weekends. And most of the huts work just during summer (late spring, early autumn as well).
If you want even more adventures, you can continue hiking to Rossbodenstock, but I must warn you, that there it gets a bit technical, you may have to climb on rocks, push yourself, so I would suggest, to at least have a helmet. It’s no joke. Rossbodenstock is sitting at 2836 meters. You should have a decent view to Andermatt from there.
There are many more other hikes all around Oberalp Pass, it is even hard to pick sometimes, but if you choose the Tomasee one, you won’t regret it.
If you are not sure how to prepare for such hike, what to take, what not, what to pay attention to, check out my tips here: Swiss Alps hiking.
Now, the glacier express is another level Swiss trains adventure. It is extremely popular in Switzerland and a lot of tourists does it. In my opinion it is really worth it.
So what is glacier express? It is a train which goes mostly just in the Swiss Alps through amazing places and you can see it all through roof windows (you shouldn’t miss anything). It goes through Oberalp Pass, beautiful Swiss vilages, mountains, most amazing bridges and other great places. It’s the ultimate train package for anyone who want to see the most of it.
And luckily, one of the starting point is right in Andermatt. From Andermatt you can go to St. Moritz (luxury Swiss skiing resort) or Zermatt (maybe most popular Swiss village) and many other destinations in great places.
This pleasure is not that cheap, but if you want to do one really picturesque Swiss trains trip – that’s the way to do it.
All information about it you can find here: Glacier Express.
Oberalp Pass weather conditions
Now, as all the time in the Swiss Alps, especially that high, it is very important to check weather conditions before you go there, because some weather conditions can really ruin your all mountain experience.
One thing to avoid is fog. Once you have fog: forget about beautiful mountain views, valley views, you will probably have difficulties to see your friend next to you. Fog is the mountain experience vibe killer.
Rain: rain is not necessarily a friend of fog, but if you would like to do this Tomasee hike, be extra cautious, rocks are very very slippery once it’s raining and it’s especially dangerous when going down. One bad step and you can go down the rock or slope. Be extra careful.
Snow: Snow is beautiful. Snow gives you great views, great pictures, but hiking gets even more difficult. You probably should consider taking snowshoes or skis or not hike at all. You must be experienced to hike that high in the snow: you never know when avalanche can happen. It’s no joke, Swiss Alps have many avalanches every winter. A lot. You must be extra careful in snowy conditions.
The best way to check weather conditions is of course Google, but do not forget to check out all webcams: Oberalp Pass webcam. It will give you a pretty good indication how it is up there.
I think you ultimate Oberalp Pass adventure would be driving up there by train from Andermatt, take the hike up to Tomasee, hike up to Badeshütte and spend a night there. That would be my dream weekend, try that! It can really be a very nice small adventure in the Swiss Alps for you. And it’s not that costly. Buy food in the local Coop in Andermatt and make a dinner yourself in the hut, but if you have more to spare, enjoy the local wardens cuisine skills.
If you have any more questions about Oberalp Pass, please let me know, I will do my best to help you. Have a great time!
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