Saas Fee Trail Running

A trail runner on perfect singletrack above Saas Fee, Switzerland with the Mischabel Group in the background

The goal of our recent trip to Saas Fee was to run the 4000 meter Lagginhorn, the Alps only non-technical, glacier free 4000 meter peak, which we reported about here. But after staring at the massive landscape surrounding Saas Fee for a day, we decided to extend our visit and see what else we could do. The first thing we did was the Glacier Trail, and from this we realized we had to stay even a bit longer. The trail running potential was clearly huge.

And so it was, but sadly we only had two days to explore. Saas Fee is truly a little paradise, and in summer does not include the mayhem that is over the hill in Zermatt.

For trail running, the range of trails extend not just into the big mountains directly above town, but towards the southeast and the passes into Italy. We didn’t get to explore these valleys but were assured they are quality running. There is little doubt as the trails around Saas Fee are classic Wallis style; smooth, soft, flowing singletrack.

The Ofental

The Ofental as seen from the Glacier Trail. Valleys like that, based on my 16 years of experience in the Alps, contain very, very good trail running. I’ll be back.

The two tours I’ve put on my hit list are:

The Furggtalli from Saas Almagell to the Antronapass, then traversing the ridge trail south to the Ofentalpass and then out the Ofental and back to Mattmarksee and Saas Almagell.

The Saas Fee to Grächen Traverse, a long traverse along the base of the west side of the Saastal.

Have you done either of these trails? If so, we’d love to hear from you with a report.

A trail runner on perfect singletrack above Saas Fee, Switzerland with the Mischabel Group in the background

Running trails above Saas Fee with the Mischabel Group in the background

An old Swiss wanderweg, or trail sign, sits in the forest outside Saas Fee, Switzerland

Options as indicated by a very old, moss covered trail sign

A trail runner on perfect singletrack above Saas Fee, Switzerland with the Mischabel Group in the background

Headed for the Mällig, above Saas Fee, with the Mischabel Group in the background.

A trail runner on perfect singletrack above Saas Fee, Switzerland

Silky smooth singletrack on the way to the Mällig, from Saas Fee. In the distance is the Furggtalli, the valley I couldn’t take my eye off that heads into Italy over the Andronapass.

A trail runner on the Glacier Trail from Saas Fee to the Mattmark Lake, Switzerland. In addition to a lot of singletrack, the unique trail crosses two glaciers but is safe enough to do as a run or hike without a rope.

The Glacier Trail, a popular route for hikers, also makes for a fun day of trail running with lots of varied terrain. Glaciers, in this case, are great for running.

A trail runner on the Glacier Trail from Saas Fee to the Mattmark Lake, Switzerland. In addition to a lot of singletrack, the unique trail crosses two glaciers but is safe enough to do as a run or hike without a rope.

The well named Glacier Trail!

A trail runner on the Glacier Trail from Saas Fee to the Mattmark Lake, Switzerland. In addition to a lot of singletrack, the unique trail crosses two glaciers but is safe enough to do as a run or hike without a rope.

On the early part of the Glacier Trail is a long section of this – rolling fun.

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