While Basel isn’t really known for its tall mountains like the Bernese Oberland, Valais, and Graubünden, it does have smaller mountains from which you can get great views of these mountains. A ridge on the Swiss Jura called Wasserfallen can be found near Reigoldswil in Canton Basel Land.
The Jura Mountains (Faltenjura in German) are a sub-alpine mountain range shared by Switzerland and France. Its extension, Table Jura (Tafeljura in German), stretches into Germany. This mountain range gives its name to the Jurassic Period of geologic time.
The Wasserfallen region offers views of Jura and the Bernese Alps when the weather permits.
Wasserfallen: An Overview
You can find the gondola that takes you to Wasserfallen in Reigoldswil, a small commune in Basel Land with about 1,600 people. Hiking the trail up is also an option if you’re motivated enough.
Wasserfallen a small mountain range that’s become a popular destination for people who live or visit Basel and its surroundings. In fact, Basel is only 35 minutes away from Reigoldswil. Wasserfallen has amazing views, especially from the higher points. Due to its popularity, this is one of the busiest parts of Basel Land, especially on weekends.
Wasserfallen: What to Expect
Wasserfallen is a small ridge around 928 meters above sea level. It has a lot of activities that you can do as a group, fantastic views, forests, and fields.
Wasserfallen welcomes you with a playground as soon as you step out of the gondola. The adventure playground opened in May 2019 and has many play elements for climbing, sliding, and more. And although it was incredibly busy with many small kids in the afternoon on the children’s playground, it was great.
Chellenchöpfli and Hintere Egg have gorgeous views, as do Passwang. The following areas near Wasserfallen also have nice views: Richtiflue, Chastelenflue, Belchenflue, Lauchflue, Dielenberg, and Ruine Ränggen.
Wasserfallen: Things to Do in Summer
Forest Rope Park
Wasserfallen welcomes you with a playground and forest rope park (Waldseilpark Wasserfallen). The forest rope park has 70 different elements in varying difficulties that you can move around in. A small pond is also crossed by a 153-meter Wassi-Flyer.
While the fun part might seem dangerous, it’s actually really safe. Once you’ve had your mandatory safety and instruction lesson, you’re all set to go.
From May to October, the forest rope park is open Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended since spots fill up fast. Valid tickets let you stay for 3 hours.
Hiking around Wasserfallen
Hiking is one of the top things to do in Wasserfallen. At the mountain station, you’ll find marked paths that will lead you to your hiking trail. There are wide-open trails through incredibly picturesque grasslands, as well as steep, rocky paths winding through dense forests.
If you are lucky, you might see the fantastic panoramic views over the Bernese Alps: Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn, Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Breithorn, and Blüemlisalp.
Among the Hiking Trails in Wasserfallen are the following:
- Circular Trail Wasserfallen – Vogelberg – Bürten – Wasserfallen: This circular trail is an easy 2-hour hike that goes through the ridge, pastures, and forests. You can start and end the route in the mountain station. It will lead you from Passwang until Vogelberg. This route is 6 kilometers long.
- Circular Trail Wasserfallen – Hinderi Egg – Wasserfallen: This circular trail is an easy 90-minute hike that begins and ends at the Wasserfallen Mountain Station. It leads over the Wasserfallenhof until Hinteren Egg. After passing by Chellenchöpfli, you get fantastic panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. You can then go to Hintere Wasserfallen before heading back to Wasserfallen’s Mountain Station. This route is 4 kilometers long.
- Mountain Trail Wasserfallen – Jägerwegli – Reigoldswil : This hike goes down from Wasserfallen Mountain Station to Reigoldswil by going via Jägerwegli. Through the forest and Hinteren Frenke, you will go down until you reach the Valley Station. This mountain trail is 2.5 kilometers long.
Various barbecue areas are available in Hinteri Egg, in Hintere Wasserfallen, near Wasserfallen Hof and near Waldweid.
Wasserfallenhof is a beautiful farm in Arboldswil, around 1,000 meters above sea level and a short walk from Wasserfallen mountain station. The 40-hectare pasture is in a protected area in Jura and is home to horses, sheep, llamas, goats, and cows.
Wasserfallenhof has llamas you can walk with. You can trek with llamas for a full day (up to 6 hours) or for just an hour or two. The activity can be done as a group starting with four people.
If you’re up for it, you can go downhill with a rented scooter from the mountain station. You’ll get a scooter and a helmet at the mountain station. The ride lasts about 20 minutes.
You can do it from May to October. Otherwise, they’ll have to make sure the way isn’t icy or snowy. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Wasserfallen: Things to Do in Winter
Wasserfallen has tobogganing as one of its winter activities. From Wasserfallen until Reigoldswil, you can sled 4 kilometers. A marked toboggan trail connects the mountain and valley stations. It usually takes 30 minutes.
You can also go on a winter hike through the various winter trails here if you want something easy and relaxing. Snow shoes might be your best bet, depending on the weather.
There’s also a small cross-country skiing track for classic and skating skiers (Fee is CHF 6.-). The cross-country ski track starts near Restaurant Waldweid.
How to Get to Wasserfallen
|Address||Oberbiel 62, 4418 Reigoldswil|
|By Bus||Reigoldswil, Dorfplatz (10-minute walk)|
Wasserfallen: Final Thoughts
Wasserfallen is one of the best places to visit near Basel. Whether it’s summer, spring, autumn, or winter, there’s always something to do and enjoy.
Even though it’s not as high as the mountains elsewhere in Switzerland or as well known as other tourist attractions, it’s got so much to offer. Fantastic views of the Swiss Alps, great playgrounds, lots of restaurants, barbecue spots, and hiking trails are just some of them.
No matter what the weather is like, you won’t be disappointed with Wasserfallen.
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