Panoramic dream walk in the Basel area (Basel)

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Start & Destination:Waldweid or Wasserfallen (identical)
Time: March – November

Fantastic panoramic circular walk to the highest point in the Basel area. Incredible views over the Baselbieter and Solothurn Jura to Mont Blanc.

by Marc Gottwald

Baselland – an underestimated canton

The local population loves and appreciates the beauty of their canton. The Jura heights around the Wasserfallen and the Passwang, the many ruins and castles, wild waterfalls and good cuisine lure the people of Basel into nature. But the Basel area is definitely not touristy – although it has a lot to offer. Very few Swiss people know the beauty of this canton.

Comfortable walk to the highest point in the Basel region

How is that possible, comfortably at the highest point of a canton? Very easily. The walk is easily accessible by public transport (via Wasserfallen cable car) or by car via Waldweid (free parking). Ready to start, it goes from the starting point in the direction of “Chellenchöpfli”. The circular walk takes around 1 hour without breaks from the Waldweid and around 1.5 hours from the Wasserfallen. We started from the Waldweid, but the well-marked path is also easy to find from the Wasserfallen mountain station. From the Waldweid (1021m) you can reach the “Chellenchöpfli” vantage point in just 30 minutes, which rewards you with a dream panorama. On a nice day various mountain ranges such as the highest mountain in the Alps (Mont Blanc with 4807m), Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as well as many other mountain peaks can be observed. The view of the chain Jura is also beautiful. By the way: Before you get to the “Chellenchöpfli” vantage point, you walk past the highest point in the Basel area (Hinteri Egg 1169m). Here you will also find a barbecue area with a grate.

South slope & North slope and its gigantic differences

Although they are neighbors, it is very easy to see during the hike that the forests on the northern slope have very tight and tall trees from the start of the hike to “Hinteri Egg”. On the southern slope after that, the trunks of the trees are very narrow and branched, other species grow.

The reasons for this are various. On the one hand, the southern slope has much more light and sun than the northern slope. Since the southern slope is also much drier and has fewer nutrients, trees on the southern slope must be true survivors. This is also the reason why these trees are smaller.

After all, many nutrients but also water are necessary for a tree to grow. Rule of thumb: the bigger and stronger, the more nutrients and water a tree needs. This is why the vegetation on the two slopes is mostly different.

Incidentally, north-south slope differences can be observed everywhere.

Why the Jura is called “Jura”

Geographically, the waterfalls in the Basel area and the Passwang (Solothurn) are in the Jura. The Jura occupies a total of 10% of the total area of Switzerland (note: not to be confused with the canton of Jura).

Everyone is familiar with the term “Jura”, but what does “Jura” actually mean?

Jura comes from the Celtic and means woodland. The term “Jura” was then adopted for folded and unfolded multi-layered rock formations. Where there was once a sea, these layers of rock were formed around 200 and 60 million years ago by deposited sediments that were compressed. However, the Jurassic folding only began 12 million years ago.

Compared to the rest of Switzerland (Zurich was still covered by glacier ice 25,000 years ago), the Jura was last covered with ice around 450,000 years ago. Nevertheless, traces can still be seen. For example, the glacier has worn down the mountain tops. These were then additionally attacked by erosion.

Marc image, owner of Private Tours Switzerland
Image of Joshua, co-owner of Private Tours Switzerland

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