Hiking season is almost over. Last week it snowed in Switzerland. Even in the lower parts of the country, like Zurich, we saw snowflakes falling on the wet floor. The snow didn’t last long here, but it’s already starting to accumulate in the mountains. Soon the mountain passes will close for the winter, for months, until next summer, and with them a lot of hiking trails will be buried under meters of snow… It’s being a beautiful autumn, full of color, but we’re already enjoying the last days of the season. It’s a matter of days until winter arrives, and with it, I will start chasing Christmas lights and white landscapes… I can’t say it makes me sad… Quite the opposite! 🙂

In the meantime, I’m looking for new trails and regions to explore… A few days ago I visited again the region of Walensee, one of my favorites. I’ve been around this lake a few times, exploring its two shores and also the surrounding mountains and alpine lakes (you can see some photos of lake Walen here and here, and some mountain landscapes around the lake here). This time I went to visit Murgtal (in English, the Murg valley), a beautiful valley with three dark blue lakes and imposing mountains along the trail.

This hike wasn’t easy. A round trail of 15km and an ascension of almost 1000 meters. This one was exhausting! But it was also very rewarding. The first part of the trail was hard, ascending through a beautiful deep pine forest, a protected area with beautiful views of the valley and the Walensee in the background. After that, the terrain flatted and I walked in a beautiful golden meadow with views of the impressive Mürtschenstock with its three peaks, Stock, Fulen and Ruchen.  A few more kilometres ascending Ober Mürtschen and the Murgseefurggel, I reached the upper Murgsee lakes, two beautiful lakes surrounded by golden autumnal grass and beautiful mountains. After enjoying a well deserved rest at the Murgsee hütte, a little mountain hut from the times where there were ore mines in the area, I started the descent to the starting point of this hike. The views were still impressive. I saw from the trail the third Murgsee, a beautiful and small lake in a forest area with beautiful reflections and a waterfall. The trail continued through the protected forest, with pretty little waterfalls along the way. And just after I reached the end of the trail, the autumn sun started to descend, provoking a beautiful light display with the mountains.

Here are some photos I took during this challenging hike. I had the opportunity to try some techniques that I hadn’t used for some time, like long exposures with waterfalls to create the silky effect in the water… and the harsh midday light made me use the very handy HDR option of my new camera… I love it! The results are very natural, don’t you think?

Dew. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 63mm f/2.8 1/400sec. ISO125
The meadow. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/125sec. ISO100
Golden meadow. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/400sec. ISO100
The trail. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/250sec. ISO100
Mürtschenstock. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/640sec. ISO100
Upper Murgsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/125sec. ISO125
Upper Murgsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/60sec. ISO125
Lower Murgsee. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/80sec. ISO100
Little waterfall. Canon EOS 1200d 18mm f/3.5 30sec. ISO100 ND1024
Little waterfall. Canon EOS 1200d 55mm f/5.6 30sec. ISO100 ND1024
Autumn light. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 28mm f/11 1/125sec. ISO125


  1. Preciosa entrada!

    • mercedescatalan

      Muchas gracias, Carmen!!! Ha sido una de las rutas que más nos han gustado hasta ahora! Y también una de las más exigentes que hemos hecho…. pero solo las vistas ya recompensan el esfuerzo!!! Me alegra mucho que te haya gustado!
      Un beso enorme!

  2. Another beautiful post. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your new camera. My d7100, which is Nikon’s highest consumer grade series, does in camera HDR, but only two exposures. Maybe that would still be better than none. I’ve tried handholding 3 exposures with good success, but not always. Looking forward to your next post.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a million, Anne! This one was a hard hike for me… but super rewarding!
      I’m totally in love with my new camera!! Well…. i’ve been using it for more than 6 months, but I’m still learning to use all its functions, so for me it’s still like I’m playing with a new toy, hehehe.
      The Canon 5d is a full frame, and the built-in HDR function is such a discovery for me! My small camera (I still use it a lot) was a bit slow and even if I could make bracketing with three expositions, it was almost impossible to take three shots handholding… The new one is way faster and it’s a bit easier with the HDR function. It even blends the three exposures in one jpg file, so you can even have a preview of the HDR! Even if I like to blend them using Lightroom, it’s super convenient! 🙂

  3. You captured those views in such a fairytale-like way!! Dreamy!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, S! This hike has really nice views, even more with the autumnal golden tones! This region of Switzerland honors its name, Heidiland! You really feel like in an idyllic fairy tale landscape!

  4. Beautiful country and images!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Michael!! Yes, Switzerland is amazingly beautiful!! I’ve been hiking in its different regions for a year and the landscape is always a surprise!! There’s not as much variety as in the US, of course… but here in the Alps, every mountain, every valley has its own personality! 🙂

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