The Dossen Hut hike is an unforgettable adventure that offers breathtaking vistas and a perfect blend of dramatic landscapes. Situated in the heart of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, this challenging trail starts from Rosenlaui glacier gorge and takes you on an incredible journey to the Dossen Hut. The Hut, located at an impressive altitude of 2662 meters, is a warm and hospitable mountain refuge. As you ascend through the scenic trail, you will be enchanted by the mesmerizing sight of rugged glaciers, lush green valleys, and diverse Alpine flora and fauna. From the Hut, you can enjoy panoramic views of majestic peaks such as the Wellhorn, Wetterhorn, and Rosenlaui Glacier. The Dossen Hut hike is an unforgettable experience and a true test of one’s spirit, making it an absolute must-do for any seasoned hiker visiting Switzerland.
DOSSEN HUT HIKE: COMPLETE GUIDE
The Dossen Hut hike is an epic 19km T4 Difficulty route that starts off at Rosenlaui Glacier, and leads you up to the mountain hut and down to Innertkirchen.
DOSSEN HUT HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The hike from Rosenlaui Hotel to Dossen Hut is just over 5km but the entire route takes 19km to end you at Innertkirchen.
- Hike Duration: The suggested duration is about 8 hours from Rosenlaui Hotel to Dossen Hut and down to Innertkirchen. However, as you will see in this blog post, I did the hike in 5 hours but also had to run an extra 5km from Innertkirchen to Meiringen Train Station. So it is possible in less than 5 hours but likely it will take 5-10 hours for most hikers.
- Hike Difficulty: The path is a blue and white alpine rating and has a number of exposed areas. There is cable and ladders wherever the trail is exposed. I’ve captured the T4 difficulty in my vlog below so you can see the technical moments. 1200m of incline to the hut from Rosenlaui Hotel is something many would consider difficult but after that, it is mostly downhill.
- Hike Incline: Starting point at Hotel Rosenlaui: 1,356m – Dossen Hut: 2,663m – Innerkirchen: 630m
HOW TO GET TO DOSSEN HUT HIKE TRAILHEAD
The starting point for the Dossen Hut hike is the Rosenlaui Hotel. To get here you will need to take the train to Meiringen, then transfer to the bus and head to Rosenlaui Hotel bus stop. The bus will drop you directly at the front of the hotel and you then have blue and white signs pointing you to ‘Dossen SAC’ the whole way.
You could also drive to Rosenlaui Hotel with ample parking available. Whichever way you plan to get there, just know your starting point is Rosenlaui Hotel.
I’ve attached my GPX map below, which you can download here for use on your Garmin, smartwatch or another app.
HOW TO BOOK A NIGHT AT DOSSEN HUT
In order to book a night (or more) at Dossen Hut, you will need to send an email, make a phone call or fill out the form on their website. They are not on other booking platforms, this is how the hut is booked.
MY DOSSEN HUT HIKE VLOG
While I still took lots of photos, on this hike I put my efforts into documenting the hike through this vlog. That means that in the T4 sections and lots of the downhill running, the best viewing is in the vlog rather than the photos. It’s definitely worth a watch to see how the hike ended in the dark for me. You will soon see how I did the 24km route in 5 hours!
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING TO DOSSEN HUT
My day began in Interlaken so I caught the train to Meiringen and then transferred to a bus that took me up to Rosenlaui Glacier Hotel. The hike was signed from this point on with the blue and white Dossen tags. The Rosenlaui Hotel is a popular base for lots of hikes in the region and you can get lunch or have a toilet stop here.
ROSENLAUI GLACIER HIKE
I didn’t know it at the time but before I hiked up to Dossen Hut, I would head through and explore Rosenlaui Glacier Canyon. It turned out to be super cool and is more or less part of the trail anyway. It costs $7 to enter the canyon or you can walk around it and meet the trail at the top. I think it’s worth heading in for a look although it is just 15-20 minutes worth of path.
The canyon has been created through millions of years of erosion from the glacier and subsequent river. When you are inside it becomes so much colder than outside and the spray from the waterfalls is blowing around. It’s a crazy section of the hike although the trail is cement with simple stairs and handrails making it very safe.
ROSENLAUI TO DOSSEN HUT HIKE
The trail spits you out of the canyon and meets up with the alternative route if you did decide to skip the canyon glacier. Now the trail sends you on a decent climb through the forest where if it’s sunny you will have no wind and be sweating a lot! I pushed pretty hard through this section until I emerged at the river, where I could see all the way up to Dossen Peak. Lots of people climb either Dossengrat or Dossen Peak but on this day, I was only heading to the Dossen Hut, which is still over 2600m above sea level.
The trail now runs alongside the river before ascending through the gravel and rocks on the left of the trail. Here I met some Valais Sheep who you can see in my vlog above. This gravel section is consistently steep but not exposed until the trail leads you up onto a ridge. Take caution here as the drop is quite exposed.
Once at the top of the ridge, you can look back along the valley you have just hiked with a small sense of achievement. You are only halfway to the hut at this point with a lot of bouldering and climbing to go. This is where the T4 difficulty kicks in with some ladders, cables and relatively easy bouldering required. Again, you can check out some pretty cool videos in the vlog of this section to check if you are up for the challenge of deciding it isn’t a hike you are ready for.
I found that this section of the trail was the most fun as you had to consistently find your way up the boulders looking for the next blue and white painted marker. The views got better and better as you climbed up with the glacier now in full view. After 1 hour and 47 minutes, I reached the Dossen Hut and took a moment outside to enjoy the views before flying the drone over to the glacier and around the mountain hut. They serve their coffee in bowls at the Dossen Hut, that’s how coffee should be!
I arrived at the hut at around 5:30 pm and they were very concerned that I was hiking down and kept telling me I need to hurry up and leave. I had my headtorch and knew I was in for a session but their concern was genuine.
After my coffee, drone session, and panoramic view, I packed up and began to run down the mountain (refer to vlog). It was apparently meant to take 4 hours and 50 minutes to Innertkirchen, with about 14km left on my journey and just 2 hours of daylight.
The trail down was gravel and I slid and ran my way down the slopes before it leveled out a bit. I ended up doing more than 2000m of decline on the way down as Inertkirchen is only 630m above sea level.
About halfway to Innertkirchen, it became dark and I had to run through the valley with just my headtorch. It was definitely an adventure! You could avoid that by starting earlier in the morning. The last train from Innertkirchen was at 9 pm, which I missed by half an hour so I had to run another 4.5 km to Meiringen to luckily catch the last train back to Interlaken.
Make sure you check the train timetables so you know what you are working with time-wise. Some people also pre-book a taxi to pick them up at the end of the trail but I found you can just walk all the way to Innertkirchen train station rather than booking a taxi, which is a bit unnecessary for a few kilometers when you have already hiked 15km or so.
Staying at the hut overnight would rule out all of the hassles and mean you could enjoy a beautiful sunset, dinner, breakfast, and sunrise at the Dossen Hut.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DOSSEN HUT
Eco-friendly Refuge: The Dossen Hut is known for its commitment to sustainability. It runs entirely on solar energy and uses a sophisticated system for wastewater purification, standing as an example of how human habitation can harmoniously coexist with nature, even in such challenging environments.
Climbing Routes: The Dossen Hut serves as a base for climbing the Dossenhorn, a peak that stands at 3,143 meters. It offers various climbing routes, including some on the Rosenlaui Glacier. This makes it an important destination for mountaineers seeking to conquer the Bernese Alps’ more challenging routes.
Historic Significance: The Dossen Hut has a long history, having been established in 1910 by the Swiss Alpine Club. Despite modern renovations, the hut still retains a sense of the past, providing a rustic and traditional Swiss mountain refuge experience, creating a unique blend of history and comfort for visitors.
SWISS TRAVEL PASS or HALF-FARE CARD
OPTION 1: Buy the Swiss Half Fare Card: Switzerland trains, buses, and cable cars are EXPENSIVE! I found the best way to get around cheaply was to buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card before I arrived. It gives you 50% off every regular train, bus, and even many cable cars. It only costs $150 USD but pays itself off in just a few days with many train tickets in Switzerland costing close to $100 alone. If you are staying for more than 5 days, I suggest buying the Swiss Half-Fare Card.
OPTION 2: Buy the Swiss Travel Pass: The second option is to get the Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited train, bus, and (many) cable car rides but it’s pretty expensive at around $100 USD per day so if you don’t travel each day it isn’t worth it.
OPTION 3: Buy the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass: The final (BEST) option is to get the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to buy 8 days’ worth of transit but you can choose the night before if you want to activate the next day. That way you don’t need to travel every day to get your money’s worth, you can just activate the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass on the days when you are doing sizeable transits. My advice is to book the Swiss Half-Fare Card or the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass in advance before your trip so it’s ready to go when you arrive.
MY SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDES
I spent 100 days hiking in Switzerland and created a guide for different regions around the country. You can click on one of my Switzerland hiking guides below to help you plan your trip.
- The Complete Guide: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND
- The Via Ferrata Guide: 4 EPIC SWITZERLAND VIA FERRATA COURSES
- Lauterbrunnen Guide: 10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN
- Interlaken Guide: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN
- Grindelwald Guide: 12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD:
- Mürren Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN
- Appenzell Guide: 9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL
- Chur Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR