10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN, SWITZERLAND

Lauterbrunnen is one of my favorite regions in Switzerland with possibly the most picturesque valley in the entire world. I visited this region for a week and barely had enough time to see all of the amazing hikes in Lauterbrunnen. Throughout my time hiking in and nearby Lauterbrunnen, I experienced some beautiful trails and I’ve put together this Lauterbrunnen Hiking Guide so that you can choose a hike or two (or ten) for your visit to Lauterbrunnen. I’m sure you will find a great adventure on this list of my TEN favorite hikes in Lauterbrunnen.

In this blog post, you will find a description of each of the hikes near Lauterbrunnen and some photos I took as well as a link to the individual blog post I wrote about all of the hikes near Lauterbrunnen. You can click on that link for a more detailed review of the hike including maps, starting points, how to get there, photos, directions, difficulty, and a short story about my experience on that Lauterbrunnen hike. Some of the hikes on this list are right in Lauterbrunnen, but a couple of these hikes are near Lauterbrunnen but not quite in the center of the region. I was based in Murren, Wengen, and Grindelwald when I did all of these hikes and reached all of the trails by public transport so you will be able to reach any of these trails if you are based in Lauterbrunnen or one of the nearby towns. All of the trails are within about one hour maximum transit time to the trailhead, so they are all in the region. 

 

10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN

MURREN TO GIMMELWALD VIA FERRATA

The Via Ferrata from Murren to Gimmelwald is one of the most epic adventures in Switzerland. Traverse ladders and steps on the edge of a cliff overlooking Lauterbrunnen, but don’t worry you are strapped in with a harness!

For those who don’t know what a Via Ferrata is, it’s basically a series of ladders, steps, and rock climbing that leads you up a wall. You are wearing a harness and clip into a strong wire at the start of the Via Ferrata. From that point, you are always clipped in with at least one clip.

This is one of the most exhilarating hiking experiences you can have while based in Interlaken. You will literally be hanging off the wall over a 500-meter drop down into Lauterbrunnen Valley. You up for it?

I’ve added the instructions to get to the start of the Murren Via Ferrata below.

  • From Interlaken, you will need to catch the train Lauterbrunnen
  • Once in Lauterbrunnen take the Grutschalp cable car, which is right next to the train station. This will take you all the way up to Grutschalp station where you can switch onto the historic, Murren Railway.
  • The Murren Railway is one of the most scenic rides in Switzerland with views of Eiger and the surrounding peaks along the journey.
  • Once you arrive at the Murren Train Station turn left out of the station and walk for 10-minutes past Hotel Edelweiss and you will arrive at the sports chalet on your right and Intersport on your left for the hiring of the gear.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE MURREN TO GIMMELWALD VIA FERRATA

 

TANZBODELI & OBERSTEINBERG HIKE: THE BEST VIEW OF LAUTERBRUNNEN

Tanzbodeli is one of my favorite hikes in the Lauterbrunnen region because it provides the best 360 degrees of the entire mountainscape. On a clear day, it feels as though you are at the center of the Jungfrau region and you can see all of the glacier-laden peaks. On a gloomy, cloudy day, it is equally impressive as you are seemingly inside a cloud, on top of the world. We had bits of both on our journey to Tanzbodeli and Obersteinberg from Gimmelwald.

Hike Distance: 13.9km Total distance from Gimmelwald to Tanzbodeli to Obersteinberg to Stechelberg. The total distance from Gimmelwald to Tanzbodeli was 6 steep kilometers in 2 hours.

Hike Duration: 4 hours of moving time but total time was 7 hours including an hour at the summit, an hour at the Obersteinberg Hotel, and other stops.

Hike Difficulty: The trail is not technically difficult although there are parts where you will clamber up rocks. No drop-offs are ever apparent on either side of the trail. Dirt path most of the way. Relatively simple hiking although the incline is quite steep and air does get thin. Physically challenging but relatively safe.

Hike Incline: Total elevation throughout the hike 1100-meters.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: TANZBODELI & OBERSTEINBERG HIKE: THE BEST VIEW OF LAUTERBRUNNEN

 

MURREN TO SCHILTHORN HIKE (PIZ GLORIA)

The hike from Murren to Schilthorn is challenging with 1600m of altitude climbed throughout the trail to the Piz Gloria summit where James Bond ‘007’ was filmed. At the summit, you can reward yourself after the long hike with a warm bowl of soup at the revolving restaurant, which lets you take in the 360-degree panoramic views as you enjoy your meal. From Interlaken, you will want to leave quite early to give yourself enough time to do the hike and get back for what is a very possible day-hike from Interlaken.

The trail from Murren to Rotstockhutte is relatively easy. Most of the way is a dirt path although there are some sections that are a mixture of rock and path. Most families will easily navigate their way to Rotstockhutte with only 300-400m of elevation.

Rotstockhutte to Schilthorn is very steep. You collect over 1000-meters of an incline in just a few kilometers, which means it is just straight up the mountain. Here you clamber over rocks and are constantly heading uphill. However, it is quite safe and there are no drop-offs. If you can manage the steep incline there isn’t much more to worry about.

It’s 12.9km Total distance from Murren to Schilthorn mountain summit. If you want to hike down you will need to add a few more kilometers but we caught the Schilthornbahn down to Murren, which was a nice way to return after a long day on the legs.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: MURREN TO SCHILTHORN HIKE

 

BAREGG HUT HIKE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY & HIKE TO SCHRECKHORN HUT

Baregg Hut (Bareghutte) is perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the lower Grindelwald Glacier. It’s just a 3km walk from Pfingstegg and is a great place for an overnight stay and a basecamp to hiking to the Schreckhorn Hut (Schreckhornhutte). I caught the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald and began from there and returned the next day but it is just as simple to make the 1-hour journey from Lauterbrunnen to the start of the Baregg Hut hike.

The trail follows along the edge of the cliff, alongside the Lower Grindelwald Glacier… or at least where the glacier used to be. This hike shows you exactly how much the glacier has receded in the last century and a half. I arrived at the hut in the late afternoon and dropped my gear off in the dormitory, got changed, and went outside to enjoy the scenery. The dormitory-style rooms have nice bunk beds with comfortable mattresses and brilliant views even from the bunks themselves. Inside the mountain hut, you will find showers, bathrooms, a dining room, and lots of areas to hang out, play cards, and enjoy the cozy atmosphere. 

The hike from Baregg Hut to Schreckhorn Hut is a bit more challenging than the route from Pfingstegg to Baregg Hut. It’s a 12km round-trip hike back to Baregg with over 1000m of incline. 

Aside from the ladders and cables, you do have to climb 1000+ meters, which is a challenge in itself so definitely gear up for an adventure! The views of the glacier that are within touching distance throughout the trail make it all worth it!

The distance from Pfingstegg to Baregg Hut is just 2.75km. However, the next day the hike to Schreckhorn and return to Baregg Hut is 11.8 kilometers and then the 2.75km return to Pfingstegg. So all up for this expedition it is 17.3km.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: BAREGG HUT HIKE WITH OVERNIGHT STAY & HIKE TO SCHRECKHORN HUT

 

TRUMMELBACH FALLS SHORT TRAIL

Trummelbach Falls is Europe’s largest subterranean waterfall and is one of the highlights in Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is also known as the valley of 72 waterfalls. Trummelbach Falls is among the most famous of those 72 waterfalls At 20,000 liters of water per second, this roaring waterfall is an impressive sight. The hike from to town center of Lauterbrunnen is just .5 kilometers but it can be added on to part of a loop trail all the way up through Gimmelwald and Murren. 

Photo by Sanjay Austa

 

THE EIGER TRAIL HIKE: EIGERGLETSCHER TO ALPIGLEN

The Eiger Trail hike is one of the most popular routes in Switzerland because the path leads hikers directly under the world-famous Eiger North Face Wall, which is renowned as one of the toughest climbs in the world.

The trail starts off with 200m of incline, although it is spread over a couple of kilometers and is nothing too strenuous. At this point, you cannot see Eiger, but the views across the valley and the towering glacial mountains are incredible and there is something to gawk at in every direction.

It isn’t long before you will reach the Eiger viewing area. It’s about 2km into the trail and there will likely be a little gathering of people and possibly some local cows. Here you will look up towards Eiger Mountain and if you read the signs, you can even identify the path the climbers use to scale the North Face wall of Eiger. 

The distance from Eigergletscher Train Station to Alpiglen along the Eiger Trail is 6.5km. The hike takes about 2.5 hours although if you went straight through without taking photos or stopping it would be well under two hours. It could be run in well under an hour.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE EIGER TRAIL HIKE: EIGERGLETSCHER TO ALPIGLEN

 

 

STAUBBACH FALLS HIKE

One of the most popular short hikes near Lauterbrunnen is the Staubbach Falls trail, which is just .6 kilometers but very highly rated. The out and back trail takes you from Lauterbrunnen town out to this stunning 300-meter tall waterfall. It’s actually the third highest waterfall in all of Switzerland, which makes it all the more impressive. The waterfall got its name based on the mist that sprays off from the waterfall as it crashed down to the ground. This trail can be combined with the nearby Trümmelbach Falls if the adventure is a bit too short with just one waterfall.

 

THE ROTSTOCK VIA FERRATA AT EIGER, GRINDELWALD

The Rotstock Via Ferrata is an epic climb right next to the famous North Face Wall of Eiger. Using a harness, stairs and metal stairs you can climb 400m of incline to the 360-degree panoramic viewpoint.

For those who don’t know what a Via Ferrata is, it’s basically a series of ladders, steps, and rock climbing that leads you up a wall. You are wearing a harness and clip into a strong wire at the start of the Via Ferrata. From that point, you are always clipped in with at least one clip.

The total hike distance was 5km from the start of the Eiger Trail and up to the summit and then back down to Eigergletscher Station.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: THE ROTSTOCK VIA FERRATA AT EIGER, GRINDELWALD

 

HIKING TO GLECKSTEIN HUT AND CHRINNENHORN PEAK

Gleckstein Hut (Glecksteinhutte) sits above Grindelwald with incredible views down into the valley, while dramatic glaciers loom behind in the mountains. It’s an incredible place to stay the night and enjoy the sunrise and sunset. A few hundred meters above the Gleckstein Hut is the Chrinnerhorn summit, a peak accessible without mountaineering experience but with epic views down towards Gleckstein Hut and over Grindelwald.

The suggested duration is 3 hours and 50 minutes according to the sign but I went up in 1 hour and 34 minutes and came down the next day in 58 minutes. The path is a red and white trail rating but has a few exposed areas. There is cable wherever the trail is exposed. 1,100m of incline will challenge many but there were quite a few older hikers making it up the hut so a slow and steady approach will mean most are capable. 

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO GLECKSTEIN HUT AND CHRINNENHORN PEAK

 

HIKING TO LAKE BACHALPSEE FROM GRINDELWALD/FIRST

Bachalpsee is one of the most stunning alpine lakes in Switzerland, surrounded by wildflowers and adorned with an incredible backdrop of glacial mountains. The beauty of the Bachalpsee Lake is that because there is a cable car to First, it just a one-hour trek from the First station to the lake, despite being located at 2,265m in altitude.

Bachalpsee is one of the most spectacular lakes in Switzerland and probably one of the most incredible lakes you will find on a hike near Interlaken. It’s relatively easy to get there with the cable car or you can refer to an earlier hike on this list: Schynige Platte to First if you want to take the long adventurous route.

After the cable car to First, the hike from First to Bachalpsee was 3km one way and you will need to hike back so 6km in total.

Want more details and photos? View the full blog post here: HIKING TO LAKE BACHALPSEE FROM GRINDELWALD/FIRST

I hope you enjoyed that list of epic hikes in Lauterbrunnen in my Lauterbrunnen Hiking Guide. If there are any hikes in Lauterbrunnen you think I need to check out on my next visit, please comment them below!

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 SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDE: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND: I spent 100 days in Switzerland making this huge guide with all of the hikes I personally explored.

4 AWESOME VIA FERRATA COURSES IN SWITZERLAND: Via Ferrata is a cliff-side climbing route where you are harnessed in. You have to try it at least once!

10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN: Lauterbrunnen is the most picturesque valley in Switzerland and is situated perfectly amidst many famous hiking routes.

INTERLAKEN HIKING GUIDE: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN: Interlaken is my favorite town in Switzerland and is the number one hiking base.

12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD: A great location to base if you are a keen hiker with lots of hut-to-hut hikes and epic peaks.

7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN: Murren is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland and is surrounded by great hiking routes.

9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL: My favorite hikes around the Alpstein Region and other peaks near Appenzell.

7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR: Several beautiful lakes, and incredible gorge hike, and an epic Via Ferrata course.

MY PERSONALIZED SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS

SWITZERLAND BUDGET BACKPACKING GUIDE: In this blog, I talk about the cost of travel and how to travel around Switzerland on the cheap with some tips and hacks from my experience.

20 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: MY SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS: You probably didn’t even think of half of these. I didn’t either and figured many of these tips out the hard way.

MOST IMPORTANT TRANSPORT TIP: SWISS HALF CARD

OPTION 1: 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. OPTION 2: 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: The final 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 where 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.

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