The Niederhorn is a popular summit with lots of action at the time, highlighted by incredible views of Lake Thun. It’s possible to ride up or down with the cable car but exploring the Niederhorn ridge hike at the summit is a must!
NIEDERHORN RIDGE HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The way we did the hike was to take a cable car to the summit and then hike along the ridge and then down to Beatenberg Staion. This was 7 kilometers. It can be done in reverse or as an entire loop for 14kms.
Hike Duration: The hike down took less than two hours but the hike up would take 2-3 hours.
Hike Difficulty: Very low difficulty with clear path, signs, no drop-offs.
Hike Incline: Starting point at Beatenbergbahn: 1,126m – Niederhorn: 1,950m
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HOW TO GET TO THE NIEDERHORN HIKE
Whether you hike or take the cable car up you need to head to the Beatenbergbahn (Beatenberg Station). Then you will either hike the trail following the yellow signs or jump in a cable car. At the summit, you can hike along the ridge, which is also well signed.
If you have the Swiss Half-Card you will receive a huge discount on your tickets. I bought mine when I arrived in Switzerland and it has saved me over a thousand dollars throughout my trip.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE NIEDERHORN SUMMIT RIDGE HIKE
Normally we would hike up and take a cable car down but after a big couple of days on the trails in a row, we headed out to Niederhorn and jumped on a cable car and headed up. Our plan was to hike along the ridge and then hike all the way back down to Beatenberg Station where we had parked the car.
When we reached the summit, we began to explore the ridges in all directions. To our surprise, most people clustered at one viewpoint or inside the restaurant. We hung out on the ridge that overlooks the western end of Lake Thun and was all by ourselves the entire time.
We watched as paragliders took off (I watched that one from my drone, which was a little scary), scoped out Lake Thun and looked at the small huts in the valley below.
There were lots of different viewpoints around the restaurant, which are great to explore before really heading off down the ridge on the trail. Plenty of benches make it a really relaxing summit as there is just so much room to find your own space and your own view compared to some summits that are crowded and quite ‘cozy’.
After hanging out at the summit for over an hour taking it all in, we headed off down the ridge. The route most people take at this point is Niederhorn – Burgfeldstand – Alp Oberburgfeld – Vorsass. However, we decided not to head back to Vorsass and just continue hiking all the way down to Beatenberg Station.
Along the way, we met some cows that were a bit too friendly. One of them took a liking to Josh.
The Niederhorn is a popular region for paragliders and hang-gliders so expect to see them flying through the valley or above Lake Thun. We even watched a couple of them have some pretty sketchy take-offs.
Your end goal along the ridge is Burgfeldstand, although you could keep hiking forever. That’s pretty much how it goes in Switzerland. There is always another trail connecting on and everything is connected. These photos below show the ridge to Burgfeldstand and the valley below.
We now began the hike down and it was actually a pretty nice trail through the forest. Sometimes we cut through off-road sections and it got pretty wild but if you stay on the trail it’s a pretty simple winding route down to Beatenberg Station.
On the way down we even had some great glimpses of the mountain peaks in the Jungfrau region, which finally popped out of the clouds.
This is a great hike for families or just a slower down out on the mountains. It would be an EPIC spot for sunset and not a hard hike down in the dark so I do suggest taking the cable up (or hike up), having a bite to eat, watching the sunset and then hiking down in the dark. That would be the ideal adventure at Niederhorn.
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.