Hike over Bunderchrinde Pass in the Bernese Alps
Switzerland › Bunderchrinde Trailhead
Added by Justin Dong
This is an awesome full-day hike that traverses one of Switzerland's most iconic mountain passes on the Swiss Via Alpina trail – Bunderchrinde Pass. The trail has views of lush, glacial valleys and scenic alpine villages.
The hike starts in the town of Kandersteg and ends in the town of Adelboden. If you want to make it an out-and-back, you can hike from Kandersteg to Bunderchrinde Pass then back down.
Getting to Kandersteg from any major city by train is easy. From the train station, follow the "yellow" signs to Bunderchrinde/Adelboden. The trail over the Bunderchrinde overlaps the famous Via Alpina trail, so you will frequently see signposts for the Via Alpina througout the hike.
The trail begins in a flat, open meadow, passing through some well-used recreation (camping, refreshments) areas. Afterwards, the trail climbs quite steeply through the woods before reaching the Äusser Ueschinen valley. Here, there is a restaurant and service road.
The sheer-vertical-looking mountains directly in front of you are actually where the trail is headed! There are 4000 ft of elevation gain to be had, after all. The trail inclines gently across the switchbacks of the service road before ramping up steeply towards the Bunderchrinde (still not visible at this point).
Eventually, the trail levels out again at Aschelen, a small alp offering refreshments (and plenty of fly-infested cattle). From here, be sure to check out the fantastic views of Oeschinensee (a high alpine lake) and the Gasterntal glacial valley to the right. These are some of the finest views you can find in the Swiss Alps!
Finally, the Bunderchrinde is visible at this point, just a narrow gap in the rocks above. The path rises fairly steeply again, although there's only a single switchback to traverse. Towards the top, before of loose rock underfoot.
At the top, there's a fantastic view of Adelboden below. If you're descending to Adelboden, the elevation loss is about 3000 ft. There are a few small mountain hotels on the trail nearer to Adelboden. All of the junctions are very well-signed, and you should follow the signs to Adelboden.
If your goal is to overnight in Adelboden, the town center has plenty of small hotels/B&Bs. As well, the town is well-connected to the rest of the country by rail, if you're looking to get back to a big city.
Note: there are some fresh water fountains along the trail from which you can refill water. If you plan to refill at any of the streams/rivers, however, you should bring a water filter (or alternate purification method) due to the trail's vicinity to many alpine pastures.
- Day pack
- Food and water
- Hiking boots/shoes
- Water filter (optional)
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