Added by Dan Loch
The Alps is a 68 mile trek that can be completed in full or scaled down. Take in jaw dropping snowcapped peaks, beautiful alpine lakes, and waterfalls. Hike along the infamous North Face of the Eiger, Jungfra, Monch, Wetterhorn. Drink a bier or scotch while soaking in the Alpenglow on the Eiger.
Words cannot describe the unparalleled beauty and scenery you will experience on this trek. The journey starts at Schynige Platte where you get your first up-close glimpse of the Berner Oberland including the Eiger, Jungfrau, Monch, and Wetterhorn. From there you will wind up and down through beautiful valleys and vistas offering breathtaking panoramas, often sharing the trail with local bovine (watch for cow pies).
One dramatic view not to be missed on the first day is the Bachsee with an incredible reflection of the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn. The route changes dramatically along the way with relatively flat rolling hills to moderately steep and exposed ridges that would be best not to tackle in poor conditions. Some areas have fixed cables and metal rungs to assist on steeper sections. Be prepared for areas of significant elevation gain and frequent fluctuations in elevation along the entire route as well as potential for drastic changes in weather. There are quite a few huts and hostels to stay at along the way.
A few notable places to stay the night with killer views and great food:
- Berghotel Schynige Platte
- Berghausthaus First
- Berghotel Gross Scheidegg
- Hotel Wetterhorn
- Gleckstein Hut
- Kleine Scheidegg
- Kleine Scheidegg
- Rotstuck Hut
- Suls-Lobhorn Hut
Not looking for the full 68 miles or short on time? Not a problem. The above Mountain Huts and Hostels are conveniently staged along the route to allow you to personalize your trek to a distance and time that works for you. On average, each section is about 6 miles. All of which are generally only a short hike to nearby ski lift, cogwheel train, gondola or town to provide transportation back toward Interlaken. Here is more detailed breakdown to get you started:
First Stage of Trek: Schynige Platte to Stechelberg; 36 miles; 4-5 days
- Part 1: Schynige Platt to First: 9 miles, 5-6 hrs; lodging: Berghotel Schynige Platte, Bergaus First; excursions: Bachsee
- Part 2: First to Wetterhorn: 5 miles, 2.5-3 hrs; lodging: Berghotel Grosse Scheidegg, Hotel Wetterhorn
- Part 3: Hotel Wetterhorn to Alpiglen: 6 miles, 5 hrs; lodging: Alpiglen
- Part 4: Alpiglen to Kleine Scheidegg: 4 miles; 3-4 hrs; lodging: Eigergletscher, Kleine Scheidegg; excursions: The Eiger, Jungfraujoch Railway
- Part 5: Kleine Scheidegg to Stechelberg: 9 miles; 5 hrs; lodging: Hotel Stechelberg and The Alpenhof; this is a nice turn around point if looking for splitting the trek in half; excursions: Lauterbrunnen Valley and Trummelbach FallsStage 2: Stechelberg to Wilderswil; 32 miles; 4-5 days
- Part 6: Stechelberg to Obersteinberg: 5 miles; 5 hrs; lodging: Obersteinberg; strenuous portion of route but remote and rewarding
- Part 7: Obersteinberg to Rotstock Hut: 6 miles; 4-5 hrs; lodging: Rotstock Hut; noted: steep ascents and descents w/ exposed ridge lines
- Part 8: Rotstock Hut to the Blumental; 6 miles; 4-5 hrs; lodging: Blumental; excursions: Schilthorn, has great views of the Jungfrau and revolving restaurant on top (Piz Gloria) though this portion of trip is not recommended in poor weather due to very exposed regions
- Part 9: Blumental to Suls-Lobhorn Hut; 6 miles; 3.5 hrs; lodging: Suls-Lobhorn Hut; generally less elevation gain and less difficulty than previous sections
- Part 10 (Final section): Suls-Lobhorn Hut to Wilderswil: 9 miles; 4 hrs; lodging: Wilderswil (15 hotels in the village); this last section is all downhill for the most part
See the attached map below for general outline of trek and links to Railway passes:
There are also many side trails that will take you closer and onto nearby glaciers and ridges (care should be taken as we witnessed frequent calving and avalanches in the late summer heat).
The views along the route itself are enough to stop you dead in your tracks and you may find your most memorable experiences and views along the trail. However, there are a few highlights that shouldn’t be missed:
- Hiking along the Eiger trail above its notorious North Face
- Take the Jungfraujoch railway up to the “Top of Europe” to get an upclose and personal view of the Jungfrau, Monch, and surrounding Alps; also a great starting point for mountaineering
- Stroll through the Lauterbrunnen Valley with immense cliffs surrounding on all sides and waterfalls cascading into lush green pastures
- Spend a day or night in the charming towns of Murren, Wengen, or Grindelwald
Things to know:
- Length: entire route is 68 miles and allow 8-12 days depending on side trips & hut/hostel stays. With the plethora of trails, cogwheel trains, and ski lifts, this can easily be customized and shortened to fit your plans.
- When to go: Late June-September. July and August are the busiest time of year but may also offer best weather. September allows you to beat the crowds.
- Getting there: likely easiest to fly into Zurich, Geneva or Bern and take a train to Interlaken. From there, hop on the local train to Wilderswil and take a cog train to the start of your trek at Schynige Platte.
- Language: German is regional language but English is well understood
- Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF). Check exchange rate prior to departure. Many credit cards are accepted in hotels in area but cash is required in mountain huts.
- Passport & Insurance
- Hiking boots
- Local topo map
- Clothing: bring layers and be prepared for anything but keep the weight light; hat and gloves; waterproof layers
- Sleeping bag for huts and hostels
- AC adapter if you are taking lots of photos
- Mountaineering/alpine gear if climbing as well
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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