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12 days in Wengen area in September

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Mary R
Mary R
3 posts
new member
Feb 11, 2020 - 7:36 PM

We are traveling to Switzerland in September and want to focus on the Bernese Oberland area. Our main interest is hiking or other outdoor activities and we will have 12 days available. If we use Wengen as a base, is there plenty to do for 12 days (including day trips from Wengen) or should we plan on one week in Wengen and then move to a different area? We have visited Switzerland previously but have never been to the Lauterbrunnen Valley area. Thanks for your help.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Feb 11, 2020 - 8:13 PM in reply to Mary R

Hello Mary R and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

There is certainly plenty to keep you occupied in the Bernese Oberland. This trip report may give you some ideas on an alternate base.

Have a look at www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim for more ideas. Some of the links in the documents are out of date but it is still a wonderful reference.

Mark
Mark
484 posts
top member
Feb 11, 2020 - 11:49 PM

It would be helpful to know your preferences on difficulty of hikes. Distance? Elevation change?day hikes? Multi day hikes? Technical hikes? I’ve hiked much of the Jungfrau area and the scenery is stunning and great variety is available. However, If I was especially interested in hiking and had 12 days I would probably hike 2 areas with 7-8 days in Wengen and the rest in either the Zermatt area, or the Upper Engadin area (Pontresina, St Moritz, Sils). Mark

Mary R
Mary R
3 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2020 - 12:55 AM in reply to Mark

We are interested in day hikes of an easy/moderate level - anywhere from three to eight miles in length. Thanks for your suggestions.

Ildiko
Ildiko
911 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 12, 2020 - 6:41 AM in reply to Mary R

Hi Mary R,

you can search for hiking routes at www.myswissalps.com/hiking, use the filter to select the Jungfrau region and you can also select the trail difficulty there.

I hope that helps,

Ildiko

Also see:

Last modified on Feb 12, 2020 - 6:42 AM by Ildiko
Caroline679
Caroline679
20 posts
new member
Feb 13, 2020 - 1:13 AM

Hi Mary,

You will fall in love with hiking in the Wengen area. (We also liked and hiked Zermatt, but we truly feel few places are as spectacular as the Jungfrau region.) We are 60 and 67, are life-long hikers, and are fit, but not more so than most active people. There are tons of hikes you can do from Wengen. You’ll have lots of choices. You might enjoy this one (below) which for some reason doesn’t come up on a lot of lists (which actually is nice cuz it’s far less populated) —

There have been numerous mentions on this fabulous site of the nice, basically-level walk between Murren and the station at Grutschalp (<— which is across the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengen). I agree that it’s an enjoyable stroll, and it certainly is an appropriate choice with kids or with elderly family members. But a *really* lovely alternative is the trail that pretty much parallels that one, except higher up. On the yellow trail signs, it is referred to as the “Mountain View Trail”.

If you don’t mind a bit of exercise for your legs going up the initial section (which begins on the uphill side of the rail tracks at Grutschalp, and initially goes uphill into evergreen woods from there; but not for any interminable length, and you’ll have shade to keep you cool), you will be *more than amply rewarded* by a beautiful, open trail above tree-line for several gorgeous hours afterwards, with stupendous alpine mountain views the entire way, and ending up at Almendhubel, where you can then either walk, or take the gondola, down to Mürren. The best time to do this route is in the afternoon, when the sun is shining right onto the Alps (Eiger etc), making them pop out from the sky beyond. (Morning is much tougher for pictures, if you take as many as we do. Tough exposure in the a.m.). Just be sure to check what time the last gondola leaves Almendhubel (in September, it was around 5 pm), for your trip down into Murren at the other end.

We’ve done this route on its own, but we’ve also done it with several variations:

>> walking all the way to Murren (which is a nice add-on, being very pastoral and all gently downhill)

>> combining it with a ride up Schilthorn afterwards (which means, though, that you don’t have time to do the trail in the afternoon, when the Mountain View Trail is at its best).... An option could be to do Schilthorn first, and then do the high trail from Murren back to Grutschalp in the afternoon, although we found it most enjoyable in the opposite direction

>> doing a full loop: first on the higher Mountain View Trail from Grutschalp to Murren, then walking back on the level, lower, much more populated path from Murren back to the Grutschalp station

We’ve done all of these variations. What we loved was:

— the Mountain View Trail is not nearly as populated and well-traveled as the lower, level, busier route

— it’s much quieter, and you’re never looking at railroad tracks as your view

— except to initially get up to the rest of the trail — (the wonderful, extended, horizontal part) — the view is never obstructed by trees

— you walk through lovely green pastures, and come upon terrific lunch spots with drop-dead gorgeous views

— you can tailor the length of the outing to your energy level and time available

We were surprised that this trail is not more widely written about in the local information. It’s just lovely. The Mountain View Trail itself takes 2-3 hours, depending on how much you gawk at the views and how many pictures you stop to take. We couldn’t resist. The seemingly-always-very-crowded Grutschalp cog-train / gondola was the only downside... You get spoiled being out in all that Nature on the trail. But if you can squeeze over to the right-hand side (going down to Lauterbrunnen), you’ll get more amazing views then, too. And again, if you want the option of taking the gondola from Almendhubel into Murren, check its timetable in advance. It’s more limited in its schedule than the Grutschalp end of things.

’Hope this encourages you to give this route a try. You won’t be disappointed. : )

The other hikes we chose are more rigorous. But almost anywhere you go in this whole area, you’ll be treated with some of the most gorgeous views in the whole world. Enjoy every moment!

— Caroline

Mary R
Mary R
3 posts
new member
Feb 13, 2020 - 1:27 AM in reply to Caroline679

Thanks so much for all of the amazing information! We are looking forward to our visit. Happy Hiking!

Mark
Mark
484 posts
top member
Feb 13, 2020 - 2:58 AM

Hi Mary

I can make some hiking suggestions of less than 8 miles and easy to moderate in difficulty. I will include some appropriate trail photos as well. You will find the Swiss often rate the trails not in length but in expected hiking times but they usually are based on a pace of 1.5 MPH. They do not take into account time for stopping or uphill vs downhill.

The Eiger trail takes about 3 hrs and is a classic hike that runs from Eigergletscher to Alpiglen along the base of the Eiger. Access is by train to and from Wengen

Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is also classic and is only 1.45 hrs. I would recommend continuing the hike from KS up to Eigergletscher 1.20 hrs and/ or KS to Wengernalp about 1.5 hrs. Access is by cable car from Wengen and return by train

First to Bachalpsee is another classic and I would highly recommend continuing on to Waldspitz and Bort with return to Grindelwald by cable car.Total time 2.5 hrs.

From Schynige Platte there is a gorgeous Panorama loop of 2.3 hrs with a cliff walk with views of Interlaken lakes on 1 side and mountains on the other. Access by train

A short but scenic hike is First to Grosse Scheidegg , 1.15 hrs and bus to Grindelwald. If you want some longer options consider First to Bussalp which is 3 hrs via Feld or 4 hrs via Faulhorn. Access to First is by cable car.

The ultimate hike is a little longer. Schynige Platte to First or the reverse. It's 6.5 hrs or 9 miles.

Mark

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Mark
Mark
484 posts
top member
Feb 13, 2020 - 3:19 AM

Following I will include some photos of some trails in the Zermatt area as well as a couple of photos of First to Grosse Scheidegg

The hidden valley trail was from Riffelalp to hidden valley and back to Riffelalp and took about 4 hrs. Note the Matterhorn in the background. Access by train to and from Zermatt.

The last 4 photos are from a gorgeous hike from Riffelalp to Riffelsee and on around to the backside of Gornergrat with views of Gornergletcher and Mt Liskamm and Mt Rosa then switchbacks to top of Gornergat and train back to Zermatt. Hiking time 4.5- 5 hrs. Please excuse the photos being somewhat out of order. Mark

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