Easy Hikes in January

Easy Hikes in January

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Posts: 8. This thread is closed.
ragss811
ragss811
2 posts
new member
Dec 4, 2013 - 3:51 PM
Hey I will be in Switzerland for a week towards the end of January and although I would like to spend time exploring the cities I would also like to explore some of the wonderful nature in the Swiss alps. I will be traveling with 2 other people and would like to get suggestions for any hikes we can go on in winter.

I would prefer something that is easy, not dangerous (as we are not intense hikers and only speak english) and preferably wouldnt take too long to get to from the main cities.

Any other general suggestions on the trip would be appreciated, its only for 7 days in January and I am pretty overwhelmed by what to do (on a students budget). I would like to spend a day or 2 in the main cities but would also like to see a lot of the Swiss alphs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 6, 2013 - 11:48 AM
Hello ragss811! There are lots of options for easy winter hikes, but it's a bit hard to give advice right now as you don't seem to know yet what part(s) of the country you'll be visiting. I think you should first decide on the cities and region(s) you'd like to explore. Do you have any ideas yet or is your itinerary still completely open? Do you know where your journey will start and end, have you booked a flight or train journey already? Do you plan other activities besides city visits and hiking?

If you can provide more details, I'll be able to give some tips.
ragss811
ragss811
2 posts
new member
Dec 6, 2013 - 12:00 PM
Thanks for the reply!

I am flying into Milan and spending the night there before traveling to Switzerland for a week before going to Frankfurt, Germany. The itinerary is mostly open though I highly prefer being in Zurich for the end of the trip before taking a train to Frankfurt.

After doing a little research on my own I was thinking going to Zermatt first for 2 days as I hear there are good winter hikes there (as well as just being beautiful in general). Before traveling to another city (possibly Lucern or Basel) and then traveling to Zurich. I wish I had more time to spend in Switzerland, but a week is such a small amount of time to see a country. That plan is still totally open, nothing is booked so if you have any comments on that or advice on what to see or do that would be fantastic!
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 7, 2013 - 2:18 PM
Hi again! A week indeed is a bit short to explore both cities and the Alps, but it's doable. Zermatt would be a good choice for winter hikes; it's beautiful there. It'll be rather crowded in January though, but that goes for all ski resorts. Here are some hiking tips. Routes around the Riffelsee and Sunnegga offer stunning views of the Alps, including the Matterhorn. In case you're looking for hotels: here's a selection.

Lucerne and Zurich are great cities, but it's less easy to make winter hikes from these bases. Both towns are in the north and it's insecure whether there'll be snow in the immediate surroundings. In average winters, there will be snow up in the mountains near Lucerne; hikes can be found here. A more secure region would be the Jungfrau region including towns like Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and Grindelwald. But this region doesn't offer an attractive 'main city', unless you pick Bern and don't mind traveling an hour and a half or so reach hiking trails in the mountains. The timetable provides details. I wouldn't include Basel if I were you, as it's far off from the mountain regions and doesn't fit well in your itinerary.
jackdebear
jackdebear
42 posts
active member
Dec 7, 2013 - 4:44 PM
I got turned back by unseasonable snow at Surenenpass in October this year. I'm Canadian. I don't mind hiking in snow - to a point. Problem is / was 90% the trail markers get covered by and inch or two of it. I imagine these winter trails are groomed.
Arno
Arno
7345 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 10, 2013 - 12:46 AM
The signposts are mostly up on a pole. If the route is especially prepared for Winter and different from the normal route the signs are often pink, so easy to see in the snow. It shouldn't be a problem to find your way.

Have fun!
Wineycat
Wineycat
3 posts
new member
Dec 11, 2013 - 5:23 AM
I've been to Switzerland in January and it's great. I agree with going to Jungfrau regIon. There is a great base there- Interlaken. There is a great youth hostel at Interlaken Ost station. Also there are hotels and apartments. Laterbrunnen, Grindewald, etc, are a few minute train rides. I have been there many times and love it. I can't wait to return. We stay in apartments, shop at local grocery stores and save lots of money that way! Lots of great hikes.
jackdebear
jackdebear
42 posts
active member
Dec 16, 2013 - 10:10 AM
I remember being told that the winter trail poles are taken down in summer because the cattle are taken to the higher ground, use them for scratching and push them over. Must be lovely in winter.

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