Easy walks and hikes in Wengen

Easy walks and hikes in Wengen

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 34. This thread is closed.
AndyJen
AndyJen
5 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2015 - 10:23 PM

Greetings,

My fiance and I will be honeymooning in Switzerland this summer and will be staying in Wengen from June 7-June 11. We are both inexperienced hikers so we are looking for very easy to easy walks and hikes to do in the area. Are there any trails over relatively level terrain or with just minor inclines? Also, we are of course planning to take the cog railway up the Jungfrau, but we welcome suggestions of other attractions in the area.

Thanks so much for your help.

Jen and Andy

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2015 - 9:54 PM in reply to AndyJen

<<" Wengen from June 7-June 11. We are both inexperienced hikers so we are
looking for very easy to easy walks and hikes to do in the area. Are
there any trails over relatively level terrain or with just minor
inclines? ">>

I hope that you are not disappointed due to residual (or even, fresh, snow.

The high mountain passes only open their roads in the first week in June. Still lots of snow piled beside the roads.

At that time in June, the high trails may be free of snow, maybe suitable for hiking but have snowy patches, or may be none of the above.

Wengen is at about 1600 meters elevation. Männlichen at about 2300.

I'm planning to be in Wengen June 14th-15th-16th and have my fingers crossed that the specific trail I want to take a grandson on ( and that meets your description) will be passable.

It is one of the most spectacular easy walks in Switzerland (in fact, one of the most spectacular, period), and is nick-named "The Grannies' Walk" because it is really easy. For calibration, remember that all Swiss Grannies all have hiking boots, hiking staffs, and all hike every chance they can get. ;-) And, they are all used to exertion at 1.4 miles above sea level.

Just joking, but it is an easy moderately down hill trail, from Männlichen lift station to Kleine Scheidegg train station. Takes a couple of hours, unless you succumb to the temptation to stop and stare a lot. The lift station is in the center of Wengen, and it takes you directly up to Männlichen. Naturally, there is a restaurant there, as well as at the end of the walk in Kleine Scheidegg. There are a few short patches where the moderately down hill stretches have some loose gravel, but that is the worst of it.

Although they are not absolutely necessary, you'll be more comfortable with hiking boots that give you some ankle support and have soles with a good grip. I, personally, like to use a hiking staff, but plenty of people don't use one for this trail.

The walk along the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, from Lauterbrunnen towards the foot of the Jungfrau is nearly level, quite impressive, and after a couple of miles reaches the base of the series of connected lifts that go all the way up to Schilthorn. At that lower altitude, it will surely be free of snow. There is a bus route along the way, if you get tired.

The short easy walk from Mürren to Grutschalp on the other side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and is quite pleasant. It parallels the "train" (more like a trolley) and there is an imtermediate stop at Winteregg. Of course, there is a restaurant there with great views of the Jungfrau.

I've attached a couple of pictures.

Please login to see the attached documents
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 29, 2015 - 9:58 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Somehow, I only got one picture posted in my previous message.

Here are the rest.

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2015 - 4:35 AM

Thanks for the pictures and the great suggestions Slowpoke!

More about these trails can be found here, here and here. Jungfrau region hikes are listed here.

AndyJen
AndyJen
5 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2015 - 1:32 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Dear Slowpoke,

Thanks for the great suggestions. We don't have hiking boots--only regular running sneakers, although we do have trekking poles. Will these be sufficient for the easy trails such as these? We, too, were concerned that some trails might not be open yet and that we might need to go lower. Thanks for the tips on the trails from Lauterbraunnen and have fun on your own vacation.

Best,

Jen and Andy

Sequimer
Sequimer
6 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2015 - 3:02 PM
Thanks very much Slowpoke, this is such an excellent site with great information. We will be there for 5 days starting May 18 and have been wondering how much snow will still be there. Do you know what the snow level has been like there this past winter? Here in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State we have had a very mild winter with very little snow pack.
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Mar 31, 2015 - 3:44 PM in reply to Sequimer

You will not need hiking boots for these easy trails.

Two of the popular and easy trails -- Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and First to Bachalpsee -- normally do not open until June 15. It was a good snow year in the region so I expect that will hold true again this year. In fact the gondolas/lifts to get to the trail heads of each do not open until 30 May and 6 June, respectively.

In mid-May the valley floor walk (Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, not the base of the Jungfrau which is in the opposite direction) will be accessible and probably the Grütschalp to Mürren walk. There is also a nice walk along the river from Lauterbrunnen to Wilderswil. It's about 6 miles of flat path but you can stop halfway and take the train at Zweilütschinen.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2015 - 4:15 PM in reply to kim11
kim11 said:

Kim- thanks for the very clear and helpful answers. Good to have precise information.

<<"You will not need hiking boots for these easy trails.">>

I agree.

AndyJen mentioned "running sneakers"

In my mind those have very thin soles, and the trails have rocks and gravel. Lugged soles - even on lightweight boots, or at least, heavy soles, help a lot on that kind of surface.

The picture that I attached previously show some of the typical surfaces.

I find that my feet tend to slip on the few short moderately steep places where there is loose gravel. I have to walk carefully. A Spazierstock ( hiking staff) helps me a lot in those case.

<<"Two of the popular and easy trails -- Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and First to Bachalpsee -- normally do not open until June 15. It was a good snow year in the region so I expect that will hold true again this year. ">>

Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. My planned hiking date at Männlichen is June 15th. Maybe I'll be lucky. Will I be able to get up to the Gipfel, do you thinK?

<""In mid-May the valley floor walk (Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, not the base of the Jungfrau which is in the opposite direction) will be accessible and probably the Grütschalp to Mürren walk. "..>>

Thanks for the correction.

If one is at Lauterbrunnen, one can walk north toward Interlaken or south toward the Jungfrau. I did not mean to say to walk to the Jungfrau. Stechelberg is the best name, I should have chosen that.. The views of the waterfalls along that route are nice, especially in Spring with the snow melt.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2015 - 4:24 PM in reply to kim11
kim11 said:

<<"Two of the popular and easy trails -- Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and First to Bachalpsee -- normally do not open until June 15. It was a good snow year in the region so I expect that will hold true again this year. In fact the gondolas/lifts to get to the trail heads of each do not open until 30 May and 6 June, respectively.">>

Confirming your comments - here is information in this link from 2007, when it was a light snow year and the trail opened earlier. I'm hoping June 15th is going to work. ;)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188078-i653-k1178009-Walk_Mannlichen_to_Kleine_Scheidegg-Bernese_Oberland_Canton_of_Bern.html

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2015 - 9:28 PM in reply to kim11

Swiss Wanderwege are classified as Hiking Trails (yellow trail marker), Mountain Trails (white and red marker) and Rock Climbing Trails (red and white with an arrowhead.).

The trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (#33) is a yellow-marked Hiking Trail :

<<"Hiking Trails are for families of all ages with weather-resistant clothing and sturdy shoes. A risk is always present. Complete and permanent security cannot be guaranteed. In corresponding weather, natural events such as spring avalanches, debris flows and rock falls during intense precipitation must be expected.">>

That is a quote from:

www.jungfrau.ch/en/sommer/tourism/destinations/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/walking/Report/showWalkingDetail/maennlichen-kleine-scheidegg/

which has a an excellent description of the walk, listed as #33. It is a very useful site with many trails listed. In the list of hikes by number, there is an icon showing "open for hiking now" on trails that are open. Männlichen -Kleine Scheidegg obviously is not open now .

It does take a bit of digging to move around the site.

www.jungfrau.ch/en/sommer/tourism/destinations/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/

On Mountain Trails and Rock Climbing Trails one should have more equipment and training.

In the description on that site, it says that the trail 33 is open at the end of May. I'm pretty sure that is optimistic, but, perhaps that corresponds to the opening date for the lift up from Wengen. If the trail has residual snowy or slushy sections, or snow melt puddles, or water running across the trail, sneakers may get wet or...if they are truly running shoes with light soles - may be inadequate.

Later in the season, things dry out.

It also says that the Mürren-Winteregg-Grütschalp trail (#52) is open all year. In the winter, the snow is groomed for hiking. Boots, for sure.

Just some more grist for the mill. ;-)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2015 - 9:34 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Oops - that site is in German, but you can choose English at the top.

And, you'll have to chose Summer to get to the hiking information.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Mar 31, 2015 - 9:47 PM in reply to AndyJen

<<". We don't have hiking boots--only regular running sneakers, although we do have trekking poles. Will these be sufficient for the easy trails such as these? We, too, were concerned that some trails might not be open yet and that we might need to go lower. ">>

This link reminds you of what can happen if the weather is bad, and shows some good pictures of the trail conditions.

www.travelsnapstories.com/2014/04/switzerland-walking-trail-in-mannlichen/

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Apr 2, 2015 - 3:00 PM in reply to kim11
kim11 said:

<<"Two of the popular and easy trails -- Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and First to Bachalpsee -- normally do not open until June 15. It was a good snow year in the region so I expect that will hold true again this year. ">>

Kim -

I asked the inn keeper at the Hotel Schoenegg in Wengen, where I plan to stay in June.

Here is his comment about the June 15th date - which seems to be a sort of normal target as you indicate, unless snow conditions dictate otherwise. I asked him if there was an official opening date. Here is his answer.

<<"As for the path Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg,
there is no official opening date for the trail yet. It is
very difficult to predict the snow conditions for June now.

Normally they open the path around that time, last year it was
also around 15th June but it can also be a week earlier or
later.

The best source is Wengen Tourism. You can reach them on +41
33 856 85 85, maybe you want to call them before your journey."..">>

Good advice.

And, for AndyJen, I'm sure that they will speak English.

AndyJen
AndyJen
5 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2015 - 12:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the wealth of information. It sounds like we will be there before the trails open up and might need to head into the valley. Thanks also for the tips on the quickly changing weather. We will certainly keep that in mind!

best,

jen and Andy

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 1:08 AM in reply to AndyJen

<<"It sounds like we will be there before the trails open up and might need to head into the valley">>

Certainly true of many trails. However, the web site I linked to earlier will make clear which ones are open.

Have great trip. You will be impressed by the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Apr 3, 2015 - 3:40 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you Slowpoke for all of your informative posts! Good work.

However, there are a couple of things that I disagree with.

>However, the web site I linked to earlier will make clear which ones are open.<

Unfortunately this is not the case during shoulder season (May/June). As the innkeeper at Hotel Schönegg (EXCELLENT pick) said they don't know. And they live there. The hotel manager is the son of the doctor in town, has been born/raised there. So he for sure understands the unpredictability. And the tourist office, as good as they are, also doesn't have control or insight into the weather. So the best they can do during this time frame is give you estimates then tell you day of whether the trail is open or not. I have seen this trail open and close several times during this time frame based on the daily weather conditions. So my advice is to hope for the best but have alternative plans.

And, really, these walks from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and Grütschalp to Mürren are not hikes, rather they are walks. Both easily done in running shoes with good traction. Not Keds or smooth-bottomed sneakers for sure. I have seen pushcarts and even people in motorized wheel chairs on these paths. My 75 year old mother that has done pretty much zero exercise in her life did the M to KS walk with no trouble whatsoever.

Not that it really matters (but since I'm on site anyway) the Jungfrau is not in the direction of the Lauterbrunnen Valley walk. This is a positively stunning walk with beautiful waterfalls and scenery. But the peak you are facing is not the Jungfrau (which is not visible from Lauterbrunnen Valley walk) but the Breithorn. There is a lovely waterfall that spills out year round, coming from the Oberhornsee above. Beautiful.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 9:09 AM in reply to kim11
kim11 said:

<<"However, there are a couple of things that I disagree with.

>However, the web site I linked to earlier will make clear which ones are open.<

Unfortunately this is not the case during shoulder season (May/June).......... I have seen this trail open and close several times during this time frame based on the daily weather conditions. So my advice is to hope for the best but have alternative plans.">>

Thanks. there is nothing better than details from someone who is at the location. I had forgotten about the potential for opening and closing more than once at that time of year.

<<"And, really, these walks from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and Grütschalp to Mürren are not hikes, rather they are walks. Both easily done in running shoes with good traction. Not Keds or smooth-bottomed sneakers for sure. I have seen pushcarts and even people in motorized wheel chairs on these paths. My 75 year old mother that has done pretty much zero exercise in her life did the M to KS walk with no trouble whatsoever.">>

I do not disagree at all.....as long as you are speaking to or as a Swiss resident. You speak as a Swiss who hikes or walks frequently, especially compared to the standards of people from countries where walking is less common. I will remind you of the first post. AndyJen said -

<<"We are both inexperienced hikers so we are looking for very easy to easy
walks and hikes to do in the area. Are there any trails over relatively
level terrain or with just minor inclines?">

"Inexperienced" - includes "do not own boots." What footwear did your mother wear?

I offer these observations for perspective .One morning I was hiking or walking from Brienzer Rothorn to Schönbuel, with my boots and Spazierstock - which I needed, especially in that one slippery spot near the beginning where the cable is available for a hand grip. I had paused to catch my breath on one of the climbs. I climb more slowly at high altitude. A woman with her 5 or 6 year old son was walking the trail in the other direction and paused to ask me if i needed help. They both had on boots, but did not have staffs. Just an ordinary walk for them. Another day, a beautiful Sunday, on that trail we saw a couple in their "Go to Church" clothes and dress shoes ( not high heels!) walking the trail. That was only slightly surprising from a Swiss perspective.

Here is a different perspective - When I am talking with friends in the USA about walking or hiking on Switzerland, I start with a joke- "Walking is a legitimate form of public transportation in Switzerland." Then I wait. The light dawns after a moment. Many people in the USA will take a car to go 100 yards, or wait in their cars to get a parking place 10 meters closer to the door of the Post office before they get out, when they could park and walk the 10 meters.

<<"Not that it really matters (but since I'm on site anyway) the Jungfrau is not in the direction of the Lauterbrunnen Valley walk. This is a positively stunning walk with beautiful waterfalls and scenery. But the peak you are facing is not the Jungfrau (which is not visible from Lauterbrunnen Valley walk) but the Breithorn. There is a lovely waterfall that spills out year round, coming from the Oberhornsee above. Beautiful.">>

I took my own advice and looked at the map. See attached. You are right, but I was not too far off base, especially when talking to someone who has never heard of the Breithorn.

Kim - it is really valuable to have your knowledge of the area. From you and Herr Allenspach I am learning a lot. Thanks. I visit periodically, and you live there. Can't be beat. I really appreciate your taking the time to help me.

But, I have a lot of experience with people who have never owned hiking boots, and have never been on a mountain trail. One family (relatives of my daughter-in-law) with pre-teen children had read a lot of Rick Steve's material and had decided to walk from Schilthorn down to Mürren (or that village just below Mürren that he promotes) in sneakers, late in the afternoon.....With some difficulty, I suggested that they might try something easier first.

Last modified on Apr 4, 2015 - 8:57 AM by Slowpoke
Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2015 - 3:01 PM
I don't think Kim lives in Switzerland (I don't either; I wish!), but I guess she knows more about the Jungfrau region than many locals. Check out her extensive document about the area and you'll be impressed :-)
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 3:49 PM in reply to Arno

<<"

Arno said: I don't think Kim lives in Switzerland (I don't either; I wish!), but I guess she knows more about the Jungfrau region than many locals. Check out her extensive document about the area and you'll be impressed :-)
">>

I am impressed.

I have just had time to skim it, but it is really excellent.

I'll read every bit of it before we get there in June.

As you can tell from my posts, I was quite sure she lived in Switzerland.

Last modified on Apr 4, 2015 - 8:57 AM by Slowpoke
jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Apr 4, 2015 - 12:15 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Kim sent me a revision of her 50 pages+ document dated Dec 2014 on my request. I am highly impressed. I guess that she lives in San Jose, California, as we are in the same time zone.

Thank you

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016