Lauterbrunnen area (with baby)

Lauterbrunnen area (with baby)

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tigerfondue
tigerfondue
3 posts
new member
Aug 1, 2014 - 4:13 PM

I am planning a trip to switzerland in mid september with my wife and 4 month baby. I would like to get advice on the interlaken/lauterbrunnen areas (5 nights) .I am planning to hire a car and stay in interlaken. I know that switzerland has an amazing public transport system. but i since i have a baby i need the flexibility of a car and its convenience (even though it will be limited use in lauterbrunnen). A car allows me to keep a stroller handy if i need to use it around the villages like wengen and lauterbrunnen and avoids having to carry my baby around all the time. I am planning to head into the mountains everyday to explore some of the villages and hiking trails( easy and scenic only) . I have done some reading up and here is what i have shortlisted. i would also have a baby carrier for trails that dont allow me use a stroller.

1. Lauterbrunnen - park the car in a convenient spot. explore the valley. walk to the waterfalls.
2. Wengen - take the train from Lauterbrunnen. explore the village area, shops and cafes
3. Mannlichen - Kleine Scheidegg trail. Reach here from Wengen OR grindelwald.(which is easier for me?). Im not sure if i can do a 90 min walk with a baby so which part of the trail should i do to make sure i get the best views?
4. walk Grütschalp to murren or only Winteregg to Murren if its too long.
5. Murren - explore viewpoints and cafes. walk to gimmelwald. get back to Lauterbrunnen.
6. Isenfluh - Reach here by car. then walk to Lauterbrunnen.
7. Schynige Platte - anything worthwhile here?
8. Grindelwald - reach by car. explore the town. anything else to see here?

since i have a baby i am not planning any higher reaches above 2500m (like Jungfrau and schilthorn) as the altitude is not suitable for her age. thankfully i have already seen these in my previous trips.

a. is there any rail pass that will make my travel cheaper and convenient?
b. any recommendations for hikes that i should not miss.
c. any villages which would be stroller friendly?
d. is parking easy in the villages?
e. are there any good scenic drives nearby which i can do.

thanks!

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2014 - 7:03 AM

Hi tigerfondue, welcome to our website!

You seem to be realistic about what you can and can't do with a baby, and the limitations of a car, so that's great. Here are some tips:

  • The Jungfrau Railways Pass could be a perfect fit for your plans.
  • You can't hike just part of the trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, as there's nothing in between these two places. I think it's doable with a baby if you take things slow. Details are here. You can consider to walk from Wengernalp to Kleine Scheidegg instead. It's not shorter but it's easier and thus quicker.
  • I would not travel to Isenfluh by car. That means you would have to go up by bus afterwards to get the car. It's much easier to go up by bus immediately and leave the car in Lauterbrunnen.
  • Schynige Platte is a good place to sit down and enjoy the views, and there's a variety of short and long walks, and an Alpine garden. The route here is just one example.
  • More Jungfrau region hiking tips are here.
  • The Glacier Gorge just outside Grindelwald is worth a visit.
  • Scenic drives in the immediate surroundings are very limited, as most of the area is not accessible by car. You could drive to Beatenberg. There are some nice restaurants and viewing points along the way, and from Beatenberg you can take the gondola up to the Niederhorn (just under 2000 m high).

I hope this helps making your vacation a memorable one!

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Aug 2, 2014 - 10:32 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika I have just returned from the area and our hosts told me there is quite a walk to the glacier as it has receded over the years. Is it easy to get to and what are the conditions like under foot? How long should one allow (for future reference).

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2014 - 11:54 AM

Hi mikesc60,

Indeed, unfortunately the glaciers are receding all over Switzerland, and elsewhere too. I am not sure which one you mean, but I assume the Unterer glacier. Note that the Glacier Gorge I mentioned in my previous post is in the valley. To reach the glacier, you have to take the cable car up to Pfingstegg, and then walk for about 90 minutes to get there (see here). It's been a while since I did this, so I don't know current trail conditions. But the path leads up to the Bäregg restaurant so it should be pretty good. Note that it includes almost 400 m vertical meters up (and back down).

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Aug 2, 2014 - 12:43 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika.

Yes, I meant the one you go to from Pfingstegg. Is it worthwhile for the walk, regardless of seeing/reaching the glacier? Is the walk through the gorge or to the gorge? Unfortunately the union jack on the link you sent only translates the headings into english and not the description for hike E! Is point 10 on the map ('talstation Pfingsteggbahn') at Grindelwald? Not sure what you mean by the last sentence about 400 metres?

Last modified on Aug 2, 2014 - 4:26 PM by mikesc60
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2014 - 6:50 PM

Hi mikesc60,

The walk is worth it, the scenery is rocky and impressive. The gorge is far below the trail, in the valley, you will not cross it during the walk.

Point 10 is the valley station of the cable car. It's in the village of Grindelwald, about 15 minutes on foot from the rail station. Once you reach the top station it's not difficult to find your way. There's just one trail leading to the restaurant and you can simply follow the signs.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Aug 2, 2014 - 11:47 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika...what 'includes 400 m vertical metres'? Is it the height you ascend during the walk? The drop into the gorge from the path? The amount of the cable car ascent....an additional ascent to the restaurant?

Thanks again in advance!

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 3, 2014 - 6:45 AM

Sorry, I forgot about that. It's a nearly 400 m ascend to the end point of the hike (the restaurant).

tigerfondue
tigerfondue
3 posts
new member
Aug 3, 2014 - 7:18 AM in reply to Annika

annika,

thanks for your detailed reply. very helpful

Travel Bug
Travel Bug
11 posts
new member
Sep 4, 2014 - 2:34 PM
In Grindelwald, take the gondola to First. The gondola ride alone is worth the time. Spectacular views and a long ride. Once at First there are spectacular scenery and a restaurant if you only want to eat. Some short walks available if you are more energetic. You might do the Bachalpsee. Remember the hiking time shown on the signs needs to be doubled (at least for us). So, I wouldn't hike to Grosse Scheidegg.
dorota
dorota
3 posts
new member
Sep 4, 2014 - 9:36 PM

Hi tigerfondue,

we spent the last week in Lauterbrunnen area. This was family vacation of two families with kids aged 12 years, 6 years, 6 months (so just a bit older than your baby) and 5 years and 1.5 year. As you can see we hiked in a big group which is always slower (especially with 6 and 5 year old who were of course walking on their own) but here's what we managed to do:

  1. Grütschalp to Mürren (Mountain View Trail) extended with a part of the North Face trail going down to Murren - We really enjoyed this trail. There's a bit of an ascent in the beginning but perfectly doable with a baby in my opinion
  2. Grosse Scheiddigg – Schilt- First - this is a longer version, which we wanted to do to see the marmots but without climbing Schilt it is an easy, almost flat trail with astonishing views! I highly recommend that.
  3. Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg - another scenic and very easy trail, perfectly doable for you. We had perfect weather and the view was astonishing. Not to be missed.

We also climbed to Faulhorn in a reduced group (just one family with 5 year old and 1.5 year old) via Bachalpsee. I think that First to Bachalpsee is very scenic and relatively easy trail. As far as Schynigge Platte goes, we were going down there from Faulhorn where we spent the night, so we just walked a part of the loop of the Panorama Trail. It is also beautiful and worth a visit. Depending on how it goes for you and if your baby likes being in a baby carrier you could even consider that trail if the weather is nice.

Of course just as TravelBug wrote, you have to take into account that probably you will need to do more stops and rests and your hiking time might be longer than signposted but on the other hand it doesn't have to be like that if your baby likes sleepeing in the carrier just as my kid was and still is doing. Then you just walk without stops.

I hope it helps and I do hope that you enjoy your vacation in the Alps just as we did.

Dorota

tigerfondue
tigerfondue
3 posts
new member
Sep 5, 2014 - 8:39 AM in reply to dorota

dorota,

thanks for your input.

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