Public transportation and hiking around Gsteig

Public transportation and hiking around Gsteig

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aluthold
aluthold
13 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2016 - 1:12 AM

My wife and I will be in Switzerland for about six weeks. My parents came to the US many years ago from the Canton of Obwalden, Alpnach-Dorf to be specific. So whenever I return I spend a lot of time around the Vierwaldstättersee, Luzern, Sarnen, Lungern, and over the Brünig. This time we have the opportunity of staying in a chalet near Gsteig bei Gstaad in the Berner Oberland, for perhaps two weeks. What can we do in this area? Are there good hiking trails comparable to what I have experienced in the area I mentioned above?

This area is a little out of the main tourist area and I think public transportation may be sparse. We were considering renting a car for the two weeks we were in this area. Perhaps it could be used as a base to go to other areas. I know it is close to the French part of Switzerland, and maybe could visit places there. Please, anyone, give me your thoughts and opinions.

We are planning to purchase the one month half-fare pass. We were hoping to do everything by public transportation. But perhaps a car in this area would be beneficial.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

Arthur

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Apr 13, 2016 - 3:47 PM in reply to aluthold

Hello Arthur and welcome.

Though we have never stayed in the Gstaad area we have done a few day trips to the area. We found a lot of useful information on this website - www.gstaad.ch/en.htlm . I have attached a word document with some suggested trails I found on the site.

We have taken cable car from Schoenried to Horneggli where there is a circular hike we enjoyed - excellent restaurant at the top. We have also taken cable car to Rellerli and done a walk there. Also from Zweisimmen cable car to Rinderberg - another circular trail. There is a flat trail from Zweisimmen to Lenk, part of the Hausweg. Or take short train ride to Lenk instead as there are 3 bus routes from there which are interesting. We particularly liked the route to Iffigenalp as we walked part way down from the terminus to the waterfalls - Iffigenfaelle where we picked up bus again to return to Lenk.

I am pretty sure there will be decent train links to Schoenried and Zweisimmen from Gstaad - you can use the online timetable for details. You will not be far from Montreux by train and there are many possibilities there - Chateau Chillon, lake cruises, Rochers-de-Naye etc.

We have never used a car in Switzerland as we have found the public transport system has covered all our needs beautifully.

Enjoy your trip.

Maggie

Please login to see the attached documents
aluthold
aluthold
13 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2016 - 9:45 PM in reply to maggiehorswell

Maggie,

Thank you so very much for your print out, and I will check out the website.

Arthur

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
aluthold
aluthold
13 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2016 - 5:43 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke,

Thankyou. These websites are a great help.

However, I am a little technologically challenged. I have been trying to figure out how to best use the Swiss mobility app. Maybe you can help me. It lists national, regional, local, and routes without obstacles. Many of these are numbered. Some numbers are missing. And they start at 21. Where is 1-20 and other missing numbers?

On the map website (this is different from the above website) it shows hiking trails in yellow. However, there are also routes in red and some in black, some dotted. Where is there a table that explains what they represent? I have searched for this for quite some time and cannot find a table.

I read about a hike to the Arnensee, canton Bern, from Feutersoey. This is in the area between Gstaad and Gsteig. But I cannot find this on the map. And when I put it into the mobility app it has nothing in the area.

One other question. The hikes listed by Swiss Mobility do not seem to be in any order, nor alphabetical, nor all regions together. Am I missing something? Unless you are familiar with a name, you have to go to a map and zoom out to see where it is located. It would be easier if one could pull up all the hikes in a given area. Can this be done? Am I missing something?

I appreciate any guidance on this. Thank you.

Arthur

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Apr 15, 2016 - 7:39 PM in reply to aluthold

Hello again Arthur,

I also found Swiiss Mobility a bit confusing! But if you try the Gstaad link I gave you it is pretty easy to use. Choose English if it comes up in German, click on Active, then Summer, then hiking and there are lots there to look at, click on more by each one for full details. The tourist office in Gstaad has useful leaflets and maps I remember.

I am also attaching another Word Document with a hike I found on myswitzerland.com

Maggie

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 15, 2016 - 10:50 PM in reply to aluthold

Hi Arthur.

<<"One other question. The hikes listed by Swiss Mobility do not seem to be in any order, nor alphabetical, nor all regions together. Am I missing something? Unless you are familiar with a name, you have to go to a map and zoom out to see where it is located. It would be easier if one could pull up all the hikes in a given area. Can this be done? Am I missing something?">>

You may well be missing something, but, so am I. i have the same problem.

Good thing that Maggie jumped in.

I was rushing a bit when I posted, and forgot to say that I always have trouble with the Switzerland Mobilty web site myself.

I have trouble locating hikes, as you did. I do not know the logic of the numbering system; I do know that the Swiss are supremely organized and logical about that, so there must be an answer somewhere how the system is organized and why the hikes you found start at #21. I'll keep my eyes open for more data, but I have not found it in the past.

Also, I have no idea how they select the hikes to be included. I'm guessing that they are selected for interesting features.

I do know that, once you have identified a hike, the excellent maps on Switzerland Mobility can be zoomed in to quite detailed scale...maybe 1:10,000, whereas the most detailed printed topos are "only " at 1:25,000. You get altitude profiles, accommodations and points of interest along the route, and connections to public transport. If you can find your hike, that is worth a lot.

So, I find it worth using, even if I have trouble such as you described.

Here are the work-arounds I have used:

1.- Identify a town or towns or some other named landmark along the route, possibly by using a map such as SwissTopo or, simpler, Mapsearch.CH (linked above) and enter it in the search box

2.-Use the map in Switzerland Mobility and find a trail that way, using the modifiers offered. Then, view the region. There is no promise thatthey show all trails. I think that SwissTopo may do so.

<<"It would be easier if one could pull up all the hikes in a given area. Can this be done?">>

I think that I do that by using the map with sorting criteria.

Since you are familiar with Switzerland, you surely are aware f the ready availability of paper maps, at 1:50,000 scale with all of the Wanderwege marked on them.

Are you familiar with the trail difficulty designations for the Wanderwege?

www.alpenwild.com/hike -alps/trail-signs-swiss-alps

Those maps with the Wanderwege on them are called "Wanderkarte" and the best ones are from the SwissTopo office of the Federal Government. If you explore "products" on the SwissTopo site, you can find out what is on line and what they print. Thestationers ( a few still exist) in the large cities stock most all of them. In any region, you have a good chance to find them (a smaller selection) at a local convenience store.

Those paper maps do what you ask about.

By the way, I notice that you use the term "app" a few times.

I do not use a smartphone, but from what I have seen, the smartphone "apps" have less information and detail than the full site offers if you work with a desktop or a laptop computer. If you have not done so, try it.

Zeichenerklärung

Clarification of the signs and what they mean on the maps.

<<" On the map website (this is different from the above website) it shows hiking trails in yellow. However, there are also routes in red and some in black, some dotted. Where is there a table that explains what they represent? I have searched for this for quite some time and cannot find a table.">>

I am aware of printed versions of that information.

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home/products/accesso ries/book.html

I'll look for online versions. There has to be something on SwissTopo

( I did note a reference to Wanderwege....)

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 15, 2016 - 11:14 PM in reply to aluthold

Hi Arthur-

<<" On the map website (this is different from the above website) it shows hiking trails in yellow. However, there are also routes in red and some in black, some dotted. Where is there a table that explains what they represent? I have searched for this for quite some time and cannot find a table.">>

I spent a few minutes looking at those maps.

The yellow trails are on easy paths, even on roads.

The red ones are more difficult, and may corrrespond to "Berg Wanderwege" requiring boots and hiking staffs, at a minimum

That is what it looks like from the trails that I know about.

Possibly, the black lines are paths that are not "official" hiking trails. Dotted are skimpier than solid.

That is my guess at the moment.

If you know trails around Obwalden and Nidwalden, from prior experience, you could cross check them.

<<"My parents came to the US many years ago from the Canton of Obwalden, Alpnach-Dorf to be specific. So whenever I return I spend a lot of time around the Vierwaldstättersee, Luzern, Sarnen, Lungern, and over the Brünig">>

Sorry, I cannot find a "legend" or explanation at the moment.

Perhaps Kim or Arno or Annika can add something...

Slowpoke.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 17, 2016 - 7:43 AM in reply to aluthold

Hi Arthur-

A third post with my thouhgts on the trails on Swiss Topo

If you zoom the map of Switzerland out while having "hiking trails" selected in the map overlays, you will see that there are three colors of trails showing.

A lot of yellow ones, quite a few red ones, and some blue ones.

Although I have not seen this stated explicitly, I am sure that these correspond to the "normal Wanderwege, the "Mountain Wanderwege" which have red markers on their yellow trail signs, and the "Technical Alpine Routes" which have blue and white markers on the trail signs.

The blue ones are in mountainous areas.

www.alpenwild.com/hike -alps/trail-signs-swiss-alps

The black lines are roads or paths which are not official Wanderwege. The dotted ones are narrower paths. Different qualities of roads and paths are shown by the different kinds or combinations of black lines. That is the same convention as on the printed maps. At a good stationery store, where they sell the full set of maps, they will also have the brochure or booklet with "die Zeichenerklärungen" (explanation of the signs/symbols).

[Note added in edit- Found it - Look here for explanations

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home/products/accesso ries/brochures.html

and

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home/products/accesso ries/brochures.parsys. 000120.DownloadFile.tm p/zeichenerklaerungweb 2014e.pdf]

This link shows trails between Gstaad and Gsteig, including Feutersoey:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs. gebaeude_wohnungs_regi ster,ch.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,false,fal se,true&layers_timesta mp=18641231,,,&X=14258 0.00&Y=588840.00&zoom= 4

When using the SwissTopo map site for hiking trails, turn on the "Hiking Trails " overlay in the menu under "Maps Displayed."

What do you think?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 17, 2016 - 7:54 AM by Slowpoke
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aluthold
aluthold
13 posts
new member
Apr 21, 2016 - 12:16 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke,

Thank you so much for all of your advice. I have been slow in replying because it takes time to try out all the sites you mentioned and to experiment with the maps. But I am starting to understand it. You asked about my mention of "apps". I have been doing all my searching on my computer. However, in Switzerland I will only have my phone and my ipad. So I have also been trying to use them so that I will be able to plan things in the evening for the next day.

Another site that I found helpful for hiking trails all around the world, in addition to Switzerland is www.wikiloc.com/wikilo c/home.do

Thank you again. If anyone has any other suggestions or advice please post it. We will be there in July.

Arthur

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 22, 2016 - 6:50 PM in reply to aluthold

Hi Arthur-

Did you find the explanation of map symbols on SwissTopo that I posted above on the 17th?

Do you agree with my explanation of yellow, red and blue trails?

Slowpoke

aluthold
aluthold
13 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2016 - 12:23 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke,

Yes, I do agree with your explanation of the colors for the map trails. I have also been looking at the links you gave which explain symbols on the topo map. I think in some cases the dotted lines refer to ski lifts. Anyway, I have a lot of information here to look at. Thank you.

Arthur

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2016 - 4:43 PM in reply to aluthold

<<"Anyway, I have a lot of information here to look at. ">>

For sure.

Slowpoke

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