4-5 Day family hiking trip to Swiss Alps

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1 post
new member
Apr 12, 2018 - 8:08 PM


We (family of 4 with kids age 10 and 13 who like to hike) are trying to plan a last minute trip to hike for 4 or 5 days in late June! We are so excited but have been overwhelmed in trying to figure out all the options and potential itineraries. We are used to planning things ourselves--but since everything is new to us, it feels like so many choices to make---and also feels like if we knew the area it would of course be so much easier!

So, in case anyone has the time to steer us in the right direction....here is what we are aiming for:

1. We love the idea of leaving from a town and hiking hut to hut for our 4 night journey---but maybe it would be way easier to have a home base? We just think it will be more fun to have to hike to our next place to sleep, but will change our vision if it just doesn't make sense.

2. We would like to hike for 4-5 hours each day but could go longer. We are not a super fast crew, but we hike a lot as a family and we keep on moving.

3. The huts in the mountains look like such fun---but it's unclear whether at this point we would be too late to book a family room--and we would also be happy to be in an inn or whatever. We would love to cross by small towns (or stay in them) when that makes sense---and love the idea of bakeries or good coffee to start our morning.

4. And in the back of our mind, we wonder given the timing of our visit, late June, whether it would make more sense to go to the Dolomites since it may still be too snowy in Switzerland? And I can't tell whether those would be two totally different experiences---or whether the two are somewhat similar in landscape and terrain.

We have not purchased plane tickets yet so could fly in to whichever airport makes the most sense. I know that it can be expensive to get around so we are trying not to put together a trip that will require lots of expensive transportation---but at the same time, we are doing this adventure so we want to be sure we don't miss out on some incredible experiences due to cost. Is there an obvious itinerary we should plan? Inns/huts we should plan around? towns we should be sure to go through?

10385 posts
expert &
Apr 13, 2018 - 2:16 PM in reply to RoniMacaroni

Hi RoniMacaroni and welcome to MySwissAlps!

  1. This can work, but some of these hikes are quite difficult and I don't know your hiking abilities are. Have a look at SAC for details on huts. If you use the search bar on our site you'll find more details on specific hikes. June may be too early for higher altitude hikes as well.
  2. Have a look at our Hiking page here, you may want to focus on the Jungfrau region during your stay.
  3. Most towns and villages will offer this - not sure if the huts have those options for you though!
  4. I don't have any information here on Italy unfortunately. They aren't too much lower in elevation though.

I would think the Jungfrau region would be a good idea for you to focus on for just 4/5 days here. Really either Zurich or Geneva will work - perhaps Zurich slightly better. If most of your time is spent hiking with perhaps just a few cable cars and trains you might be best off with a Swiss Half Fare Card or a regional rail pass (depending on where you settle on).

To know which pass is the best for your specific itinerary you need to plan out all trips you will make (train, bus, boat, cable car) and compare the prices for regular tickets to the rail pass price (and which routes/mountains are free or discounted). Once you have that information you can read our page here on how to choose the best rail pass. There is a spreadsheet there to help with the math. :)

Last modified on Apr 14, 2018 - 3:20 PM by Arno
153 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2018 - 6:57 PM

Check out the website momstotszurich.com she has a section on mountain hut hiking with kids in Switzerland.

Last modified on Apr 14, 2018 - 6:58 PM by Debra
5527 posts
Apr 15, 2018 - 11:15 PM in reply to RoniMacaroni

Hi Ronimacaroni-

Lucas has hit the high points, and correctly cautioned about June hiking. The later the better, especially since there was a lot o f snow this year.

June 15th is an average date ( with wide variations) for this nice trail at about 2000 meters to open:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

Altitude is the issue. Since you are experienced hikers, you probably use topographic maps. This one will give you altitudes. It has a good search function.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,true&E=26 37495.89&N=1160623.16& zoom=5

I have turn on the option in the menu to show hiking trails, which are color coded according the description this link:

www.alpenwild.com/stat icpage/trail-signs-in-the-swiss-alps/

I have very limited experience in the Dolomites, so I can't really compare. I can say that my experience with Italian trails,maps, and trail markings was nowhere close to the quality of trail marking and maintenance that you will find in Switzerland. Not sure about Austria, but I have some impressions that it is pretty good.

I can tell you that the Jungfrau Region, to name one of many, in Switzerland has a wide range of public transport, hikes for all skill levels, nice lakes, and stunning scenery:

www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

<<"towns we should be sure to go through?">>

Even though I've been going there for a while, I found this report to be extremely useful, as have many other forum members:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

It will answer a lot of questions.

In the Jungfrau you will tend to set a base and make day trips from it. Hut-to-Hut hiking is a fairly strenuous exercise. You tend to go down into valleys between climbs up to the huts. And, as Lucas noted, they may not be accessible in June. There are plenty of inns and a wide range of hotels/inns/guesthouses/hostels available at various price points:

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion/hotels

<<"We love the idea of leaving from a town and hiking hut to hut for our 4

night journey---but maybe it would be way easier to have a home base? We

just think it will be more fun to have to hike to our next place to

sleep, but will change our vision if it just doesn't make sense.">>

Do you regularly hike at high altitudes...say 2000 meters? A mile is approximately 1609 meters, in case you are from the USA.


Last modified on Apr 15, 2018 - 11:28 PM by Slowpoke
153 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2018 - 3:35 PM

On the website I mentioned momstotszurich.com it's arranged differently now, just put "hut" in the search and you will get all the hut hikes she's done with her family there are 6 or 7 trips reports I think. They are all one day hike to, spend the night, hike out, sometimes using a different way to get back. She also has a section on spring hikes, all doable with kids so not too strenuous but again we're talking someone from Switzerland so in my experience what they call easy is really into the moderate range for "flatlanders".

5527 posts
Apr 16, 2018 - 4:35 PM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra-

Thanks for the link to that site.

As my knees have begun to show their age, I keep an eye out for less strenuous hikes.

The site is great for that.


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