5 days hiking & sightseeing in Wengen in September

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20 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2018 - 2:28 PM

Hello to all!

This website is a boon for travelers planning to visit Switzerland and I have made a plan for my 5 day Bernese Oberland visit in September, from the tips on this site. I will be based in Wengen.

I am not an experienced hiker. My plan includes easy walks in the area to Kleine Scheidegg , Wilderswil, Stechelberg, Murren and to Bachsee. For a first timer, are these walks doable, with good running shoes? I intend to do the Lake Brienz boat trip also.

I also wish to visit Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch (based on weather conditions). However, i seem to be getting mixed reviews (crowded with tour bus full of people) on Jungfraujoch, hence are visiting both worth the expense?

I hope I can cover the above in my 5 full days in the area (fingers crossed for good weather). Please suggest any other easy trails in the area.

Thanks to everyone!

45 posts
active member
Mar 19, 2018 - 4:52 PM

Yes, I believe than your plan is doable. Keep in mind that you will generally do the hikes only one way (up or down, based on your preferences) and either go or return with a mean of transportation (train, gondola, bus, etc.). The trails are diverse and are numerous. You will be able to chose based on your preference, i.e. facing the mountain, in the middle of a field filled with cowns, in a forested ara, etc. Some of these trails, like the one from Mänlicchen to Kleine Scheideg are wider and flat (even it they are doing up or down) while other can be more of a clim and less flat. In any case, I would advice walking poles as they will secure your pace. Walking boots are better than running shoes as they support your ankles.

Personaly, We have been to Jungfraujoch and were not bottered by the crowd as they are many ways to escape them (lots of people go there only for a short time and stick to the strandard tour). The walk in the snow on top of the glacier to a small refuge is extraordinary and not very crowded. The price for jungfraujoch is expensive but we liked every minute of our stay up there. Bring your lunch to save some money as food is quite expensive up there. A good advice is to go as early as you can. We have noticed that in summer the sky always gets cloudy from about 14:30 -15:00. We didn’t go up the Schiltorn as is wasn’t included in our passes and I felt that it would have been a bit similar to Jungfraujoch (with, from my perspective, a bit less to do and see). But this year, I believe that it is included in some passes which is good but also means more people.

Going to Lake Brienz from Wengen will take you most of one day. The nice thing is that with a pass you can hop in and out to visit some of the towns by the lake. Make sure you have the boat schedule handy!

Wengen will be an excellent base for all of this!

One last thing! You should prepare a list of the trail you would like to do and chose form it while staying open to explore others! As the weather can quickly change, I believe that the worse thing to do while visiting this area is to go with a very strict and thight agenda! This place is so beautiful that you will more than likely be stopping to take some picture every 50 meters!

Last modified on Mar 19, 2018 - 5:11 PM by LeVoyageur
286 posts
top member
Mar 19, 2018 - 11:28 PM

Hi Wanderdiva

you mentioned several areas but no specific hikes. I suspect you are considering Männlichen to KS. It’s rated 1:20 hrs and is paved and mostly flat. Possibly the most popular trail in the region. By Wilderswil, I suspect you are thinking of taking the train to Schynige Platte. In my opinion the most spectacular views in the area. Be sure to walk the cliff top trail or panaramaweg. It is rated 2:30 hrs but you can do part of it and turn around when you have enough walking. It is also well marked and quite popular. By Bachalpsee, you probably mean hiking from First to Bachalpsee and return to First. It’s rated 1:40 hrs and is paved and also easy. The trail from Lauderbrunnen to Stechelberg and return by bus is also level and easy. I’m not sure of its rating but would guess a couple of hours. Many waterfalls are along the trail. I would personally not do both Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch but that is just a personal preference. Mark

Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 8:45 AM by Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 8:48 AM in reply to wanderdiva

Hi Wanderdiva, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Scroll down on this webpage: www.myswissalps.com/in terlaken/activities for more information on the hikes that LeVoyageur and Mark mentioned in their posts.

20 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 9:01 AM

Thanks, LeVoyageur , Mark and Chantal!

Apologies, i was not clear on the hikes. The above routes are exactly what i have in mind. I will look into panaramaweg details.

Rainy day activities would be Ballenberg, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, maybe a visit to Bern.

I might take 3-4 hours for the above hikes (with my beginner's pace and stopping for pictures) and i plan to start early on the hikes. Would you recommend Rosenlaui gorge or Aare gorge, from Wengen (for afternoon half)?

5899 posts
Mar 20, 2018 - 10:21 AM in reply to wanderdiva

Hi Wanderdiva -

You have gotten excellent advice from earlier posters.

It seems that you plan to take the walk from Männlichen towards Kleine Scheidegg. It is easy enough to be nicknamed "The Grannies' Walk" while at the same time being one of the most spectacular trails in the Alps.

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

I've found that going in that direction is a substantially better experience than hiking in the opposite direction. In fact, the trail is not quite level, which makes it a bit easier to walk toward KS. However, the altitude change is minor - from 2230 meters elevation at Männlichen to 2061 at Kleine Scheidegg over about 4 1/2 km.

The walk toward KS has you facing the famous North Face of the Eiger. It grows over you as you walk toward it. The visual and psychological effect is powerful. If you do it in the other direction, you'll find yourself constantly turning around to look back for the good photos.

Many people walk that trail in running shoes, or, maybe, training shoes. Officially, it is designated as the kind of trail that does not requir hiking gear. (More on the below).

The terms are not precise. . Most of the other trails mentioned can also be done in good running shoes...not the racing shoes with thin soles, but shoes with substantial, thick and grippy soles.

However, the advice here on gear and clothing is sound and there are good reasons for it:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/preparation

And, there is a reason for it. A couple of attached pictures make one point.

The trail starts out almost level. It has a gravel surface. Along the way, there are short stretches with moderate descents for a few meters. Those surfaces demand care, because your feet can slide out from under you on the gravel. Without ankle support, you can easily turn your ankle, and if you are on a trail with uneven and rocky surfaces, it is very easy to do that. At a minimum, heavy, sturdy hiking shoes with deeply patterned, maybe lugged, surfaces on the soles help with the grip, but not the ankle support.

And, when you go down even those modest stretches, a hiking staff lets you brace against it as you walk downwards. Keeps you from slipping. A hiking staff (or two) also helps you with balance on irregular surfaces and even easy climbs.

Also, especially in the Spring and not so much in September, there are places where the trail can be quite wet. If your shoes are not waterproof, you'll regret it.

You can rent such equipment. There a sporting goods stores all around the area which provide that service. I've gotten to the point where I always wear my boots while walking even on paved roads. I'm much more comfortable in them.

The walks mentioned near Schynige Platte might be rough enough that boots or sturdy hiking shoes with lugged or grippy soles would be very desirable.

One way to make the judgement about trails is to use the trail rating system of colored markers and maps.

This explains it:

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

The red marked routes are so-called "Mountain Routes" and proper gear is recommended; I consider it necessary.

This map is very detailed. You won't need that kind of detail for your walks. However, if you like maps, you can have a lot of fun with this one. And, it shows altitudes.

I have zoomed it in the Jungfrau region, and turned on the option to show hiking trails. They are color coded. Voila!

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 35718.34&N=1163309.01& zoom=5

The hikes you have mentioned are "yellow." Officially, suitable for ordinary walking shoes.

The trails around Schynige Platte are "red." Boots and hiking staffs are necessary.

Finally, the Swiss are avid walkers and hikers. Don't be surprised if you find them going uphill past you without notable effort, while you are walking slowly because you need to catch your breath at the high altitudes. And, the trail sign posts are marked in time to the next destination. The Swiss don't seem to notice whether the trails have major altitude changes...but, I do. I match the times on level ground, unless I'm taking a lot of pictures, but I can double the time if the trail has a lot of altitude change.

You've picked the best time of year, with, on average, the best sightseeing weather.

You mentioned Bern in your contingencies.

It is a good one:

www.myswissalps.com/be rn

A few photos attached.


Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 10:23 AM by Slowpoke
Please login to see the attached documents
20 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 10:46 AM

Thank you, Slowpoke, for the details!

Bern looks lovely, I now wish I had more days. Definitely, many reasons to visit again.

Missed to add earlier, I plan to take a Half fare card for my trip.

5899 posts
Mar 20, 2018 - 3:28 PM in reply to wanderdiva

Hi Wanderdiva-

A couple of added thoughts.

Le Voyageur noted:

<<"Going to Lake Brienz from Wengen will take you most of one day. The nice thing is that with a pass you can hop in and out to visit some of the towns by the lake. Make sure you have the boat schedule handy!">>

That could be misleading. I think his timing refers to the trip to and from PLUS a tour of the lake on the lake boat. I think it would not fill a day, unless you do a round trip on the lake and hop off ,explore, and hop on the next boat. If you do, consider the Hotel Giessbach - theyhave their ownfunicular and a reall nice terrace.

I then realized that no one has pointed you to the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Please read the instructions page. It includes trains, buses, boats and public transport cableways.

You will generally use the advanced timetable.

After you are on the SBB website, you can find a smartphone app, to help while you are on the road.

Here is the time from Wengen to Interlaken Ost, where you could catch the boat:

On a random day in September, it will take 50 minutes to go from Wengen to IO. Change at Lauterbrunnen.

Here is the lake boat schedule. Make sure you get the right time of year:

www.bls.ch/en/fahren/u nterwegs-mit/schiff#time.from:2 0.03.2018,time.to:18.0 6.2018

This link happens to be for the Spring Schedule.



Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 3:29 PM by Slowpoke
5899 posts
Mar 20, 2018 - 3:32 PM in reply to wanderdiva

<<"Missed to add earlier, I plan to take a Half fare card for my trip.">>

I always travel with a half fare card. I do not find it inconvenient to buy tickets for each journey.

Also, the tickets are not for a particular train, but rather for the route anytime during th e day. You can't double back, but you can take a break, walk around, and catch the next train on your route.


Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 21, 2018 - 12:44 AM in reply to wanderdiva

>> Would you recommend Rosenlaui gorge or Aare gorge, from Wengen (for afternoon half)?

There is some information here that might help you decide:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/rosenlaui-glacier-gorge

Even if you decide to go to the Aare Gorge instead of Rosenlaui, the bus trip between Grindelwald and Meiringen over the Grosse Scheidegg is worth doing in its own right. (This is the bus route that goes past the Rosenlaui Gorge). I have written a trip report about it (with photos) if you are interested:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-over-the-grosse-scheidegg-by-bus

One thing to be aware of in relation to the Aareschlucht (Aare Gorge) is that the track from the east entrance/exit down to the Aareschlucht Ost station is narrow, steep and rough underfoot. If you have solid footwear and your ankles and knees are in good condition, it won't be a problem though.

Catching the train back to Meiringen from the Aareschlucht Ost station is definitely fun! You board through a hole in the rockface! Forum member OHGeologist has written about it in her post on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/a-tad-off-the-beaten-path-part-7-meiringen-aare


Last modified on Mar 21, 2018 - 12:52 AM by Removed user
20 posts
new member
Mar 21, 2018 - 6:24 AM

Thanks for all the details and links, Slowpoke and Alpenrose666.

Lovely pictures and detailed report of Grosse Scheidegg there.

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