Day hikes from Lucerne, Wengen and Zermatt

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Natou11
Natou11
2 posts
new member
Feb 7, 2019 - 8:26 PM

Bonjour!

We are three girfriends travelling to Switzerland from June 14th until June 25th to celebrate our 40th birthday!

We will be staying 2 nights in Lucerne, 4 nights in Wengen and 3 nights in Zermatt.

We plan on travelling by train.

We would like your advice for best day hikes in the region that are easily reachable by train. We are fairly active but I don’t think we are looking for difficult hikes - something moderate is more what we are looking for and hikes that take around 4 to 5 hours.

Also, if you have anything to suggest that is not to miss in any of these 3 places, we would love to hear it!

Any information would be great! Looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Thank you!

Stephanie, Raphaelle et Nathalie

rockoyster
rockoyster
4645 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2019 - 10:05 PM in reply to Natou11

G’day Stephanie, Raphaelle et Nathalie and Welcome to MySwissAlps

Look at these pages and scroll down to hiking suggestions -

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

Enjoy!

1960man
1960man
1148 posts
top member
Feb 8, 2019 - 1:55 AM in reply to Natou11

It is possible (and perhaps preferable) not to pre plan too much when hiking in Switzerland. The country is famous for its extremely comprehensive network of signed paths (iconic yellow signs). It can be a good idea to wait until you arrive, get the local maps and get a feel for the area. Basically in Switzerland you can walk out of the door of your accomodation anywhere in the country and be on a yellow marked path within a few moments. - the ultimate freedom to just as you please and feel like on the day.

Mark
Mark
247 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2019 - 2:12 AM

Howdy Natou

One of the nice things about hiking around Wengen is the flexibility to often be able to extend or shorten a planned hike according to how you feel, the weather, etc .

Here are some suggested day hikes I have done that are easy to moderate and very scenic along with some photos of portions of these hikes.

First to Bachalpsee to Waldspitz to Bort. then cable car down to Grindelwald. Its about 2.5 hrs hiking but with stops for photos and enjoying the scenery I would count on 3.5 hrs. For me the section from Bachalpsee to Waldspitz is a personal favorite.

Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher , (train back down to KS), to Wengernalp Then train to Wengen. About 3.5 hrs hiking. The first leg is the most famous but the section from KS to Eigergletscher is just as spectacular to me.

The Eiger trail. about 3 hrs hiking. It is significantly easier to do the downhill direction ; Eigergletscher to Alpiglen than the opposite direction.

The Panaramaweg route on Schynige Platte. Perhaps the most scenic walk in the Jungfrau area. About 2.5 hrs walking time but longer to enjoy the views and to climb the stairs at Oberberghorn along the way.

In Zermatt we enjoyed among others hiking from Zermatt to Zmutt to Riffelalp. 3.5 hrs

Riffelalp to Hidden Valley and back. 4-4.5 hrs

Riffelalp to Riffelsee (2.5 hrs) to Mont Rosa lookout and up switchbacks to Gornergrat summit (2-2.5 hrs)

Have fun, Mark

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5571 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2019 - 2:24 AM

Hi Mark-

What is your prediction about whether those really excellent trails will all be open in the latter part of June, when they are traveling?

Slowpoke

Mark
Mark
247 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2019 - 3:54 AM

Hi Slowpoke

Good point. Since I have never been in Wengen in mid to late June, I don’t have any first hand knowledge but i’ve seen that others report June can be iffy. First to Bachalpsee is paved and quite popular so may be maintained and the Waldspitz section is downhill from there.

Mannlichen to KS probably iffy but KS to Wengernalp is downhill from KS.

Eiger trail iffy

If Schynige Platte is open, I’d expect the Panaramaweg to be open.

I would guess all the trails could be open but wouldn’t be surprised if some of them weren’t. I’d recommend calling the local tourist office when she gets there or maybe the hotel concierge would know. I would guess the trails in Lauterbrunnen Valley and Grindelwald valley would be good fallback trails if late snow is a problem

In Zermatt the trail to Zmutt would be open and likely Riffelalp to Riffelsee also. The last ascent to Gornergrat summit much less likely. Riffelalp to hidden valley probably open as well. Mark

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5571 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2019 - 10:53 AM in reply to Mark

Hi Mark -

<<"Good point. Since I have never been in Wengen in mid to late June, I don’t have any first hand knowledge but i’ve seen that others report June can be iffy.">>

In June 2015, my grandson graduated from high school and we had a window of a few days in his schedule, in which he could join me during a previously planned trip to Switzerland. We stayed on the Rigi, at Sugiez, at Ligerz, and two nights at the Schönegg in Wengen, before driving back to Zürich via Luzern for dinner with friends on the night of the 16th before he flew back to the USA on the morning of June 17th. Lunch on the quai at the Rathauskeller by the Limmat on the 16th was sunny and nice.

The Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail opened on the 14th or 15th for the full distance, but it was open a week or two before that, as far as the stretch around Tschuggen that doesn't get much sun.

Another year, well before that visit, at the other end, the snow on the trail a few meters from the KS station was 2 meters deep on June 6th.

We went up to Männlichen on the 15th, and started the walk. My knee was troublesome, and the promised few hours sunny interval in the cloud cover barely materialized for a few minutes of partial clearing.

So, after a few hundred meters of only partial visibility, we gave up. Went back down and over to Mürren, which was completely socked in except for a few moments now and then, had a 5 minute break in the fog/clouds to look at part of the Mönch and Jungfrau, had lunch, went to Brienz and walked around below the cloud deck. We picked up a music box at Jobin for his cousin, returned to Wengen, had a wonderful meal at the Schönegg, and left the next AM, as the day was clearing up and the sun was starting to breakthrough. I recall that it was a nice day after we left.....as my Swiss friends always say....."too bad you could not have stayed another day. It was really beautiful just after you left!"

We heard that often enough on Spring trips that we moved our Alpine visits to September, where - on average - we and I have had much better luck, as attached - second image.

The moral of the story is - try to get at least a couple of days for an alpine stay, especially in June. And, the weather is changeable and unpredictable in the high Alps, sometimes even a few hours in advance.

For example, as we came up to Wengen on the 14th, from below a cloud deck, we had the classic view along the valley open up for about an hour, and saw a view from the station as we got off the train, quite similar to the third attached image from the Hotel Eiger. It was, though, not quite as clear. Good for about an hour, then , gone.

Up at Männlichen there was lots of dreary looking piles of snow along the trail, with patches of clear ground in the meadows where the sun could reach.

It looked something like the first picture ( attached from late May in 2005). Except, there was still a lot more snow around, and you could not see very far. Certainly, could not see the Eiger. The sky was not visible except for a few moments now and then. Memory is unreliable, but I recall not being able to walk the trail in May 2005, because it was closed at Tschggen, so I had to content myself with that kind of photo.

Others have reported nice weather recently in Wengen in May.

Rule of thumb- the trails at and above 2000 meters open about June 15th. +/- one week or 10 days. No promises for cloudless skies. But, they happen. And, if the snow pack from the previous Winter is light, it can be sooner.

There are webcams:

en.swisswebcams.ch/suc he/ort/m%C3%A4nnlichen -6935774/

Slowpoke

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Natou11
Natou11
2 posts
new member
Feb 9, 2019 - 2:05 PM

Thank you everyone for your replies! We will take some time to look at all your suggestions and we will get back to you if we have some questions. We know that mid-June might not be the ultimate time to hike in Switzerland but we are hoping that weather will be on our side. We will make the best of our trip regardless. Thanks again!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5571 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2019 - 2:31 PM in reply to Natou11

Here are some ideas around Luzern:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

There are likely some nice walks on top of the Rigi....at about 1500 meters.

Here is an overview of the rgion:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&X=205432.73 &Y=677886.37&zoom=4

Color coding of trails:

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

Close up of the Rigi:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&zoom=8&E=26 78249.06&N=1211600.37

The easy trail (yellow) beside the tracks down from Rigi-Kulm as far as Rigi Staffelhöhe, then out westward across the meadow to Chänzeli and back to Rigi Kaltbad is a pleasant scenic walk.

From Rigi Kaltbad, you can go pick up the cograil train back down to Vitznau, or else, take the cablkeway down to Weggis, walk downhill about 15 minutes to the ship landing at the Oberdorf, and catch a lakeboat ( same one that comes from Vitznau).

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&zoom=8&E=26 76450.47&N=1210106.62

Or you can catch a bus there that goes either to Brunnen ( train station) or Küssnacht am Rigi ( train station) for a ride back to Luzern.

Slowpoke

Mark
Mark
247 posts
active member
Feb 9, 2019 - 2:41 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

I suspect the most predictable thing about Switzerland is the unpredictability of the weather ! Well maybe the trains rank a little higher on the predictability scale but not much. I’ve learned to have a backup plan just in case. Looks like you do the same as well. Mark

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5571 posts
expert
Feb 9, 2019 - 3:24 PM in reply to Mark

Hi Mark-

<<"I suspect the most predictable thing about Switzerland is the unpredictability of the weather !">>

Yep-

Always carry rain gear.

A refinement of that is the tendency toward micro-climates. That makes a weather forecast for an area imprecise, to say the least. There may be sunny or dry weather in one valley, yet, only a few kilometers away, perhaps in another valley, there can be clouds or rain.

Slowpoke

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