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Mülibach Falls - Giessbach Falls trail

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Jan 31, 2020 - 12:19 PM in reply to Suri

Hi Suri -

<<"I think i would be more comfortable with walking known part of trail and

we can always turn back if we don't find trail stroller friendly.">>

Just want to be sure I understand. You plan is to walk partway along the high quality trail toward Iseltwald, then turn back to Giessbach as the way to finish the hike. You might also spend a little time around the Giessbach Falls themselves, if you wish.

If that is correct, please confirm and I'll stop work on finding a suitable route for strollers down to Iseltwald at the other end of the trail.

I have found a couple of possibilities to accomplish that walk at the Iseltwald end , one of which connects directly with a road near the Gloota interchange of the autoroute, which road goes gradually down hill to Iseltwald. However, I am still trying to figure out if it is safe. The first section of it It is not a marked hiking trail. I have also found a marked trail connection that looks possible, with one short (250 meter) downhill section that might be troublesome for strollers, but probably could be walked by the kids if necessary on part that section.

Neither one of those routes is guaranteed for strollers, but it is possible for me to complete that work over the weekend and post marked up maps that you could use to ask at the tourist office in Brienz or even at the hotel Giessbach. I will do it only if you think you want to go all the way to Iseltwald. ( I don't think you will have time, because you'd need to get a boat back to Brienz).

Please confirm - definitely do not want to walk all the way to Iseltwald..

Anna's suggestion to take some time around the falls is at Giessbach could be a good one and can be included in the almost 3 hours you will have at or near Giessbach. However, note the attached map. There will be a steep climb near the falls. It may not be suitable for strollers or young children. You can see for your self.

The links that Anna provided are confusing. They mix up two different trails. Mostly, they discuss the trail along the shore, but at at one point, they say :

<<"There's a bus stop near the top of the falls. From there, you can walk

down along the falls (follow the signs "Giessbach/See") and start the

hike.">> That could possibly be on the high quality path that we have discussed extensively here.

Most of the rest of what she linked is about the one along the shoreline and that is not suitable for strollers. I have not walked that one, but many such trails are a bit rough, as they navigate rocks and cross small streams That causes a lot of short ups and downs. I can understand why it could be a problem for strollers.

Slowpoke

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Jan 31, 2020 - 12:30 PM in reply to Anna

Hi Anna-

The link that you have posted is confusing. At one point, it seems to discuss taking the smooth trail to Iseltwald that is some distance above the lakeshore -

<"If you arrive by boat, then don't forget to walk up to the fall before

starting the hike. There's a bus stop near the top of the falls. From

there, you can walk down along the falls (follow the signs

"Giessbach/See") and start the hike. From Iseltwald, you can take a boat

or bus to Interlaken.">>

but most of it discusses the lakeshore trail that is not suitable for strollers.

See attached map

Slowpoke

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Anna
Anna
941 posts
top member &
moderator
Jan 31, 2020 - 2:36 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Yes, it does sound confusing to me too :)

What should be made clear is that the Iseltwald-Giessbach trail takes you as far as the Giessbach boat jetty. To get to the hotel and closer to the waterfalls, you need to hike another 1-2 km uphill.

Regards,

Anna

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Jan 31, 2020 - 3:18 PM in reply to Anna

<<"What should be made clear is that the Iseltwald-Giessbach trail takes

you as far as the Giessbach boat jetty. To get to the hotel and closer

to the waterfalls, you need to hike another 1-2 km uphill.">>

And, that there is a higher smooth trail, as shown in SchweizMobil.

www.schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/routes/route-0360.html

Slowpoke

Suri
Suri
22 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2020 - 1:00 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

<<"Just want to be sure I understand. You plan is to walk partway along the high quality trail toward Iseltwald, then turn back to Giessbach as the way to finish the hike. You might also spend a little time around the Giessbach Falls themselves, if you wish.">

Yes, this is what i meant. I have adjusted my Itinerary and we are doing ballenberg and giessbach on different days now as for both these places timing matters. We will be spending these 2 evenings in Lauerbrunnen & Brienz where transport will be easily available to get back.

Also in case the path is good till Iseltwald we will walk from falls to Iseltwald.

I also wrote to Giessbach hotel and Interlaken tourist office with reference to map you shared and got below responses:

From Hotel:

Kindly note, that only the upper walking trail from Iseltwald to Giessbach (2 hours) is outdoor stroller friendly - the lower one at the lakeside (1.5 hours) is not stroller friendly at all.

Iseltwald is just a very small place - you should be able to find the beginning of the trail easily.

From tourist office:

We recommend to walk the part from Giessbach to Iseltwald. This route is not very steep, only at certain parts.There is a nice picnic area in the middle located in a wonderful forest.As there are small rocks on the path it is recommendable to have a stroller with bigger wheels.

Thank you all once again for your help. This forum has been very helpful.

regards,

Suri

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Feb 2, 2020 - 3:39 PM in reply to Suri

Hi Suri-

I read the comments from your contacts.

<<"Kindly note, that only the upper walking trail from Iseltwald to Giessbach (2 hours) is outdoor stroller friendly -">>

<<"We recommend to walk the part from Giessbach to Iseltwald. This route is not very steep, only at certain parts.">>

It is not clear that the way ...all the way to Iseltwald...is good for you. In the next few days, I'll post a detailed map of the parts near Iseltwald that you will need to be careful about.

One, you already know of. If you walk all the way to the Mülibach Falls, there willl be a short steep stretch beside the falls. So, you could take the short cut I showed previously.

Otherwise, you will start down to Iseltwald near Gloota and pick up a road which is also a hiking path. More details on that later.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2020 - 5:32 PM in reply to Suri

Hi Suri- as promised

Giessbach to Iseltwald

Notes about descending from the trail (coming from Giesssbach) to Iseltwald.

Here is what the Hotel and Tourist Office wrote:

<<”From tourist office:

We recommend to walk the part from Giessbach to Iseltwald. This route is not very steep, only at certain parts. There is a nice picnic area in the middle located in a wonderful forest. As there are small rocks on the path it is recommendable to have a stroller with bigger wheels. “>>

I agree that you should walk in that direction. I am concerned about their comments about “steep parts.” So, I have marked up a map to help you understand that better.

Attached map, a marked-up screen grab from SwissTopo, shows the main route and alternatives.

I think it is good enough to use in one piece, but, I have also provided one version where I have cut off the right end and made the remainder bigger. The cut-off version includes all of the options.

The key issue for me is how to best descend from the main trail, marked with red dots, which is well above the town and lake, to Iseltwald itself, with a stroller and young children. By myself, I’d consider any of them, except possibly not #1 because it goes on roads that are not marked as trails.

I believe once you have reached the part where you have options to descend, you might possibly have come too far to turn back. Maybe, maybe not. It is 3 ½ km from Giessbach.

Options –

There are four options. I shall discuss them in the order in which you will reach them as you walk along the route, and I put numbers 1 through 4 on the map to show where they start. After I list them, I’ll describe the good and bad parts of the choices, in the next few paragraphs.

1.- Pick up the road at Number 1, just above the Glooten interchange with the autoroute, and follow the road all the way down to Iseltwald (Blue dots).

2.- Pick up a descending trail about 200 meters further along, at number 2, descend to the trail along/on the road, and walk to Iseltwald. (Green dots).

3.- Continue on along the main trail (red dots)until you have almost reached the Mülibach Falls, but turn off on a shortcut (yellow dots) which does not make either the short steep climb to the falls, or the following steep descent alongside the falls.

4.- Follow the main trail (red dots) all the way to Mülibach Falls. Then take the steep ascent and descent beside the falls, and the less steep descent to the town .

Positive and Negative Issues with each choice -

1.- Choice number 1 is the simplest and smoothest. However, it takes sections of road which are not marked with the yellow trail color on the topo map. That part of the route which is on the very first roads is not shown as a trail. I suspect that it is unsafe, perhaps with no way to avoid the cars. You will be able to see for yourself when you reach that point, but I worry that it is not safe. It may be the entrance road for the autoroute.

2.- Choice number 2 (green dots) puts you on some trails which descend moderately steeply for about 400 meters after you leave the main trail, and before joining the trail along the road. I do not know the quality of those trails. You might ask at Brienz Tourist Information. If they are generally OK or (better) for strollers, that seems like the easiest safe route to me. There is one short stretch of about 40 meters where the descent is about 10 meters. That is the steepest section. The parts on the descending trail, , and particularly, that short steeper section, is the one that I would ask about specifically, for usability for strollers. I would also ask about the safety of the long stretch on the road, down into town. That is the way I walked in 1996. I do not remember any particular safety problems, but that is not very reliable information.

This route (green dots) follows marked trails only, although some is on or alongside roads. I am unsure about how safe that is, but, other hikers use it. And, I did.

3.- Maximum avoidance of roads. Follow the main trail until you reach the shortcut (shown as yellow dots) not far from Mülibach Falls. The shortcut descends about 30 meters over about 150 meters, and then is parallel to and close to the autoroute. It then goes under the autoroute. I do not know the quality of that shortcut trail. After that, you have the same 50 meter descent over about 200 meters that Option 4 uses, followed by a more gentle descent of about 30 meters over several 100 meters down to the level of the boat dock.

The descent after the going under autoroute is fairly steep, but not extremely steep. It is not a paved trail. Once you have passed under the autoroute and descended a few tens of meters, you pick up a paved village road as far as the boat dock. It is a narrow side road or lane, and it will not have much traffic, so I would not be concerned about safety there.

I do not know the suitability for strollers for the first parts of that descent into Iseltwald. You should ask.

If you want to see an aerial photography image, which you can switch to color map (or the reverse) here is a link:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=en&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.swissimage&catalogNodes=1392,1538,1396,1430,1436&layers=ch.swisstopo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2640112.49&N=1173129.65&zoom=11

4.- Maximum distance on the main trail. Follow the main route to Mülibach Falls then go down the hill until you meet the section described in #3, just above and near to the autoroute. It has the maximum possible avoidance of roads, as does #3. It is almost certainly quite well marked, and you reach it if you simply stay on the main trail. Presumably, that part of the main trail is still a good trail.

However, the part near the falls has a very steep ascent, and a very steep ascent. The descent is about 60 meters over a linear distance on the map of about 100 meters.

I would not recommend taking strollers there.

On balance, I think I’d consider option 2 first, because it has the most gradual descent. However, if you are concerned about walking down that long stretch of road, even though it is marked as a hiking trail, then you should consider option 3. #3 has no road travel until you get into the village of Iseltwald, but with a steep descent from the vicinity of the falls.

That is all that I can learn without being there.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 7, 2020 - 5:52 PM by Slowpoke
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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2020 - 5:49 PM in reply to Suri

HI Suri-

I just noticed that in this image of Iseltwald, linked before, you can just barely see the Giessbach hotel on the far left.

www.picfair.com/pics/06985969-iseltwald-near-interlaken-aerial-view-switzerland

Slowpoke

Anna
Anna
941 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 7, 2020 - 6:31 PM in reply to Suri

Hi Suri,

Thanks for sharing the updates from the hotel and tourist office.

Thanks to Slowpoke too for his very detailed description. I hope all this information has helped you sort out which trail to take and follow.

Good luck and safe trip!

Regards,

Anna

Suri
Suri
22 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2020 - 7:58 AM

Thank you Slowpoke. This is very helpful. I am definitely going to attempt this trail. I will post the update after our trip in May about how it went.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Feb 12, 2020 - 9:09 AM in reply to Suri

Hi Suri-

You are welcome. I hope it all works out well for you. I'm glad to help. I have gotten to the age where I prefer easy trails, and I enjoy using the wealth of tools that the Swiss provide to help myself as well as hikers.

I recall that you are staying in Brienz. The Tourist Information Office is right by the station.

I encourage you to either e-mail them or take a printed copy of Figure #10 and ask specifically about the trail options marked #2 and #3. You might also confirm that option #4 is very steep in the portion very close to the Mülibach Falls. I'd not like to have you get almost all the way to Iseltwald, when the kids might be tired from the hike, and find that the possible ways to get down from the trail are all too difficult.

May should be a good time to hike trails at that elevation.

Near Lauterbrunnen -

This trail, up above Lauterbrunnen at a much higher elevation, is stroller friendly for the most part, and so easy that it is nicknamed by locals as the "Grannies' Walk." I'm afraid it will not be open all the way to Kleine Scheidegg in May:

www.myswissalps.com/hiking/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

The image on that page shows clouds over Grindelwald. It is a nice illustration of how the weather comes in layers, and why webcams are useful. I've attached an image showing what is under the clouds, as well as some taken with my 8 year old granddaughter and my daughter in late September, 2009. As the trail nears Kleine Scheidegg, it gets more difficult, but still is pretty easy. You can see my granddaughter having fun with a side trail in that part of the hike, and get an idea of what is probably the least stroller-friendly part.

The cableway from Wengen to Männlichen does open May 9th, and the views from near the cableway station, restaurant, and playground up at Männlichen are very nice.

www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/information/timetable.html

Usually , the first part of the trail opens before the shaded part near Tschuggen, and you might be able to walk a few hundred meters with a stroller and access the playground. That part of the trail is quite good.

The attached image "Near the top...." shows the relationship between the mountain station of the cableway and the restaurant, as well as the part of the trail going toward Tschuggen.

I also attached a picture taken with my grandson on the day the trail fully opened opened in June 2015. It was June 15th. We are in the earliest part of the trail. You can see the unfortunate cloudy weather, and the snow residue still remaining. In May, there will still be a good deal of snow, and I don't know how much of the trail will be open, but you should be able to get as far as the restaurant and playground. The restaurant opens May 21st.

www.berghaus-maennlichen.ch/en/Sommer

You might also want to consider a walk along the quite level floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg. A bus route provides options for how much you walk.

www.myswissalps.com/hiking/lauterbrunnen-stechelberg

The attached image taken from Wengen shows the valley floor. An easy trail avoids the main road, as I recall.

Slowpoke

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