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Recommended hike above Lauterbrunnen Valley

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Caroline679
Caroline679
20 posts
new member
Oct 7, 2019 - 7:05 PM

There have been numerous mentions on this fabulous site of the nice, basically-level walk between Murren and the station at Grutschalp (<— which is across the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengen). I agree that it’s an enjoyable stroll, and it certainly is an appropriate choice with kids or with elderly family members. But a *really* lovely alternative is the trail that pretty much parallels that one, except higher up. On the yellow trail signs, it is referred to as the “Mountain View Trail”.

If you don’t mind a bit of exercise for your legs going up the initial section (which begins on the uphill side of the rail tracks at Grutschalp, and initially goes uphill into evergreen woods from there; but not for any interminable length, and you’ll have shade to keep you cool), you will be *more than amply rewarded* by a beautiful, open trail above tree-line for several gorgeous hours afterwards, with stupendous alpine mountain views the entire way, and ending up at Almendhubel, where you can then either walk, or take the gondola, down to Murren. The best time to do this route is in the afternoon, when the sun is shining right onto the Alps (Eiger etc), making them pop out from the sky beyond. (Morning is much tougher for pictures, if you take as many as we do. Tough exposure in the a.m.). Just be sure to check what time the last gondola leaves Almendhubel (in September, it was around 5 pm), for your trip down into Murren at the other end.

We’ve done this route on its own, but we’ve also done it with several variations:

>> walking all the way to Murren (which is a nice add-on, being very pastoral and all gently downhill)

>> combining it with a ride up Schilthorn afterwards (which means, though, that you don’t have time to do the trail in the afternoon, when the Mountain View Trail is at its best).... An option could be to do Schilthorn first, and then do the high trail from Murren back to Grutschalp in the afternoon, although we found it most enjoyable in the opposite direction

>> doing a full loop: first on the higher Mountain View Trail from Grutschalp to Murren, then walking back on the level, lower, much more populated path from Murren back to the Grutschalp station

We’ve done all of these variations. What we loved was:

— the Mountain View Trail is not nearly as populated and well-traveled as the lower, level, busier route

— it’s much quieter, and you’re never looking at railroad tracks as your view

— except to initially get up to the rest of the trail — (the wonderful, extended, horizontal part) — the view is never obstructed by trees

— you walk through lovely green pastures, and come upon terrific lunch spots with drop-dead gorgeous views

— you can tailor the length of the outing to your energy level and time available

We were surprised that this trail is not more widely written about in the local information. It’s just lovely. The Mountain View Trail itself takes 2-3 hours, depending on how much you gawk at the views and how many pictures you stop to take. We couldn’t resist. The seemingly-always-very-crowded Grutschalp cog-train / gondola was the only downside... You get spoiled being out in all that Nature on the trail. But if you can squeeze over to the right-hand side (going down to Lauterbrunnen), you’ll get more amazing views then, too. And again, if you want the option of taking the gondola from Almendhubel into Murren, check its timetable in advance. It’s more limited in its schedule than the Grutschalp end of things.

’Hope this encourages you to give this route a try. You won’t be disappointed. : )

Steph
Steph
2253 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 8, 2019 - 9:38 AM in reply to Caroline679

Hello Caroline769,

Thanks a million for sharing this alternative hike in the Murren area, I'm sure it will be an inspiration for many future hikers in the area.

Any picture you could add to provide visual support of your alternative route?! Only if possible of course.. :)

Best,
Steph

Llbarton53
Llbarton53
2 posts
new member
Oct 8, 2019 - 4:40 PM

I agree, Caroline! We did a variation the other day, from Allmendhubel to Winter Egg, which was a bit less ambitious than the version you did, but enough for our old legs. So quiet! Maybe we shouldn't tell anyone?

Caroline679
Caroline679
20 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2019 - 3:56 PM

Yes, Llbarton53, I totally agree! I almost decided not to share this recommendation publicly, because it’s so nice to have a trail that’s not only gorgeous and quiet, but that is pretty much all to yourself. But... I’m also a big believer in getting people out into nature, to be wow’d and amazed by its massive scale and magnificence... hoping that more people all over the world will work very long and hard to protect and preserve it. But, yup, I know what you mean. ’Hard to divulge such a special ‘find’. : )

I forgot to mention — (and I think it’s particularly helpful when interpretting and assessing someone else’s report) — that my husband and I are in our mid-60’s. We‘re no die-hard gym rats (I never go); but we do live an outdoorsy lifestyle, and we do make an extra effort to get in shape for significant altitude and elevation gain that exceeds what we have around us in Vermont. ‘Hope that helps others gauge my earlier comments.

Llbarton53, we also did the route you mentioned, going through Winteregg. It was very pretty along there, too! We very happily hiked 11 out of 12 possible days while in Switzerland this fall, and I’d love to write about each and every route... I can at least offer this recommendation for now. It’s impossible to rave enough about hiking in Switzerland — so drop-dead gorgeous at every turn — and I’m saying that *even after* a two-week Swiss hiking trip last September that was pretty much entirely in pea-soup thick fog and pouring rain (plus snow)... and despite four more days of the same weather this September. So, the Bernese Oberland isn’t *always* like all of those handsome pictures that can’t help but make one drool. But, ohhhhh, when Mother Nature decides to bathe the Alps in blue sky and bright sunshine, she *really* pulls out all the stops — no bugs, no humidity, clean crisp fresh mountain air, warm sun on your back, and views too beautiful to describe. Add to that, Switzerland’s well-marked, well-maintained trails, lunch spots galore, no litter, and super-efficient transportation/access to trail heads, and it’s quite the perfect recipe for mighty great hiking. You just plain can’t beat incredible Switzerland.

At Stephanie’s suggestion, I think (?) I’ve successfully attached a photo taken on the Mountain View Trail... although I’ve never tried doing that on this site. Let me know if it doesn’t come through. (I’m far more ‘at home’ when I’m hiking than I will ever be at finessing the ins and outs of technology.)

In the meantime, continued kudos to wonderful myswissalps. Such a fabulous site!

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Ildiko
Ildiko
911 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 10, 2019 - 2:08 PM

Hi Caroline679,

I am glad you've shared the secret hiking trail with us :) And you are totally right about getting people out into nature. We all need it. :)

The picture is there and it is beautiful, thanks for uploading it! :)

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