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Afternoon Hike in Berner Oberland

Old Jul 13th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Afternoon Hike in Berner Oberland

We arrive in Interlaken about 2pm and are keen to do an afternoon walk
soon after we arrive. Does anyone have any suggestions. Also what type of footwear is recommended for these walks/hikes. We are a family of two reasonably fit 40ish adults and two teenage girls. Thanks
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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It would be helpful if you could let everybody know what time of year you will be there since it makes a difference in how much daylight you will have.
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Old Jul 13th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Thanks Betty, We will be there on 2nd October for a few days.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 04:39 AM
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ttt
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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If it were me, I'd go take a walk in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, or around the lake in Spiez. I'd save the peaks until the morning.

I did 4-days of modest hikes and walks around Murren and Gimmelwald in summertime wearing running shoes. I didn't get rain, so I was just lucky in not having waterproof walkers. But I wouldn't think you need hiking equipment, and I find hiking shoes heavy and blistering. Fortunately, nobody is into fashion footwear, so wearing the most comfortable shoe you have is fine, no matter how beat up or clunky.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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zeppole, based upon what I've read (not what I've done), I bet your Lauterbrunnen valley stroll is an excellent suggestion. What caught my attention in your post is the bit about Spiez. Do you mean walk around the Thunnersee? Is there a path that goes all around the lake? J.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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I loved my walk in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, mainly along the river, more than many of the hikes I took in the peaks. Up in Murren, I found the stony bare peaks rather static after a while, but the immensity of the mountains was more impressive to me looking up from the valley floor. I also enjoyed the bucolic gardens I saw and a few cows -- although there are quite a few rather conventional suburban-type houses in the Lauterbrunnen. And first impressions might have misled me, but the valley folk seemed a bit more smiling and open than the mountain folk.

Anyway, as for Spiez, I basically walked around the town and up into the vineyards (I think it is such a charming, fairy-tale place) and took the steamer around the lake.

But there are true walks and hikes:

http://www.thunersee.ch/en/hiking/more-hikes.html
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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This might be an even better link:

http://www.thunersee.ch/en/hiking/moderate-hikes.html
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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And if you scroll to the bottom of this link, you'll see a map for the very simple walk from Spiez to Faulensee:

http://www.thunersee.ch/en/hiking/easy-hikes.html
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Great link. Thanks. I know mariebut will appreciate your added input re the Lauterbrunnen valley. Sounds like a winner. J.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Great info Zeppole, as we are coming in by train from Bern maybe we could get off at Spiez and take the boat over to Interlaken, would that work do you think? The Lauterbrunnen valley sounds beautiful too. Do you wear I could find maps of the walk. I'm glad to hear that running shoes may be fine as we do not wish to pack heavy hiking boots just for a couple of days use. Thanks again for your ideas
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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Interlaken is not a place you can find much interesting walking unless you want to prowl the streets and do window shopping.

If you want to head for the mountains, you need to head south for a few miles at least to Lauterbrunnen.

Depending on what time you arrive and where you are staying you should have time for a short one before darkness descends.

Having been to that area many times I can suggest one that should be ok assuming you can get on the trail before 3:30 or 4:00 pm and we are talking about late August to mid September.

Here is my suggestion:
Head for Interlaken Ost rail station (or drive) through Wildersil to Lauterbrunnen. If you go by train, walk across the street to the lift station and take the cable car to Grutschalp, which is the only station that lift goes to.

Get our of the cabin of the cable lift, and go to your left along the trolley tracks. Walk to Mürren.
It is an easy walk and the trail is wide and essentially flat. You will do fine in walking shoes or jogging shoes.

The only time I think you need heavy hiking boots is if you take to a trail that has rough spots. Usually these are a different class of trail. The so called Wanderwegs are mostly easy trails to walk.

If you are later in the day arriving in Lauterbrunnen, let me sugges that you walk south along the main street, which is quite obvious, past the church and along a small road that passes by the cemetary, which is a veritable flower garden.

Staubbach Falls should be quite visible as you walk along the main street. Simply follow toward the falls.

There is a walkway that goes up and under the falls. Some people like to do that little side trip although you don't see much except a big shower bath of icy water!!

The falls are lighted at night and they are quite spectacular.

You can walk along that road about as far as you want, but I suggest cutting to the left at your first obvious pass through and walk to the river. Turn downstream and return to Lauterbrunnen.

I think the walk from Grutschalp to Mürren is spectacular because the late afternoon sun will be shining directly on the snowy peaks of the main range of the Berner Oberland. The Jungfrau will be just to the left and should be obvious because it it will be the higher of the peaks that you can see from that location.

The broad one what will dominate the view south is the Briethorn, one of many peaks in Switzerland that have that name.

The following day, I can suggest one that is even better. Take the train up to Wengen. Walk along the main street to the north for a few dozen yards and you will see a cable car line rising to your right that goes up to the top of that towering ridge known as the Männlichen. From the crest of the ridge there is a high knob at the north end that affords a fantastic view of the north face of the Eiger. You can then walk an easy trail that slopes gently downhill to the rail station of Kleine Scheidegg.

From there you can ride or walk uphill to view the glaciers or even go to the Eigergletschere station and take a stroll down the Eiger North Wall trail, which will give you a chance to get up close and personal with the Eiger.

That trail, however, may require a hiking pole to help your footing.

We did the glacier view just a few weeks ago from a vantage point up the rail line from Kleine Scheidegg.
Then we got on the train and rode back to our apartment in Lauterbrunnen.

I think you will find several trails in the area that can be hiked without heavy, lug-soled hiking boots.

I feel that for most of those trails a really heavy alpine boot is not required at all. In fact, they just weigh your feet down. You don't need a heavy boot unless you intend to lash crampons on it to cross a glacier or climb an icy patch or very hard snow. In those case you need an ice ax as well.



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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 05:43 PM
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marie,

I persoanlly don't know if it would work because I've never taken a boat to Interlaken from Spiez. I do kow it would depend on how much luggage you have, or your willingness to take a taxi from the train station up the hill to the dock at the lakeshore.

I would imagine your hotel in Interlaken could tell you about boats from Spiez.

It's only 20 minutes by train from Interlaken. You might prefer to do this the other way: Go to Interlaken, drop your bags, take a boat to Spiez, have a walk. Take the boat back, perhaps to a different spot on the lake, and walk back to Interlaken from there.

This link seems to show walks along the lakeshore that begin in Interlaken, but go towards Thun, with boats back. Scroll down:

http://www.thunersee.ch/en/hiking/moderate-hikes.html
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Thanks so much, bob brown and zeppole for your suggestions they sound fantastic. We arrive on the 2nd October at about 2pm so do you know how much daylight we may have? The Lauterbrunnen area sounds like the place to try. Bob, I have taken a keen interest in your advice on many threads about BO thanks for passing on your wealth of knowledge.
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Old Jul 15th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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I think you will have enough time, but that late in the year, I would plan on riding back to Grutschalp from Mürren if you elect that option.

With Staubbach Falls lighted, you can see them late. The trains back to Interlaken run frequently until after 11 pm.

You will still have over 11 hours of daylight, but that valley gets dark quickly that time of hear because the sun quickly drops out of sight.
Twilight lingers in the summer because it reflects off of the opposite side of the valley.

If you have a clear sky, watching a sunset against the backdrop of mountains south of the Lauterbrunnen Valley can be very spectacular. I have a few pictures of rosy snow!

If you are lucky, you can catch a moon rise concurrently with a sun set. You get some interesting colors when that happens. I am not sure of the timing, however. It depends on clouds as well.

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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Sounds wonderful Bob. Can't wait to be there.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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With regards to the shoes - we were in Switzerland in May and found the gore-tex hiking shoes like these: http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/36734934/c/54316.html absolutely perfect. Was fine for any of the hikes we did but also worked well for just walking around the cities.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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I just noticed that you will be in the Berner Oberland in October.

The train schedule will be on the post summer timetable which means the trains are less frequent than I indicated. Beginning with the departure 18:33, the departures are hourly. That is NOT frequent in my book. The last one is at 22:33.

So my statement earlier is NOT correct.

trains to Interlaken Ost from Mürren are at 18:06, 19:06, 20:06, 20:55 and 21:55.

This is of course a 3-stage trip:
trolley to Grutschalp, cable lift to the Lauterbrunnen station, train to Interlaken Ost.

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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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We were just in the Berner oberland and I wished we had our boots b/c it rained a lot and in the higher elevations there was snow! My running shoes would have left my feet cold.

The only disappointment of our trip was that it rained 2 days of the 3.5 we were there, which elminated a lot of our hiking possibilities. We took a hike on the outskirts of Wengen (didnt' need boots for that) (beautiful area!!). We also walked around Lauterbrunnen and did walk arond Trummelbach Falls.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 12:15 AM
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Thanks Karens, Lets hope it doesn't rain when we are there for such a short time. thanks for the tips on the shoes. By the way where did you stay when there. We are booked into Hotel Splendid at Interlaken but am wondering if we should try something in Lauterbrunnen to cut down on some transit travel.
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