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hiking forest trails berner oberland switzerland

hiking forest trails berner oberland switzerland

Old Jul 20th, 2008, 05:42 PM
  #1  
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hiking forest trails berner oberland switzerland

We are two retired couples planning to spend one week in Switzerland from September 3, 2008 (2 days in Vevey, 4 days in Lauterbrunnen, 1 day in Lucern).For a couple of days we would like to take easy (not steep) hiking trails in the forests (preferably in pine forests), 3-4 miles long.We will have a rented car, so probably we will be able to drive to any trailhead. We love the nature and prefer not overpopulated trails. Any suggestions?

eizer is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 02:05 AM
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Hi eizer,

First, I want to try to persuade you to ditch the car and think about relying on the superb Swiss transport system. It is SO easy and a lot of fun to use! On my 15 trips to Switzerland (10 to Montreux itself), I rented a car only two times and thought it was a mistake both times. Cars are expensive in Switzerland (with gasoline and parking) and generally are more of a nuisance.

There is a train station in the basement of the Zürich airport. You merely load all your bags on a luggage cart, wheel it all the way to the basement using either the escalators or the elevator, and go right to the train tracks.

In addition, some of the most charming villages in Switzerland are car-free, like Mürren and Wengen. So if you opted to use the train system, you could spend your mountain time in the unique ambiance of a car-free town. And you really don't need a car to get to any of the trailheads, many of which start from a car-free town or a gondola or cable car station. I suspect that your car will merely sit in Lauterbrunnen during your time there.

And I know for a fact that your car will be useless in Vevey. You'll be much more mobile if you rely on the city busses, train, and ferry. The traffic is a nightmare there -- both Montreux and Vevey are congested.

If you'd like to research the trains, you can get all the schedules at

www.rail.ch

and you can research passes (like 15% off for two people travelling together or the Half Fare Card) at

www.swisstravelsystem.com

Anyway -- I usually ski when I'm in the area, but these are the walks I've heard of over and over again:

1. Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg
1 hr
Take the gondola from Grindelwald to Mannlichen and follow the signs.

2. Grutschalp to Muerren
Relatively flat.

3. First - Bachalpsee
95 min roundtrip
Take the gondola from Grindelwald to First

Good luck!

s

swandav2000 is online now  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 05:08 AM
  #3  
 
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Grutschalp to Muerren is through a forest but I don't remember if there were pines.

Mannlichen to Klein Scheidegg is flat but not in a forest. It has much better views than the above mentioned trail. You see beautiful views of Grindlewald in the valley and of the three stars of the area--Eiger, Monk and Jungfrau peaks. I'd pick it over the trail to Murren any time.

I'm curious why you just want to hike through forests in the area. People go to the BO to see the fabulous mountain views which you wouldn't be able to see for the trees.
Connie is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 05:20 AM
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Grutschalp to Muerren is a terrific and easy walk, with some woodsy/piney parts, some beautiful alpine meadows and some truly stunning views of the mountains. And Muerren itself is a nice little village where you can relax and enjoy lunch (or a Rugenbrau or two).
mr_go is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 05:53 AM
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Gotta second swandav's suggestion of losing the car. Transportation in Switzerland -- trains/buses/boats -- is so well coordinated that it may be a disadvantage to drive yourself. The Swiss postal buses penetrate deep into the mountains and are fun to ride in themselves. And if you ride, everybody gets to look at the view.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Pine forests and the Berner Oberland are incompatible concepts.

If you want forests, go elsewhere.

Also, you don't need a car for the Berner Oberland around Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, etc. Some of the places cannot even be reached by car.

In that area the best place for trees is the drive over the Sustern Pass.
That will require a car if you want freedom of movement.

bob_brown is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 09:47 PM
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One of the things I enjoyed about my walk from the Allmendhubel area (above Mureen) over to Grutscalps was the views of the Jungfrau and company framed quite nicely in those trees. IN fact my screen saver is a picture I took of the Jungrau and mountains with the flowers growing up out in the open with the pines and mountains in the background.

There are some nice walks in the forrest over in Gimmelwald also.


Now playing:

Walkin' blues by Hot Tuna (a band made up with some Jefferson Airplane guys)

sunstar is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Mr go has the right idea about the Rugenbrau thing and the walk. That walk in the Murren- Grutchalps can also be done in some different ways. You can take a slightly higher trail by walking from Allmenhubel over to Winteregg. Then once in Winteregg you can certainly kick back and enjoy that refreshing Rugenbrau.

I'm not big on driving either. In some European destinations, driving is the way to go, but in Switzerland, particularly in this Jungfrau region, you can move about with ease by the trains.

The walk Connie describes is the famous Grandmothers walk. The views are excellent as views of Grindlewald down below and the Eiger are just great. As you make that final turn headed into Kleine Scheidegg, the views oif the Eiger glacier and Jungfrau are great!

Now playing:

Mystery Train by Paul Butterfield blues band

sunstar is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Sunstar: Your desktop screen saver...does it look at all like this?

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/113...53249937YHcHHY

Now playing: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' live cover of "Rock n Roll Star" by The Byrds.
mr_go is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 07:23 AM
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Your picture was taken almost at the same exact part of that trail as my screen saver or desktop theme picture was taken. One thing about that trail that really struck me was that yes, there are better views of the Jungfrau and area, but if you enjoy seeing those mountains framed in the pines and flowers growing along the hillsides, this is the trail to capture all of that beauty.

As for Your traveling song. Excellent. The Byrds were always one of my favorite bands. No band could mix folk music and psychedelic music better. Check out Tom Petty's new album with one of his first bands called "Mudcrutch"

Now playing: Crystal River by Tom Petty and Mudcrutch
sunstar is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Thank you for your responses.
We only wanted to clarify Bob Brown's remark: "The best for trees is the drive over the Sustern Pass".
Is it Sustern Pass or Susten Pass?
And where is it?
Thanks, Eizer.
eizer is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2008, 12:11 AM
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The Maennlichen to Kleine Schiedig walk is a magnificent walk and if you are in the Jungfrau valley you should take it regardless of the fact that it is above the tree line. There are some other very nice walks within Wengen itself which will put you in meadows and briefly in and on the edge of forests, the walk out towards Mary’s café is one, ask about this at the tourist office. (This may be a bit shorter than 3 miles, but quite pleasant.) You can also walk all the way down from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen, a good bit if not all of that would be through trees, but I believe it is longer than the length you want, check with the tourist office or search some websites here.

A quite nice walk in the area which offers parts that are a bit more in forest is the walk down to the Oeschinensee in Kandersteg from the cable car. This is not a difficult walk. Kandersteng is the next valley over from the Jungfrau and is a quick drive or a train ride.

With regard to driving passes, it is the Susten Pass, and the pass itself is of course significantly above the tree line. However, the long approach along the valley from the Interlaken side will pass through some nice forest areas before you get to the higher elevations above the tree line. The pass lies between the Bern and the Uri Cantons, and is east of the Lauterbrunnen/Jungfrau area in the Bernese Oberland (it is the backside of some of the Jungfrau valley mountains so to speak). You probably want to get out a map

You could also easily do a circuit of the Susten/Furka AND Grimsel passes in a day from the Wengen area. One a good clear day this is a magnificent drive. Just drive from Lauterbrunnen to Meiringen. From Meiringen, go east to the Susten Pass and up and over, go through Andermatt, come over the Furka Pass, and then immediately head up and over the Grimsel Pass, and back down into Meiringen. Then go left (west) and back into the Interlaken and Wengen area. Note that if you don’t want to rent a car, the lovely yellow Swiss Post buses also ply these routes, and I believe you can take a series of buses that does all three passes in one day trip from Meiringen.
.
At the top of the Susten Pass, you can walk onto the Steingletscher. This pass has the widest most panoramic views, IMO, but really any of the passes will offer some really great views. The Furka is quite twisty and a hoot to drive and you can also get out at the top and go see the glacier which is the source of the Rhone. The Grimsel has some interesting green glacial lakes at the top.

Personally, if you want to hike in forests in a lovely area, I would hike in the Bergun valley in the Engadine, going all or part of the route from Preda down to Bergun. Very scenic valley covered in pine forest, and under and around some lovely train viaducts. If you walk down along the toboggan trail/railway path, this is not a hard walk at all and is virtually all downhill. (And this is IMO the most beautiful train ride in Switzerland which you can take up to start the walk.) However, this area is not in the BO and would necessitate some re-organizing, but this is the Engadine, which is stunning, stunning and relatively untouristed. St Moritz and then some really lovely little villages. I have long liked this area much better than the Jungfrau valley area.

In my experience, it is unlikely you can drive to any trailhead in Switzerland. First of all, there is very little or no parking at trailheads for the most part. Secondly, very few trails are circular, bringing you back to your car. You end up someplace else, and have to take the very good public transport back to your car (the Swiss just take a train or bus back home at the end of the walk). You may as well just take the public transport in the first place.



Cicerone is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2008, 01:55 AM
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We loved doing the walk from Preda to Bergun, cows, fields, trees, gushing water, stunning scenery and those amazing viaducts. And if you are lucky you might be near one when a train comes through. The lady at the TI in Pontresina told us it is an Historical Railway trail. We topped the day off by catching the train to Filisur and walking down to the famous Landwasser viaduct and with our timing just right I had time to set up my mini tripod and got some great shots of the Bernina going over the top.

If you do get the Engadine the walk from Guarda to Ardez is also lovely, we only saw butterflies and cows - no people!

Best wishes, sounds like a great trip.
Maudie is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2008, 05:32 AM
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>In my experience, it is unlikely you can drive to any trailhead in Switzerland. First of all, there is very little or no parking at trailheads for the most part. Secondly, very few trails are circular, bringing you back to your car. You end up someplace else

The difference between where you are used to hiking and where Switzerland (or for that matter Germany or Austria) is that there are no strictly designated trails isolated from each other with parking and all such at a "trailhead". The trails usually start at the nearest village or town and connect into a dense network of marked paths. You don´t need to follow a specific trail but choose your way through the netowrk (a reason to have a very good map). In many places tehre are signs with main walking destinations, but your specific one may not be among them (another reason to have a very good map).
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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