Up-close and dramatic views of the sheer north face of the Eiger, along with fine views of the Grindelwald Valley and nearby peaks, are the highlights of this interesting hike traveling along the base of the iconic Eiger. Several options extend the hike, adding to the scenic delights of the day.
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Why Hike Eiger Trail
The popular Eiger Trail descends beneath the soaring north face of the Eiger (13,025-ft.) accompanied by panoramic views of the Grindelwald Valley, Kleine Scheidegg and the Lauberhorn. The 3.8 mile trail starts at the Eigergletcher Train Station to the southeast of Kleine Scheidegg, a saddle on the ridge separating the Lauberhorn and the Eiger. (See directions to the trailhead below).
Typically hikers reach the trailhead by taking the train/cog railway from either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg and then switching to the Jungfrau Railway and getting off at the first stop, the Eigergletcher.
Kleine Scheidegg is a very busy place, filled with tourists jostling to catch the trains to various destinations. If time and energy permit, I strongly suggest walking from Kleine Scheidegg to the start of the Eiger trail, a 1.4 to 1.9 mile hike (described below) resulting in a 5.7 mile point-to-point trip that ends at the Alpiglen rail station.
Hikers looking for a longer day can combine the Panoramaweg: Manlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail with the Eiger trail for a highly scenic 8.5 mile point-to-point hike. More information on this alternative is found at the end of the hike description.
The trail can be quite slippery if snow is present, requiring the use of microspikes. Check at the Grindelwald tourist office for current conditions.
The Eiger trail can be walked in either direction. Some parties walk up from Alpiglen to help acclimate and get into condition. The trail is rated as moderately-strenuous if you walk it uphill. I personally prefer to walk down so the best scenery it right in front. Whatever way you walk it is a great hike.
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