Panoramaweg: Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg

Distance: 2.8 miles

Bernese Oberland, near Grindelwald in Bernese Oberland

View of the Monch and the Jungfrau

View of the Monch and the Jungfrau

 

The Panoramaweg, between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg, is an easy, popular hike with nonstop views the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau soaring above the Grindelwald area. Extend the hike with a walk to the Mannlichen summit for more breathtaking views.

 

Trail Description - Panoramaweg: Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg

  • Distance from Trailhead: 2.8 miles (one way)
  • Ending/Highest Elevation: 7,293-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: -531-ft.

The day starts by taking a gondola to Mannlichen (7,293-ft.), a small alp situated on a scenic ridge separating the Lutschental (Grindelwald valley) and Lauterbrunnental (Lauterbrunnen valley). (See directions to the trailhead below.) Overlooks atop the ridge near the lift station enjoy great views to the west/southwest up the length of the Lauterbrunnen valley to the Jungfrau, Breithorn and Tshcingelhorn along with the peaks lining the Sefinental valley. The Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger and Monch dominate the skyline on the east side of the overlook and lift station.

Outside the lift station signs point south/southeast to Kleine Scheidegg (1-hr 30-min) along the Hohenweg 2100m. This is one of the themed walks in Grindelwald also known as the Panorama Trail or Panoramaweg.  Other signs point north to the Mannlichen viewpoint, reached via the "Royal Walk" themed trail.

Turn southeast toward Kleine Scheidegg on a broad gravel track that descends on easy grades through meadows along the base of Mt. Tschuggen (8,270-ft.). In route enjoy wonderful views of the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and the massive north wall of the Eiger towering above the Grindelwald valley to the east.

At 1.5 miles the trail curves to the right (south) to circumvent a ridge extending from Mt. Tschuggen. A short distance beyond the trail again curves to the right (southwest), crossing under the Honegg chairlift and then travels besides the south facing slopes of Tschuggen. Ahead are fine views of the rugged eastern wall of the Lauberhorn (8,110-ft.). To the south the Monch and Jungfrau form a beautiful backdrop for the trail descending to Kleine Scheidegg.

Cross the creek draining the slopes between Mt. Tschuggen and the Lauberhorn at 2.1 miles. Beyond the creek the trail turns to the left, heading southeast before swinging south along the base of the Lauberhorn. Ignore the trail branching to the right and climbing toward to Lauberhorn at 2.5 miles. Instead, continue straight ahead toward Kleine Scheidegg.

On a clear day the views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau from this segment of the trail are nothing short of spectacular. Look carefully to see the Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe, housed in a gleaming silver building on the saddle between the Jungfrau and the Monch.

Soon the path reaches the Rotstockli (6,923-ft.), a scenic overlook with terrific views of the Eiger’s north wall soaring overhead. From here the trail descends on moderate grades to Kleine Scheidegg (6,762-ft.), located on a saddle between the Lauberhorn and the Eiger, at 2.8 miles.

The railway station at Kleine Scheidegg connects trains from Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen with trains heading for the Jungfraujoch, a line that partially runs through tunnels dug through the Eiger. The Jungfraujoch (11,371-ft.), or “Top of Europe”, is an extremely popular destination with several panoramic restaurants and overlooks. As a result the area around Kleine Scheidegg, including the restaurants, souvenir shops and bathrooms, are often crowded with hordes of tourists.

After you are done exploring the Kleine Scheidegg area, either take the train back to Grindelwald or descend to Grindelwald via the Eiger Trail. See the description of the Eiger Trail for more information.

To the Top of Mannlichen

  • Distance from Trailhead: 1.2 miles (round trip)
  • Ending/Highest Elevation: 7,684-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 391-ft.

This scenic walk, also starting at the Mannlichen gondola station, leads to the overlook atop the Mannlichen, a 7,684-ft. summit at the north end of the ridge. From the Mannlichen lift station, turn north toward the Mannlichen viewpoint, also listed as the Royal Walk on the trail signs. The trail starts out flat but soon starts climbing on moderate to steep grades to the overlook, gaining 400-ft. in 0.6 miles.

This panoramic viewpoint enjoys breathtaking, 360-degree views encompassing the Grindelwald Valley to the east, the high peaks between Schynige Platte and the Schwarzhorn to the north and the summits rimming the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the west. Behind you, to the south, the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau dominate the skyline. To the northwest are distant views of the Interlaken area.

When you are done taking in the views, retrace your steps to Mannlichen for a 1.2 mile (round trip) hike. Combining the Royal Walk with the Panoramaweg to Kleine Scheidegg results in a 4.0 mile hike.

Elevation Profile

Elevation profile - hiking trail from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg

Driving Directions

From the Grindelwald Bahnhoff (train station) to Mannlichen: From the Grindelwald train station (bahnhoff), walk a short distance to the east along the main street to the main bus stop and catch bus 123 toward Itramen Egg.  Get off at the valley station for the Mannlichen gondola.

Alternatively, from the train station follow the yellow signs pointing to the Mannlichen lift station, which is to the northwest of the Grund Station for Kleine Scheidegg. The walk descends the hillsides to the south/southwest of the train station, using a combination of walkways and roads to reach the large carpark for the lift. The lift is located at the northwest end of the car park. Allocate about 20 minutes for the 0.9 mile walk. The ride up the world’s longest passenger-carrying gondola takes about 30 minutes and is quite scenic.

From Lauterbrunnen to Mannlichen: From the train station in Lauterbrunnen, catch the cog railway heading toward Wengen/Kleine Scheidegg and get off in Wengen. (The ride to Wengen takes about 14 minutes.) In Wengen, walk behind the train station to Dorfstrasse (the main street) and turn left (northwest).  Soon you will see signs pointing right to a road leading to the cable car station.  Along the way pass the Wengen tourism office. Purchase a one-way ticket and take the cable car to Mannlichen. The cable car climbs over 3,000-ft. and takes about 5 minutes. Keep an eye out for chamoix grazing on the grassy slopes beneath the cableway.

From Wengen to Mannlichen: In Wengen, the bottom station for the cable car is located to the north/northeast of the train station (bahnhoff). Walk behind the train station to Dorfstrasse (the main street) and then turn left (northwest).  Soon you will see signs pointing right to the cable car station.  Along the way pass the Wengen tourism office. Purchase a one-way ticket and take the cable car to Mannlichen. The cable car climbs over 3,000-ft. and takes about 5 minutes. Keep an eye out for chamoix grazing on the grassy slopes beneath the cableway.

Klein Scheidegg to Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen: At the Kleine Scheidegg Railway Station, buy a one-way ticket to the Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen Bahnhoff (train station). Trains typically run every 30 minutes in the summer.

 

Trail Resources