My favorite hike in the Grindelwald area features fabulous views of the Bernese Alps stretching from the Wetterhorn, Eiger, Jungfrau and the Breithorn in the Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen valleys to the Bluemlisalp massif in the southwest. (full description)
There is no shortage of great hikes in the Grindelwald area with fabulous views. But of all the hikes the trail between First and Schynige Platte is my favorite, traveling through diverse landscape with stunning, panoramic views of the Bernese Alps from ever changing perspectives.
The stars of the show are the 4,000-meter peaks of towering above Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Playing a supporting role in the evolving panorama are two scenic lakes, the Sagistalsee and the Bachsee, pretty meadows, glistening glaciers and incredible rock formation. Midway through the hike views of Lake Brienz, later joined by Lake Thun and Interlocken, vie for your attention.
The hike starts with a gondola ride to First, a high belvedere with fabulous views of the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn and Eiger. A traverse of the slopes high above the north side of Grindelwald passes the Bachsee and then leads to a saddle where views shift to the Jungfrau, the Breithorn and the continuation of the Bernese Alps southwest to the Bluemlisalp massif. Soon the trail traverses a high ridge with dazzling views of the Bernese Alps to the south and Lake Brienz to the north.
At the midpoint of the hike the trail drops down the north side of the ridge, where views shift to the amazing rock formations along the south and north faces of the Sagissa ridge. The trail loops around the ridge and then descends to the Sagistal valley’s pretty pastures. Here views reopen to the Bernese Alps, now from a different angle, with the austere karst landscape of the Güw area in the foreground.
The final leg of the hike travels along the east and south facing flanks of the Loucherhorn before descending the pretty meadows above Oberbergh, with more sensational views of the Bernese Alps. A final short, steep climb leads to Schynige Platte, where a cog railway descends to Wilderswil with connecting trains to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Interlocken.
Pick a day that promises good weather with clear skies and then get an early start. The trail is long and quite strenuous, with lots of ups and downs. Hikers should be in good condition and well acclimated. Do not attempt this hike during bad or threatening weather. Most of this hike is along high exposed slopes, not the place to be during a storm.