The best hike in Lauterbrunnen climbs steeply to Tanzbodeli, an incredible overlook atop a high grassy plateau with jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the high peaks towering above the Lauterbrunnen and Sefinen Valleys. The return via Obersteinberg is packed with visual delights. (full description)
This is my favorite hike in Lauterbrunnen with incredible views of the Bernese Alps. The steep trail climbs to Tanzbodeli, "the dance floor", a high grassy plateau on the ridge between the Sefinen and Lauterbrunnen Valleys with magnificent 360-degree views.
Directly across from the plateau the Jungfrau, Abeni Flue and Mittaghorn soar above the east side of the Lauterbrunnen valley. At the head of the valley a beautiful glacial cirque, formed by the Grosshorn, Breithorn, Tschingelhorn and Ellstabhorn, creates the perfect backdrop for Schmadribachfall (waterfall) plunging down the lip of a hanging valley. To the west/northwest the peaks surrounding the Sefinen Valley, including the Gspaltenhorn, dominate to the view while to the north views extend down the length of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. All around you glaciers, clinging to the flanks of the high peaks, glisten in the sun.
From Tanzbodeli a descending traverse high above the west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with terrific great views of the peaks ringing the valley, leads to the pretty alp of Obersteinberg. The alp’s circa-1880 hotel and restaurant enjoys stunning views of Schmadribachfall, plunging 1,000-ft. to the valley floor, and the glacial cirque at the head of the Lauterbrunnen valley.
At Obersteinberg, an optional side trip leads to the Oberhornsee, a small lake, situated in the rocky meadows between the moraines of the Breithorn and Tschingelfirn glaciers.
Hikers are presented with two options on the final leg of the hike from Obersteinberg to Stechelberg, a high route and a valley route. The high route is slightly shorter and features more great views of the high peaks before descending through forest. The valley route enjoys fine views of the waterfall as it descends steeply to the valley floor and then wanders down valley beside the Weisse Lutschine River. Both trails end at the Hotel Stechelberg where regularly scheduled buses return to Lauterbrunnen.
This is a strenuous hike that will take longer than the mileage may imply. Pick a day that promises good weather and get an early start so you can enjoy the hike at a leisurely pace and have plenty of time to soak in the views from Tanzbodeli and Obersteinberg.