Here you will finde several suggestions for hiking in our region. There are numerous places to visit. If you are in Gimmelwald, you will easily find maps of our area. Scroll down or click on the following links:
Hikes by Donald B. Chmura
by Donald B. Chmura
Before you tackle any of the many hiking trails that are in the area, here are a few things you should remember - First of all, you should find out if the particular hike you want to do is actually open and not closed because of snow or other weather conditions. You should always wear a pair of good soled shoes and I would even recommend waring high-tops whenever you travel. High-tops, or boot style, will help prevent you from twisting your ankles and a sprained ankle can be enough to ruin a vacation. The weather changes very fast in the mountains so you should always carry come sort of rain gear and warm clothing in a daypack.
It's also a good idea to carry a flash light. Time flies when you're having fun and many enthralled hikers do lose track of time, finding themselves dangerously hiking back in the dark. Although the larger streams are usually all right to drink from, you should carry a water bottle at all times, as your throat will become dry and you'll soon become thirsty. You shouldn't drink from smaller brooks, especially in summer when the cows are on higher pastures. Pack a lunch! Restaurants are few and expensive in the mountains. Buy some bread, cheese, sausage, and fruit at the nearest grocery store and enjoy a feast in the world's biggest outdoor cafe.
All the hiking trails are well makred by sighnposts, however, there are a few different types. Signs that have only yellow markings are easy hiking routes; the signs with white-red-white markings are tougher mountain trails which require special care. Hiking trails are also often marked by markers on trees or buildings, or often by color markings painted on a rock. Always keep your eyes open for these markers and try not to veer from the main path. Please, respect every owner's property and make sure you have closed an fastned securely any gates you have opened.
Lastly, remember what your final destination is. One girl, climbing down from the Schilthorn, was trying to make it back to Gimmelwald where she was staying at the hostel. Even though the signs marked the way, she forgot what the name of the village was. She ennded up hiking down the wrong way and had to spend the night in Spiez on Lake Thun!
Different types of signs
Guided Town Walk in Gimmelwald
by Rick Steves
Take a walk through the town. The huge, sheer cliff face that dominates your mountain views is the Schwarzmönch (“Black Monk”). The three peaks above (or behind) it are, left to right, the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. While Gimmelwald’s population has dropped in the last century from 300 to about 120 residents, traditions survive. Most Gimmelwalders have one of two last names: von Allmen or Feuz. They are tough and proud. Raising hay in this rugged terrain is labor-intensive. One family harvests enough to feed only about 15 cows. But they’d have it no other way, and, unlike the absentee-landlord town of Mürren, Gimmelwald is locally owned. (When word got out that urban planners wished to develop Gimmelwald into a town of 1,000, locals pulled some strings to secure the town’s bogus avalanche-zone building code. Today, unlike nearby resort towns, Gimmelwald’s population is the same all year.) Those same folks are happy the masses go to touristy and commercialized Grindelwald, just over the Kleine Scheidegg ridge. Don’t confuse Gimmelwald and Grindelwald--they couldn’t be more different.
Welcome to Gimmelwald
Gimmelwald, though tiny, with one zigzag street, offers a fine look at a traditional Swiss mountain community.
• Start this quick walking tour at the Cable-Car Station: When the lift came in the 1960s, the village’s back end became its front door. Gimmelwald was, and still is, a farm village. Stepping off the cable car, you see a sweet little hut. Set on stilts to keep out mice, the hut was used for storing cheese (the rocks on the rooftop here and throughout the town are not decorative—they keep the shingles on through wild storms). Behind the cheese hut stands the village schoolhouse. In Catholic Swiss towns, the biggest building is the church. In Protestant towns, it’s the school. [...] In the opposite direction, just beyond the little playground, is Gimmelwald’s Mountain Hostel (listed on page 146).
• Walk up the lane 50 yards, past Gimmelwald’s Dali-esque art gallery (the shower in the phone booth), to Gimmelwald’s...
“Times Square”: The yellow alpine “street sign” shows where you are, the altitude (1,370 meters—that’s 4,470 feet), how many hours (Std.) and minutes it takes to walk to nearby points, and which tracks are more demanding (marked with red and white, and further indicated as you explore with red and white patches of paint on stones). You’re surrounded by buildings that were built as duplexes. These buildings once housed two families and are divided vertically right down the middle. The writing on the post office building is a folksy blessing: “Summer brings green, winter brings snow. The sun greets the day, the stars greet the night. This house will keep you warm. May God give us his blessings.” The date indicates when it was built or rebuilt (1911). Gimmelwald has a strict building code. For instance, shutters can only be certain colors. Esther’s farmer shop (10 yards uphill, always open, buy things on the honor system) is worth a look.
• From this tiny intersection, we’ll follow the town’s main street (away from gondola station).
Main Street: Walk up the road. Notice the announcement board: one side for tourist news, the other for local news (e.g. deals on chainsaw sharpening, upcoming shooting competitions). Cross the street and peek into the big new barn, dated 1995. This is part of the Switzerland-wide Sleep in Straw association, which rents out barn spots to travelers when the cows are in the high country. To the left of the door is a cow-scratcher. Swiss cows have legal rights (for example, in the winter, they must be taken out for exercise at least three times a week). This big barn is built in a modern style. Traditionally, barns were small (like those on the hillside high above) and closer to the hay. But with trucks and paved roads, hay can be moved more easily, and farm businesses need more cows to be viable. Still, even a well-run big farm hopes just to break even. The industry survives only with government subsidies. Small as Gimmelwald is, the postman (who sells stamps) comes daily. Typically locals grew their vegetables—often enough to provide most of their family’s needs.
• Go just beyond the next barn. On your right is the Water Fountain/Trough: This is the site of the town’s historic water supply. Local kids love to bathe and wage water wars here when the cows aren’t drinking from it. Now detour left down a lane about 50 yards (along a wooden fence and then past pea-patch gardens) to the next trough and the oldest building in town, Husmättli, from 1658. (The town’s 17th-century buildings are mostly on the road zigzagging below town.) Study the log-cabin construction. Many are built without nails. The wood was logged up the valley and cut on the water-powered village mill (also below town). Gimmelwald heats with wood and, since the wood needs to age a couple of years to burn well, it’s stacked everywhere.
• Back on the paved road, continue uphill. Twenty meters along, on the left, the first house has a bunch of Grim Reaper-style hay cutters hanging above the sharpening stone. Farmers pound rather than grind the blade to get it razor sharp--for most efficient cutting. Feel a blade…carefully. A few steps further Notice the cute cheese hut on the right (with alpine cheese for sale). Its front is an alpine art gallery with nail shoes for flower pots. Nail shoes grip on wet steep fields with sharp sithe [?] this is critical. Even today, farmers buy metal tacks and fasten them to boots. The hut is full of strong cheese--up to three years old. Look up. In the summer a few goats are kept here (not in the high alp) to provide families with fresh milk (2-3 liters per day per goat). The farmers fence off the fields, letting the goats eat only the grass that’s most difficult to harvest. On the left (at the B&B sign) is the home of Olle and Maria, the village schoolteachers. [...] Fifty yards farther along is the Alpenrose: At the old schoolhouse, notice the big ceremonial cowbells hanging under the uphill eave. These swing from the necks of cows during the procession from the town to the high Alps (mid-June) and back down (about Sept 20). If the cows are gone, so are the bells--hanging from similar posts under the eaves of mountain huts in the high meadows.
• At the end of town, pause where a lane branches off left leading into the dramatic Sefinen Valley: All the old homes in town are made from local wood cut from the left-hand side of this valley (shady side, slow-growing, better timber).
• A few steps ahead, the road switches back at the Gimmelwald Fire Station: TheFöhnwacht Reglement sheet, posted on the fire station building, explains rules to keep the village from burning down during the fierce dry wind of the Föhn season. During this time, there’s a 24-hour fire watch, and even smoking cigarettes outdoors is forbidden. Mürren was devastated by a Föhn-caused fire in the 1920s. Because villagers in Gimmelwald--mindful of the quality of their volunteer fire department--are particularly careful with fire, this is a rare village to not have had a terrible fire in its history. Check out the other posted notices. This year’s Swiss Army calendar tells (in all four official Swiss languages) reservists when and where to go. Every Swiss male does a 22-week stint in the military, then a few days a year in the reserves until about age 30. The Schiessübungen poster details the shooting exercises required this year. In keeping with the William Tell heritage, each Swiss man does shooting practic annually for the military (or spends three days in jail).
• Take the High Road to Hotel Mittaghorn: The resort town of Mürren hovers in the distance. And high on the left, notice the hay field with terraces. These are from WWII days, when Switzerland, wanting self-sufficiency, required all farmers to grow potatoes. Today, this is a festival of alpine flowers in season (best at this altitude in May and June).
• Our walk is over. From Hotel Mittaghorn, you can return to Gimmelwald’s “Times Square” via the stepped path.
[Excerpted from the 2008 edition of Rick Steves’ Switzerland guidebook]
Hike 1: Kilchbalm (Gimmelwald - Sefinental - Kilchbalm)
Time one-way: 1 1/4 hours
Distance one-way: 2 3/4 miles (4 1/2km)
Lowest point: 4134 ft (1260m)
Highest point: 5046 ft (1 538m)
One of the best hikes on an any kind of weather day is down into the Sefinental Valley. The gradient is not very steep, and you can walk to the very end of the valley, where only freezing-cold streams flowing from the snow and ice and the heartiest vegetation exist. You don't even have to go all the way. Just go as far as your legs will take you, then turn around and walk back. The scenery is beautiful in both directions. Since there is only one road in Gimmelwald, it is difficult to get lost. Where the road loops back on itself, by the fire-house, is a road leading into the Sefinental. From this point you can see all the way to the end of the valley and quickly realize that the end is not much higher than Gimmelwald.
After walking downhill for 7 minutes you will come to a bridge that crosses a torrential waterfall that has gouged deep holes, through the years, in the side of the mountain. It now flows deep in the rock and splashes from pool to pool, plunging some 20 feet into a huge cavity beside this bridge to continue its way down to the valley floor. This waterfall is the same as "Sprutz" higher up and is called the "Schiltbach" which is the stream created by the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp. After walking 8 minutes further you pass a firing range where locals come to practice, usually on weekends. A minute more and you come to the end of the road and the beginning of your ascent on a rocky trail. Here a signpost says that Kilchbalm, your destination, is 1 hour away. (It is also from this point that you can stay on the main road which leads to a trail that descends to Stechelberg or back up to Gimmelwald.) As you leave the main road and continue straight ahead through the gate, the mighty snow covered ridge on your left, called the Tschingelgrat, grabs your attention. Watch this ridge for avalanches which occur frequently and at any time. Soon you're walking through a dense forest with the Sefinen Lutschine swirling and splashing on your left side, where it will be all the way to the end of the valley.
15 minutes later, after passing some old sheds and massive rock overhangs, you come upon an old storage building from 1812 raised up on rocks. Next to it is a cable attached to the cliff above used for transporting logs. Shortly the path becomes very narrow and rocky. In 7 minutes you pass through the second gate and in a few minutes more you'll cross the first bridge. At the third gate, 7 minutes later, the path splits. (Note: this area has been known to be full of snow well into the early summer months, depending on the previous winter you should exercise extreme caution and perhaps turn back here if it is too dangerous ). Assuming the way is dry, you will take the lower path, to the left (If you were to continue on the path to the right, you would pass a tiny waterfall, perfect for splashing under on a hot day, and eventually arrive at Boganggen and Rotstockhutte 600 meters higher up the mountain).
Just behind the trees, around the bend is a grassy meadow and an alp hut. Occasionally cows are brought here for summer grazing. The farmer will stay here with his herd until it's time to move to better pastures. It is beside this hut where the Sefinen river, on the left is joined by the Sefibach, on the right, which comes down from the Sefinen alp. Following the path, close to the river, soon brings you to a second bridge. Before crossing the bridge, venture up to the waterfall created by the Sefibach but be careful of falling stones and branches. Once across the bridge you come to the steepest part of the trip. Here you witness the power of the Sefinen river. In spring and during heavy rainstorms this river is so swollen that it violently tears at the hillside bringing tons of rock and debris down with it. Once at the top you can rest on the last bench before reaching the end of the valley and the Kilchbalm.
Glancing back the way you came you see Gimmelwald gripping the hillside. Like a child it clutches the hem of its' mother, the Jungfrau, who is protecting it from the sinister Eiger who peers down over her shoulder.The trees are not as tall now and there seems to be more deciduous than coniferous trees. It becomes vary apparent in the fall when this forested area seems to be on fire with color. Amongst the trees and bushes now are grasses and mosses that cover the roots and rocks making them very slick. Take extra care here, it's easy to slip and twist an ankle. In less than 5 minutes the trees and bushes disappear to be replaced by gigantic boulders in a scene not unlike a moonscape. Straight ahead lies a huge bowl filled with snow, ice, sand. rock and too many waterfalls to count and rising behind them, almost vertical, like a sentinel, is the Gspaltenhorn at 3436 meters. The silence here can be almost deafening. You hear no cars, no motors, no machinery. no noise! How long has it been since you experienced this?!
What you do hear is the bubbling laughter of the waterfalls and brooks as they slide down rock faces and hurl themselves over high precipices only to hide underneath the huge dome of ice itself until they pop out where you're standing now. You hear the wind rustling through the trees behind you, You hear the trill of a bird, the chirp of a cricket. You can hear the beating of your own heart. This is the valley of elves, pixies and Gnomes. If you listen hard enough you can hear them giggling as they play in the underbrush. The caves you see on the north side of the valley, once part of their underground dwellings, have since been exposed be multiple avalanches. No one has ever caught a Gnome but they have been spotted as far away as Gimmelwald, sneaking around some of the barns. It seems they like animals.
Flickr Picturey by Eric of Absurdity & cembrey
Note: The snow and ice is covered by dirt and although it looks safe to walk on it could be very dangerous. It is basically a dome which is hollow underneath where the water rushes through. The covering might not be strong enough to support someone walking on top. I would advise you to keep a safe distance. Although there is plenty of water here some of it is hard to get at. The hike will make you both hungry and thirsty so bring something to drink and pack yourself a small lunch. You couldn't find a better place to enjoy it. (Remember to bring trash back with you and dispose of it properly).
Hike 2: Sprutz (Gimmelwald - Sprutz)
Time one-way: 30 min
Lowest point :4472 ft (1363 m)
Highest point: 5576 ft (1700 m)
This wonderful little nature hike will take you up the pasture hillside above Gimmelwald and through a densely wooded forest to arrive at the cool, sparkling mountain cascade called Sprutz.
Note: You will follow signs pointing to "Schilthorn" but only as far as the forest, where there will be a sign for "Sprutz". This hike starts from the Mittaghorn Hotel (Walter's). Walk south (left when facing Walter's hotel) on the main road until you come to a fork where a signpost tells you to take the road on the right. Continue up this road for a couple of minutes until you come to a barn on the right side, where a path winds upward and a signpost points the way. You'll pass around another barn on your left as you hike up to another paved road. Turn right on this road, walk about 15 steps, and turn onto the path next to the barn on your left.
Continue up this path until you come to the forest where a signpost prompts you to turn left to get to "Sprutz" ' (Going right would take you up to Gimmeln and eventually to the Schilthorn). Passing through a metal gate, you will enter the forest and continue on this trail as it gently winds it's way higher through the woods. After about 15 min. the path forks and you will hear the thundering roar of the invisible falls. As the sign says, take the path to the left. As the path curves down and to the right, just around the hill, "Sprutz" finally comes into view.
Be very careful as you continue down to the falls on this hazardous, unstable, dirt path. As you walk underneath and behind this waterfall you'll probably wonder how such a huge, continuous volume of water could come from such a small, placid lake like the Grauseeli, between the Schilthorn and Birg. Well, Grauseeli is only one of it's sources, as the Schiltbach, the river itself, is a collection of the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp.
From Sprutz you can continue up the other side and after about 15 min. arrive at Spielbodenalp where there is a restaurant and a superb view of the Schilthorn, Birg, and the Jungfrau massif.
Flickr Picturey by nunavut
Hike 3: The Streneous (Schilthorn - Birg - Bryndli - Sprutz - Gimmelwald)
Time one-way: 3 1/2 hours
Distance: 5 114 miles (8 1/2 km)
Lowest point : 4472 ft (1363 m)
Highest point: 9745 ft (2970 m)
There are a couple of different ways to hike down from the top of the Schilthorn. The hike I describe here offers, in my opinion, the best variety of views, while also being the most adventurous. While facing the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains, the steps are located just to the right of the cable car. The right side of the path is a cliff, the left side is a huge bowl that, more often than not, is full of snow. A few minutes after you start your descent you'll pass between some huge boulders, then walk up over a hump and resume your downward hike. At this point the path is hard to discern, keep an eye open for, and follow, the markers painted on the rocks. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too. Once when I was hiking down this same way, the clouds quickly came up from the valley below, as they frequently do, and I was soon enveloped by a dense fog. Visibility was only about 10 m and when I reached the bottom of the "snow-bowl" I was staring into the eyes of a graceful young stag. We both stood there for what seemed like an eternity, and with the amount of time it took to blink, it had disappeared. After about 1/2 hour you'll come to a memorial dedicated to an unfortunate young woman who was killed by lightning on the Schilthornalp in 1865. The path soon joins a downhill ski course with a huge bowl on your right containing a small lake called the "Grauseeli". In a few minutes the path forks and is marked by a signpost. From here you can turn left to go to Birg or Murren, but on this hike you will keep on the small path to the right. After about 10 min you'll find yourself beside the Grauseeli. The reflection of the Jungfrau massif in this little lake makes this is a perfect "photo stop". After crossing the Schiltbach, the path descends sharply down the east side of the Schilthorn. The dirt path occasionally leads across narrow slate ridges which can be very slippery when damp. (Black cables have been fastened for your safety in areas that could be dangerous - hang on to them) Approx. 15 min after the lake, the path forks again with a sign painted on the side of a huge boulder. Take the path designated " Rotstockhutte ", but only as far as the ridge straight ahead. Once on the ridge you'11 see a signpost where you'll turn left and walk along the top of the ridge in the direction of the Jungfrau.
The Sefinental, with Boganggen just down the hill, are on the right, and the Schiltalp is down on the left. If walking along this ridge is giving you vertigo, you'll soon come to a signpost and the path branches down to the left where you can follow the signs to Sprutz. Gimmelwald or Murren. Assuming you're fine, continue along the top of the ridge, until you come to the scariest part, please, be extremely careful, where the path winds around the end of the ridge. This is the rock formation that looks like a miniature "Matterhorn" from Gimmelwald. For a fantastic view of Gimmelwald, Murren, and the Lauterbrunnen valley take the extra 5 min (and the extra caution) to climb to the top of " Bryndli ", you won't be disappointed. Once you return from the top continue on the main path and you soon begin descending down the east side of Bryndli. In about 25 min. you come upon the Spielbodenalp , You can stop here for a drink and a bite to eat if you're hungry before going on. To continue on to Sprutz and Gimmelwald, follow the sign directions at Spielbodenalp which point east in the direction of the Jungfrau. Just over the hill, as you start downwards, follow the path on the left side of the barn. In a couple of minutes you'll see a signpost on the left. You Can get to Gimmelwald by turning left and crossing the river but dont?! Stay on the right side and continue on for another 5 minutes to reach Sprutz. As you walk underneath and behind the waterfall you'll probably wonder how such a huge volume of water could come from such a small placid lake like the Grauseeli. Well, Grauseeli is only one of its sources, as the Schiltbach is a collection of the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp. A short steep climb brings you to a signpost where you will continue through the woods for around another 10 min or so. Just after you pass through a gate you will exit the forest. You'll see a signpost fastened to a tree on your left and down the hill on your right rests the sleepy village of Gimmelwald. Once on the main road you can turn right and follow the various pathways down to the village but for a much more pleasant walk turn left. The paved road soon turns to gravel and loops around to the left where it stops at a footbridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn right and follow the path down through the forest until it joins the main road which connects Gimmelwald with Murren, turn left to go to Murren or turn right to finish this hike in Gimmelwald.
Flickr Pictures andrew conkling & vasile23
Hike 4: The magnificent (Gimmelwald - Sefinental - Tanzbodeli - Obersteinberg - Oberhornsee - Gimmelwald)
Time one-way:Time round trip 7 hours
Distance one-way:10 1/2 miles (17 kms)
Lowest point :3740 ft (1 140 m)
Highest point:7252 ft (2 210 m)
Before getting started you should pack a lunch to enjoy along the way and bring some water with you. You'll quickly become thirsty and there is no water available for the first half of this trip. Since there is only one road in Gimmelwald, it is difficult to get lost. Where the road loops back on itself there's a road leading down into the Sefinental. Bring some water with you. After walking down a dirt road for minutes or so, you will come to a bridge that crosses a torrential waterfall that has gouged deep holes, through the years, in the side of the mountain. It now flows deep in the rock and splashes from pool to pool, plunging some 20 feet in a huge cavity beside this bridge to continue its way down to the valley floor. This waterfall is the same as "Sprutz" higher up and is called the "Schiltbach" which is the stream created by the runoff from the Schilthorn and the Schiltalp. After walking about 10 minutes further, past a firing range where locals come to practice on weekends, you will soon come to another signpost that says Obersteinberg it's 3 hours 10 min away. Follow the road as it loops left. In 4 or 5 min look for a sign nailed to a tree on the left side. (The sign is seen better when coming from the opposite direction). When you locate the sign turn immediately right and follow the path keeping left. In a few minutes you'll cross the Sefinen Lütschine and begin the steep upward climb. The first hour and a half is extremely exhausting. Take your time and stop to rest as often as you need to. In about 20 min the path turns left at the cliff face and you'll come to another steep slope where, for about 50 ft, earth steps and a wooden fence have been put in place for your protection. After 45 min of this grueling climb the forest becomes less dense and the path less steep. You'll now have a superb view of the Jungfrau to the left and straight ahead the Breithorn and its neighbors are just starting to peek at you. In a minute or so the path branches where a signpost will prompt you to continue left, up through a gully. (Turning right will take you to the Busenalp where a local farmer usually goes in summer with his cows to make cheese. A worthwhile visit if it is open). The path seems to disperse in all directions so keep an eye open for the color markings on the rocks. You should eventually make your way to the massive concrete water trough up the hill on the left. The path continues up behind this trough and turns right at a signpost fastened to one lonely pine tree. After passing yet another signpost you'll reach the top of a hump where the path splits. As the signpost says, Obersteinberg is 50 min to the left and Tanzbödeli is 20 min to the right.
Continue right. "Tanzbödeli" literally means "dance floor" as the ground here is almost completely flat. This is a perfect place to pull out your lunch, relax and enjoy perhaps the best scenery accessible to the mountain hiker. From up here you can view almost the entire, glacier filled, Obersteinberg valley. The eastern side of the valley between the Gletscherhorn and Mutthorn is a nature reserve so keep a lookout for herds of chamois or steinbock. You'll also have a marvelous view of Gimmelwald, Murren and the Lauterbrunnen valley. This is what you might call a "Kodak photo stop" so don't forget your camera! There is only one access to Tanzbödeli so when you're ready to leave, carefully find the path you came up on and climb back down to the hum and continue on to Obersteinberg The path is about a meter wide and starts uphill at first You soon see the Obersteinberg Hotel below and the path now winds its way down for about another half an hour. The Hotel is open until the beginning of October. Just on the other side of the hotel, Obersteinberg the path splits. Take the trail to the right to head for the Oberhornsee. The path is pretty much level for the next kilometer or so until you cross over the Tschingel Lutschine when you start climbing slightly again. You have now crossed the official Nature Reserve boundary, and signs list a number of things you shouldn't do in order to maintain the ecology here. The last part of the trail is quite steep, but as the path levels out, walk slowly and quietly and you might glimpse a herd of Gemse or other animals grazing beside the lake. When you're ready to leave Oberhornsee, return the same way you came to the Hotel Obersteinberg. From the Obersteinberg Hotel you should take the path in the direction of the Jungfrau. In about 15 min, just after you pass by the Hotel Tschingelhorn, the path slits Continue to the left and as the signpost says, Gimmelwald is 2 hours and Stechelberg is 1 hour and 35 min. The path, now downhill, is steep on the right side and irregular from exposed tree roots. sign also crosses a number of small waterfalls which can make it very slippery in places. In 50 min you'11 arrive at a signpost. Keep left and in 5 mi. or so you will meet up with the main path connecting Stechelberg and Gimmelwald. The sign here will tell you to keep going uphill for another 50 min to reach Gimmelwald. Because of the cliffs above and the waterfalls you'll have to cross, keep a lookout for falling rocks. At the third bridge you will be able to see Gimmelwald perched on the cliff straight ahead, Down below you can see the reservoir for the Stechelberg power plant. Once you cross the Sefinen Lutschine you'l1 come to the last fork that you'll have to deal with. The road to the left will take you to Gimmelwald after a leisurely stroll of about 50 minutes. The path winding up, straight ahead, is a more direct way to the village and takes about half an hour to 40 minutes. This way passes some of the oldest houses dating back to the 18th century, and finally enters Gimmelwald next to the Mountain Hostel and the Pension.
Flickr Pictures by sandravoetbal & Stelzer Carol
Hike 5: Scenic (Allmendhubel - Blumental -Suppenalp – Murren)
Time one-way: 50 minutes
Distance one-way: 1 112 miles (2 112 km)
Lowest point : 5374 ft (1638 m)
Highest point: 6346 ft (1934 m)
At the signpost near the funicular station on the top of Allmendhubel, follow the path designated by the yellow direction sign. As the path skirts around Allmendhubel, take the gravel path up to the right, to the Allmendhubel crest (1934 m) and another signpost. Continue on, with Birg straight ahead, and the path descends to the saddle of Allmendhubel (1899 m) and still another signpost. The very steep hike to Schilthorn is straight ahead, and the Blumental valley, the way you're going, is down on the left. As you look into the valley, the farthest building you see, almost at the opposite side of the valley, is the Pension Suppenalp , which is where you're headed. Proceed down into the valley and follow the signs to Blumental , where, once there another sign prompts you to turn right. Cross the Murrenbach and then turn left when the road forks and you arrive at the Pension Suppenalp. This is a great place to stop for refreshments, sit for a while and take in the view. When you're ready to continue, take the path just below and in front of the restaurant's terrace and follow it down. You're now heading in the direction of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains. Now on open meadow, the path seems to dissipate but you'll soon cross a dirt road and the path continues straight down, to the right of the trees, where the path splits. Follow the trail to the left, which loops through the trees near the stream and comes out at the meadow again. When you come to a barn, turn left into the woods, cross a couple of small wooden bridges, go underneath a larger bridge and go through a gate.
The stream at this moment is on your right side. Coming out of the woods now, you can see Allmendhubel up on the left and the Schilthorn cable lines on the right. Turn right at the next signpost, cross back over the stream and take the lower path, to the left, at the next fork. When you come to another barn and a signpost attached to it, follow the small path down to the left. With the Murrenbach to your left and a small brook to your right, you pass a number of barns and probably a number of cows lazily grazing on this meadow. When you come to the forest and the 'Vita-Parcours" or fitness course, turn left, cross the stream and in a few minutes you are at the outskirts of Murren. As the path turns to asphalt you arrive at a huge cement water trough where the Murren train station is to the left and the Schilthorn cable-car station is to the right.
Hike 6: Murren - Mittelberg - Oberberg -Grutschalp
Time one-way:1 3/4 hours
Distance one-way: 2 314 miles (4 112 km)
Lowest point :4876 ft (1486 m)
Highest point:6071 ft (1850 m)
At the train station in Murren follow the asphalt road, running parallel to the tracks, to the outskirts of the village at Murren/Agertenbach, where there is a signpost and a fork in the road. Take the narrow path that turns left, just past the Chalet Alpenblick. About 5 minutes into the forest the path splits again where you will keep to the right. The open pastures of Mittelberg offer a panoramic view from Schynige Platte in the north right around to Birg in the south. The signpost here directs you to Oberberg, just up the hill. Once at Oberberg, head for the barn on the left, where a sign prompts you to turn right. Just behind this barn is another sign pointing the way to Grutschalp. The path above Oberberg continues through open pasture spotted here and there with small shrubs and berry bushes.
When you come to a junction, keep right and the path ascends slightly until you reach the saddle between the Dorenhubel on the right and the mountain slope to the left. You're presented with another spectacular panoramic view which makes this a good place to stop and rest a while. Continuing, the path now descends into the next gully, where Wengen is visible to the right, and you cross over the Staubbach river. When the path splits, at Pletschenalp , continue to the left to go to Grutschalp, and shortly, when the path splits again turn right. A few minutes later the path hooks up with a road which you will follow as it passes a barn, but when it loops to the right, leave the road and continue on the narrow path straight ahead. Passing huge boulders and skirting the right side of the forest. The path continues through a large meadow, spotted with towering, lone pine trees. When the path leaves the meadow and enters the forest, follow the trail straight down through the trees until it hooks up with the road connecting Murren with Grutschalp. Turn left to arrive at Grutschalp. Before crossing the train tracks at Grutschalp, notice the signpost for other hiking destinations. If your hike ends here, take the train to return to Murren or the funicular to go down to Lauterbrunnen. Both run about every 15 minutes.
Flickr Pictures by gali367
Hike 7: Mürren - Grütschalp
Time one-way:1 hour
Distance one-way: 2 112 miles (4 km)
Lowest point :4876 ft (1486 m)
Highest point:5374 ft (1638 m)
At the train station in Murren , follow the asphalt path running parallel with the train tracks. You'll stay on this same path all the way to Grutschalp . At the outskirts of Murren you pass over the Agertenbach stream and in another 5 minutes the asphalt turns to gravel. To the right you can see the massive Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks and the runoff from their glaciers flowing into the Trummelbachtal to form the Trummelbach waterfall further down. You can also see Wengernalp , the Lauberhorn , and Mannlichen. After about 15 minutes you'll get a good view of the Schynige Platte and Wengen on the other side of the valley and a glimpse of the Sphinx Scientific Station at the Jungfraujoch between the Monch and Jungfrau peaks. In a few minutes the path turns left, toward the Bietenhorn and you can see Winteregg in the distance. You'll soon cross the Spissbach stream and arrive at the Winteregg - Maulerhubel ski-lift where a signpost points the way. You will continue on the path to the left of the tracks past an old saw-mill (the road across the bridge is the long way down to Lauterbrunnen).
Stop and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat at the restaurant on the other side of the bridge but remember return to this path when you're ready to continue. The rest of the way to Grutschalp takes you over the famous Staubbach stream and through pine forests and grazing areas where you might run into a few pigs, goats and cows. Notice the Grutschalp avalanche protection structures up ahead on the left side (Keep one eye on the path where you're walking if there are cows in the area). Before crossing the train tracks at Grutschalp notice the signpost for other hiking destinations. If your hike ends here, take the train to return to Murren, or the funicular to go down to Lauterbrunnen Both run about every 15 minutes.
Flickr Pictures by gali367