Lauterbrunnen is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. A beautiful valley filled with waterfalls. A fantastic place to go hiking for a day.
Where is Lauterbrunnen?
Lauterbrunnen is a small village in the Swiss Jungfrau region. It lies in a valley between some steep cliffs and there are many waterfalls to see. In addition, you can also see the typical Swiss landscape here: green hills full of wooden houses with brightly colored flowers in the windowsill. And there are also many cows (and goats) with ringing bells in the meadows.
How do you get to Lauterbrunnen?
Lauterbrunnen is easily accessible from Interlaken. The journey takes about 20 minutes both by car and by train. There are parking spaces in Lauterbrunnen, but the offer is limited. A day ticket for parking costs approximately € 13. A return by train from Interlaken costs approximately € 11 (September 2020).
Where to stay?
Lauterbrunnen is a very nice village to spend the night in. There are several hotels, B & Bs, hostels, and a number of campsites. Check Booking.com for all options and prices on the dates you want to stay in Lauterbrunnen.
Can’t find suitable accommodation in Lauterbrunnen? Interlaken is also a great base for visiting Lauterbrunnen and other beautiful places in the region (Grindelwald!). I slept in Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof – Hostel Interlaken and I really liked it. This hostel is suitable for everyone, because not only backpackers sleep here, but also families with children. The hostel has a large kitchen where you can cook your own meals.
The perfect day hike in Lauterbrunnen
In Lauterbrunnen, I made one of the most beautiful day hikes ever. I would like to take you with me in a short journal:
From Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp
The first stage of the hike is from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and starts with a considerable climb. I walk out of the village via an asphalt road and walk up a few hair-shell bends. Soon I will hear bells ringing, it will not? And no, they are not purple Milka cows, but goats! They run (run) curiously towards me and the bells ring even louder. I am definitely in the Alps!
Every now and then I come across a yellow direction indicator that shows me the way to Grütschalp. There are two options: the easy route (via the asphalt road) or the difficult one. I’ve done some hiking on the easy one now, so I decide to go change and take the harder trail. And yes, that is a big difference! It is super steep, and I’m hiking on a forest path with stones, which occasionally roll away. Very slippery! It’s pretty warm as well, so I sweat a lot (yuk).
Fortunately, I get on top of the mountain quite quickly and I immediately see why I love hiking in the mountains, what a view!
From Grütschalp to Mürren
At Grütschalp I walk past a cable car station, where I suddenly see a lot of other hikers (I didn’t meet anyone at all during the first part of the hike). There are several hiking trails here and I keep to the path to Mürren.
I now walk along the edge of the mountain and that is a lot easier because it is fairly flat. On the way, I enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains and I even walk between the cows, because they just walk on the path here. You can hear them from far away, because of the tinkling bells.
I walk straight into the village of Mürren along a railway line. This village is mainly car-free and it is really wonderful to walk through it. Beautiful wooden houses everywhere and then those mountains! At a viewpoint, I take a lunch break and enjoy the great view.
From Mürren to Stechelberg
After Mürren it is time to descend the mountain again and that goes through the village of Gimmelwald. The trails are sometimes quite steep and in between, I see the snowy mountain peaks. How beautiful it is here!
After Gimmelwald it is unfortunately no longer an ‘easy’ asphalt path, but steep narrow paths with loose stones. So be careful where you walk! It also goes partly through a forest where you walk along a beautiful waterfall.
When I arrive in Stechelberg, I see the beautiful valley of Lauterbrunnen. Steep cliffs and rolling green fields in the middle. Wow!
From Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen
The walk from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen is again an easy one. It is flat because I follow the river and it is only asphalt paths. It is also a lot more crowded here, many people walk the stretch between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg. And I totally get that because the landscape here is absolutely beautiful.
You’ll pass the Staubbach Waterfall, which is gorgeous. If you’re short on time, visiting this waterfall should be on top of your list of things to do in Lauterbrunnen.
After a seven-hour hike, I return to Lauterbrunnen station tired, but satisfied. What a beautiful hike! I should definitely add this one to my list with the most beautiful day hikes in the world.
About this hike in Lauterbrunnen
The length of this hike is approximately 14 miles (22 kilometers) and it will take you about seven to eight hours (start early in the morning!). There is a considerable climb in the first part between Lauterbrunnen and Grütschalp and a steep descent in the part between Mürren and Stechelberg (especially from Gimmelwald). It is useful to hike with trekking poles, which makes ascending and descending a lot easier. I myself have a pair of trekking poles from Black Diamond that I am very happy with. There are several places on the route where you can fill your water bottle, so you don’t have to bring liters of water. I myself had a liter with me and this was enough.
Interesting read: What’s in my pack? Day hike packing list
You can shorten the hike by occasionally taking a cable car or the train. On the way, you have several stations that you can hop on. If you don’t feel like climbing you can take the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and if you don’t feel like descending, there is also a cable car from Mürren to Stechelberg (via Gimmelwald).
Hiking in the surroundings of Lauterbrunnen
This is of course not the only hike you can take in Lauterbrunnen. There are many hiking trails in the area, they are well marked on the yellow signs. If there is a red and white flag next to it, it is a difficult trail (often very steep and many loose stones). It is advisable to stop by the tourism center (Lauterbrunnen Tourismus) for more information about the trails in and around Lauterbrunnen.
Want to read more about a trip to Switzerland?
Then order one of these great travel guides:
DK Eyewitness Switzerland (Travel Guide)
Or check one of these articles:
- The most beautiful places in Switzerland
- Interlaken: tips & the best places to visit
- How to get to Grindelwald First
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