Hiking in Switzerland
Switzerland is maybe one of the best countries to hike if not the best 🙂
It has so many routes to hike that it will be even hard for you to choose. Switzerland can offer an amazing experience for you if you like hiking or just walking in the nature.
But still, to get the most out of it, here are 5 tips before hiking in Switzerland.
- Choose the right hiking route
Switzerland has hundreds if not thousands of hiking routes. All Switzerland is one big hiking paradise. But it’s very important to choose the hiking route which is suitable for you, otherwise it can be too hard and you won’t be able to finish it which would be a buzz killer.
Switzerland is famous of it’s most beautiful Alps peaks so it’s natural that most of the hiking routes are in the mountains or near the mountains.
If you are a fit person, for you it will be no problem to hike up in mountains and enjoy the views, but if you do not hike or do too much sports at home, steep hiking routes can kill the motivation very fast. In minutes. Even some hiking routes which look very innocent like the one we did to Kleine Scheidegg can be pretty tough if you have no experience in mountains. This route to Kleine Scheidegg was not technical at all, it has no obstacles or rocky terrain, but it’s quite steep and you can see quite many people struggling to go up.
Just be self aware. If you are fit, go for it. Go to 2000m and higher, no problem 🙂 But if you think that it may be a problem for you, choose mild hikes, with ascent of 300 – 500 meters and enjoy the views. In Switzerland there is no need to go high to enjoy the surroundings 🙂
2. Check the weather
It is especially important if you are going to higher places as weather can change pretty fast there. And in higher places the weather can be pretty different than the weather in the place you started. It can be sunny and warm in the beginning, but it can be freezing cold up there. There can be snow, rain, wind or fog. But it’s not the case all the time. Sometimes there’s very nice and sunny weather up in the mountains, so it is always nice to get there when it’s not raining or crazy windy.
So just check the weather report before you go anywhere. As well, some places, especially mountain passes or more popular spots have online webcams. So you can check how it looks all the time.
3. Take the second pair of shoes and clothes
It is never fun to walk in wet clothes or shoes. As weather can be changing very fast in mountains, second pair of clothes can become very handy. Even if it’s sunny in the spot I start, I always take second pair of shoes and a jacket. You never know. Even if the hike is short, let’s say two hours, still, for me it’s no fun to be soaking wet the second hour. Better be prepared and enjoy it than hurry up back to the car. And it can be pretty dangerous going down the mountain in a hurry when it’s raining. Most of the trails get very muddy and slippery. Be aware of that.
4. Check if your route is passable at the moment
Even if it’s 31 degrees in Basel, it can be pretty cold in Bernina Alps 🙂 Recently I contacted one Alps hut for a place to sleep there one night… and it’s not even that high: 2400m altitude. They wrote me back that all the trail is in snow and it won’t be possible to reach the hut (unless with snowshoes or skis). So it can be pretty tricky in Switzerland.
The best time to enjoy all the routes in the Alps is July, August and September. Later on snow comes in and covers the most high routes. And in winter even lower places are full of snow.
5. Take some water or at least a bottle
Hiking in the mountains can be pretty demanding and thirst will be your first friend there. In the summer, if sun is strong, you can get thirsty in minutes. And keep getting thirsty again and again.
Some of the routes have many streams of water where you can get as much water as you want, but some do not have. And if you do not have water it can become a big problem. You can feel powerless or even nauseating. So it’s always important to have some water. Usually I take 2l of water if the hike is up to 4 hours. And I fill up my bottles on every occasion (rivers, streams), because you never know if there will be water later.
It is very important to be prepared and get the most of your hiking. It’s no fun if you feel desperate or tired all the time when hiking.
Keep in mind that these suggestions are for short hikes, up to 4-6 hours. If you go longer, you will need some food, tent, maybe portable stove to cook, money, more clothes, hiking poles and some other stuff 🙂 I am going to make some longer hiking trips, for few days, so I will make another article about it as well 🙂
I hope my suggestions will help you to enjoy the hiking in Switzerland and please do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @golookexplore