Would you like to enjoy the best hiking trails in Grindelwald and around one of the most marvelous Swiss villages? You are here for a treat as Grindelwald has a lot to offer to you.
Grindelwald is as Swiss as it can get: many Swiss Alps cows around, Swiss wooden architecture (which I love personally, especially in winter), Swiss traditional food in every restaurant (fondue, raclette, etc) and most important: huge mountains, HUGE. You are going to love it.
How to Get to Grindelwald
If you have a car, it’s pretty straightforward, just put it on your GPS and let’s go. Grindelwald is not that far from Zürich: just 137 kilometers (around 2 hours drive), from Basel that would be 171 kilometers and 234 kilometers from Geneva.
Grindelwald is over 1-kilometer altitude (1034m), but you shouldn’t have any problems reaching it all year round. It gets snowed in in winter, but the roads are usually very well cleaned. There are quite many parking places in Grindelwald (one is very close to the train station), but if you would like to park cheaper, you should go a bit lower than Grindelwald to Grund (they are connected, so you won’t even see the difference that you are in a different village).
Grund has a huge parking lot where you can park for the whole day. Actually Grund is a perfect place to start your hike to Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen.
Grindelwald is as well very easily reachable by public transport; Grindelwald has a train station, so you can come there with a train from Zürich, Basel, or any other city. Check out all the latest Swiss train connections, prices, and time tables right here: Swiss trains. Check it before you depart as time schedules can vary, prices as well 🙂
Grindelwald Hiking Map
Now, once you get to Grindelwald or before you get there, check out the Grindelwald hiking map as it is pretty huge. There are hiking routes all around it.
I would suggest you, just in case, to visit Grindelwad’s tourism center: Grindelwald Tourism which is located in Dorfstrasse 10.
It’s always good to visit them and just ask about hiking routes conditions (it depends on when you come; in Summer all should be good). Maybe it’s snowed in, maybe not passable and so on. Better not to hike up for 2 hours and just be blocked in the end.
Once I was hiking to Kleine Scheidegg in June, it was all good, but there was a substantial amount of snow next to the final destination and I guess, two weeks before my hike, it was impassable. If you want to have a great time – always check out the weather.
5 Best Grindelwald Hiking Trails
Now, basically in Grindelwald, despite the fact that there are many many options where to hike, you have 5 BIG destinations which are:
- Kleine Scheidegg
- First to Bachalpsee
- Grosse Scheidegg
- Ultimate hike to Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, and back to Grindelwald
If you have more time, you can even hike to Lauterbrunnen or Wengen (you will have to cross Kleine Scheidegg and hike down) and many other directions, but let’s concentrate on these 4.
1- Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg
For me personally it is the best hiking route in Grindelwald 🙂 I really love it.
It begins in Grindelwald and you will have to take the Grund direction (which is a small village below Grindelwald, but they are connected, so you even won’t feel that you are crossing borders of villages). Now, in Grund, when you see the Kleine Scheidegg direction, it will be written that it would take you around 3 hours to get to the destination. That is quite accurate and you shouldn’t take long, if you speed up (which I don’t usually suggest), you can do it in 2 hours.
In the beginning, the path is pretty steep, so don’t be discouraged. Take it easy and take pictures with cows, there are plenty of them.
If at some point you get too tired, there are a couple of train stations on the road (you will see from time to time the Jungfraujoch train going up and down) and as well car roads are next to you, so it’s possible to easily take off.
When you reach the middle point of the hike in Berghaus Alpiglen (which is a restaurant), you can actually take the longer trail to the left which is called the Eiger trail.
Eiger trail deserves a full story as well (I’ve done it once in September), but for this time, you should go to Kleine Scheidegg 🙂 Eiger trail is a bit harder, much rockier, and goes up to 2300 m. So it’s a harder hike and in the end, once you hike down, you are going to cross Kleine Scheidegg as well.
After Berghaus Alpiglen the hike gets a bit easier, not so steep and actually you see Kleine Scheidegg almost all the time from there, so it’s a nice shining star for you, too keep you motivated 🙂
Once you reach Kleine Scheidegg – a very nice place awaits for you. It has restaurants, hotels, a very nice little mountain train station and shops. It is really really nice up there. Very welcoming. Trains are crossing this place quite often, so even at this altitude, it’s pretty busy.
I really hope you will enjoy this hike as I really love it myself.
2- Hike to Männlichen
Now, once you reached Kleine Scheidegg, actually, the best way to reach Männlichen is just to continue hiking. Männlichen is sitting even higher: at 2343 m altitude and the views are even better.
The hike from Kleine Scheidegg shouldn’t take you longer than 2 hours if you take it easy. Once you reach Männlichen and enjoyed the views, the best way, I think, to get back is by cable car, because once you are there, you have hiked around 5 hours, gained more than 1 kilometer in altitude and that is a lot. Unless you are physically strong, you can try to go down, but be ready for another 4-5 hours of hiking, so that combines to 10 hours of hiking, that’s a lot for even experienced hikers.
The cable car can be a very nice experience as you can enjoy the panorama and take many nice pictures of the surrounding mountains.
3- Hike to First and Bachalpsee, Grindelwald
First is a very popular destination in Grindelwald as well. Once you come to Grindelwald, First is on your left (Kleine Scheidegg is on the right).
Like all the places in the Swiss Alps – it’s majestic, marvelous, breathtaking. It has amazing views, a great restaurant and other facilities for every hiker.
First is sitting at 2,167 m, so even higher than Kleine Scheidegg. If you take it easy, it should take you around 3 hours to get there. It is quite steep, pretty exhausting, but really worth it. Sometimes I believe that any destination in the mountains is worth to sweat. First is definitely worth your time and energy.
In First there’s this amazing rock walk: where you walk on a path which is attached to the rock – it’s pretty thrilling. Add amazing views to the Swiss Alps and you have an ultimate top adventure.
I advise to have a coffee, have a snack, and then continue even higher!
Are you ready to push a bit more and enjoy one of the most beautiful lakes around Grindelwald – Bachalpsee? It’s not that far from First, but you will have to gain 100 m more in elevation, but it’s definitely worth it. Just have a look at picture how nice it is 🙂
There you can have your lunch and relax, from there: just an easy pace hike to Grindelwald.
The total hike is around 6 hours, so pick your pace accordingly and walk back slowly to Grindelwald.
4- Grosse Scheidegg
I always wonder what’s the story behind Grosse and Kleine Scheidegg, as Grosse Scheidegg (meaning the BIG one) is lower than Kleine Scheidegg. Grosse Scheidegg is resting at 1962 m altitude.
As you will see the pattern here: it would take you around 3 hours to get there. Is it beautiful up there: sure!
As you see from the trail information, it’s a pretty long hike, if you go back and forth, it’s around 16 kilometers, so have some water and food with you. Be ready for changing weather as well.
The elevation gain is almost 1 kilometer, not so easy, but doable if you choose your pace smartly.
The hike is mostly in nature, so very calm and nice. There you are going to see a different perspective to Eiger mountain, to Grindelwald village from up there. It is beautiful up there, very beautiful.
5- Grindelwald to Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and back to Grindelwald
Ok, so this one is the longest hike and you should do it in summer and just if you are in good physical condition. It’s a two-day hike, it’s doable in one day, but then you have to be in top condition and push yourself almost 14 hours, but do not go that crazy 🙂
Have a look at the map: all the way to Lauterbrunnen is 19 kilometers and would take you 7 hours. You will gain more than one kilometer in elevation, but you will get even more down as Lauterbrunnen is lower than Grindelwald.
Once you leave Grindelwald, you simply have to go to Kleine Scheidegg, as mentioned in the first hike. It goes through there. After Kleine Scheidegg you should continue further, and there’s good news: it goes down now all the time.
In two hours or so, you will reach Wengen village which is very beautiful with amazing views. It almost looks like this village is hanging on a rock 🙂 It has restaurants, shops, hotels, anything you need. It’s a very well developed small Swiss Alps village.
After that only one stretch left to Lauterbrunnen. One note: if you feel tired, rest as much as you can, mountains can consume all your power pretty fast. If you feel that you can not continue, jump into the train, do not destroy yourself. Drink lots of water – 7 hours hike in the mountains is really a lot.
Once you get to Lauterbrunnen you must visit its famous waterfall, it’s maybe the most famous in all Switzerland. You are going to love Lauterbrunnen, it is a very beautiful Swiss village.
As you are in Lauterbrunnen you can actually do two things: you can spend a night in Lauterbrunnen or take a bus back to Grindelwald. Check all the time schedules and the latest ticket prices here: Swiss bus connections.
If you decide to spend a night, you can hike back the same way, but remember, it’s going to be even harder than yesterday as the elevation gain is bigger this time.
BUT if you fell in love with Lauterbrunnen (which happens a lot), you can do a hike to Mürren. It’s a very nice village (ski resort) above Lauterbrunnen. The hike is not that long, but it’s hard, especially in the beginning, it’s very steep, almost every step gets you higher and higher, and you must choose the pace accordingly. I was tired after 1 kilometer already and had to change my pace too much slower one.
The hike to Mürren is just 6 kilometers, but you are going to gain more than 850 meters in elevation, so it should take you around 3 hours to do it all. Mürren is a pretty popular place as you can get to Schilthorn from there by cable car OR even walk a little further and get to Gimmelwald – another cozy Swiss village. If you visit all those Swiss villages – you collected them all in the surroundings 🙂 Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Gimmelwald – the complete package. And that’s doable in a couple of days on your foot.
Ok ok, let’s get back to Lauterbrunnen. If you don’t want to hike any more into the mountains, you can as well hike to Gündlischwand and then back to Grindelwald – it’s much easier. It is around 16 kilometers, 4 hours hike, and elevation gain is much less painful: around 400 meters in total. So you can do this big loop of over 30 kilometers which includes the most beautiful villages in the Jungfrau Region.
To sum up: I think these are the four directions which is the most beautiful, very well prepared and very easy to find. You shouldn’t get lost at any time on the hike, just always follow the directions and keep your Google Maps open (just in case).
There are many many more possibilities to hike even further to other small villages, other cities, other destinations, but that would take much more time and probably you will not have the possibility to come back to Grindelwald. But I think Grindelwald offers as well a great connection to do multiple day hikes from village to village, from hut to hut in Switzerland.
If you have any questions about hiking trails in Grindelwald, just let me know, I will try to find every detail for you 🙂
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