Gantrisch Nature Park is really a great one day or weekend destination where you can enjoy the Swiss nature in pretty big mountains. It’s very close to the Swiss Capital Bern, so no problem just to hop in in your car and drive up there.
I have done quite a few hikes there in summer and winter (snowshoeing), so let’s talk about two of them: Hike to Gantrisch peak and hike to Euschelspass.
How to get to Gantrisch Nature Park
Gantrisch nature park is located in a very comfortable location: it is just 20 kilometers from Bern, the capital of Switzerland (no it is not Zürich 🙂 ). From Basel it is 125 kilometers and 147 kilometers from Zürich. So from Bern it is just 20 minutes drive, from other mentioned cities: up to two hours.
Now, the park is pretty big and there different locations (lakes, mountains, villages, hotels, restaurants) which can be your destinations, but basically the mentioned distances gives you a good indication.
With a car, it’s pretty straightforward: just drive up there. I will write directions to couple of places where I parked for my hikes, because if you just go straight there: it’s not very legal to leave your car anywhere by the road or in people’s yards.
If you want to come with public transport, you should go to Gantrischhütte. This is where I left my car couple of times, so it’s actually a perfect place to start your hike, just couple of meters and you are already on the hiking trail. You can not reach Gantrischhütte by train, but buses go up there: the bus goes from Thurnen, but it’s no problem to start anywhere else in Switzerland, as Thurnen is connected by trains. I advice you to check all the latest time schedules, prices and departures on official Swiss transport website, so you don’t miss anything: Swiss trains and buses connections.
If you are coming by car, actually Gantrischhütte has a very nice parking lot (it’s not very big) where you can park. As well there’s restaurant if you need a toilet or coffee before hitting the hiking trails. IF, there’s no place by Gantrischhütte, there are a lot of parking place a little bit up: Stierhütte Parking – is the biggest one, possibly hundred and more cars can fit there, it is 1.8 kilometers from Gantrischhütte, but if you are lucky, there are smaller parking lots much closer: Rüschegg oben, Rüschegg unten, Rüschegg mitte and Rüschegg seite. So you should be ok. Actually, from Rüschegg oben begins another hiking route and there’s a small nice skiing place very close, but it’s open only in winter. I really hope you will find there to put your car in these places. Your last chance can be Gurnigel Berghaus, but it’s usually pretty busy as it’s a restaurant looking straight to the peaks.
Hiking in Gantrisch nature park
Ok, so once you are by Gantrischhütte, simply get on the hiking trail going up and keep the direction GANTRISCH. Your first direction can be as well Morgetepass – it is a mountain pass, but reachable only by foot.
The hike up to Morgetepass is pretty steep, so keep your pace low, otherwise you will get tired very fast. From Gantrischhütte to Morgetepass is around 3 kilometers, so you should be able to do it in 1h – 1h 30 minutes, the elevation gain is around 450 meters, so quite steep.
On my first hike up there, I met hundreds of mountain goats (domesticated) which followed us for a very long time, it was pretty cool, they are very friendly: and they even followed us to the Gantrisch peak. I was surprised how persistent they are 🙂
From Morgetepass you should choose the direction left, although you may be tempted to go right: it’s beautiful in both sides. As well from Morgetepass opens up a very beautiful mountain peaks view.
Gantrisch mountain is sitting at 2175 meters altitude, so from Morgetepass the hike is a bit easier and milder, but on the last last stretch you will have to use some of the wire (which is attached to the mountain). You just have to keep on it and it’s get very steep so you not hike, but climb. It is not dangerous or something (I probably wouldn’t do it in the rain or winter), but I saw some people going up there with helmets. So if you have it, take it, better to be safe.
All in all, you should reach Gantrisch in about 2 hours and 1h 30 minutes to go down. It’s very beautiful up there and I really hope it won’t be cloudy for you. I did a video of that hike, you can watch it down there:
You can see that we were a bit unlucky and it was cloudy, but overall, it’s a really great place to hike.
Now, once you go down, I really suggest you to take a detour and visit a Gantrischseeli – it’s a tiny beautiful Swiss lake. I even swam up there in June. Really beautiful location.
Ok, so some statistic about this hike: Time – around 4 hours in total. Distance: 8 kilometers. Elevation gain: over 600 meters. Easy breezy!
Snowshoeing in Gantrisch Nature Park
I did couple of snowshoeing hikes in Gantrisch park and I actually began in the same place as it is a perfect location. You can see a lot of people as well going up with skis and then going down – that is a very cool thing to do.
I have done some snowshoeing in Sulwald as well, but this is a great place to do that as well.
Snowshoeing requires a bit more strength, but I did the hike in the same time. One thing which I didn’t like is that by the Morgetepass the hiking path in winter gets so narrow (and it’s very steep up there, no place to widen it), that it was a real hustle to go up there with snowshoes. At some place I even got worried that I will fall down – remember some people go down as you go up. So that part I really did not enjoy, it was actually pretty stressful. But after that, the hike gets better, after Morgetepass paths widen again and it’s not that steep.
I don’t want to discourage going there with snowshoes, just be very carefull on that last stretch before Morgetepass (it’s maybe 200 meters which I hate). Do not mess around up there if you meet more people on the trail.
I would like as well next time to go there either with skis or with snowboard. It’s a very cool valley where you can ski down. I would really recommend doing that if you are a good skier or snowboarder (there are no prepared slopes there).
Hiking next to Schwarzsee to Euschelspass
Ok, so this is my second location to hike.
Schwarzsee is pretty popular as there are always many people and it has a big buffet restaurant – I tried it, it’s good.
Ok, so if you come there with a car, simply park it by the restaurant or you can go a bit further by the lake to the end of it: there’s some parking places as well.
If you are coming by bus, you should come to Schwarzsee, Gypsera bus stop. Check all the time schedules and prices once again here: Swiss trains and buses connections.
So once you get to Schwarzsee, simply go to the end of it (opposite to the restaurant location). If you do not have much time, you can walk around the lake, it should be written: RUNDWEG.
But if you have more time, you can hike to another mountain pass called: Euschelspass. It is 5 kilometers from the lake to the top, but I advice to go to the end of Euschelspass until you see the village below called Jaun. There’s some really nice places to rest and enjoy the views, you will see it in my video which I made when I was up there.
The statistics of this hike:
Distance: 10 kilometers (up and down)
Elevation gain: around 500 meters (depending where you finish the hike and turn back).
Time: 2-3 hours if you go slow.
What I met on the road: cows, bees, some people working their land, other hikers who continued to Jaun village; made some food, all is seen in the video:)
So please have a look at my video, I hope you like it, although the quality for some reason is not that fine from my GoPro:
What to do in Gantrisch Nature Park
Gantrisch Nature Park is pretty big, so there’s a lot to do, especially hiking: there are hundreds of routes. There is a as well a rope park, where you can climb in the trees, if you wish.
If you have just a couple of hours, then I advice to go to Schwarzsee, but through the Gantrisch peak (driving next to it), so you will enjoy its all landscape beauty.
There is a big chance that you will meet there: cows, goats, squirrels or even beavers.
Please visit their official website for all the information and experiences you can have in Gantrisch Nature Park: Naturpark Gantrisch.
Gantrisch Nature Park is one of the best closes location to Bern, Zürich or Basel where you can enjoy Switzerland has to offer: many hiking trails, mountain restaurants, amazing views, animals, fondue and many other things.
It is very well developed with many parking lots and other necessities, so no headaches there.
I really recommend it for one or two days trip in summer and winter, all weather conditions is good up there.
If you have any questions about Gantrisch Nature Park hike or any other destinations mentioned in this article, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
Please do not forget to follow me: