Dreamiest Hiking Trail in Lauterbrunnen Valley Switzerland – You have to see it to Believe it!
I can honestly say, the most beautiful trail I have EVER hiked, was in the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Switzerland. My husband and I took a 4-day road-trip through Switzerland, and our stay in Lauterbrunnen was the highlight of the trip. (Blog post with full Itinerary coming soon). I am comparing this hike to other stunning trails, including the Path of the gods in Italy, the Peyto Lake trail near Banff Canada, the Tiger Fern waterfall trail in Belize, and the bike trail on Mljet Island in Croatia, just to name a few. None of these gorgeous trails that we have hiked, can hold a candle to the Jungfrau Region Loop hike in Lauterbrunnen Valley. It truly is the dreamiest place I’ve ever been.
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How to get to Lauterbrunnen Valley
We flew into Geneva and rented a car. We stopped in Bern, and then made our way down to Lauterbrunnen. The town is about an hour drive southeast of Bern and only 20 minutes south of Interlaken. You can also take a train from all the major cities in Switzerland. Click here for train routes and prices. However, I do recommend renting a car.
Where to Stay in Lauterbrunnen
We lodged at Hotel Staubbach, which I highly recommend because of this view alone!
The staff at the hotel were extremely friendly and the complimentary breakfast every morning was top notch. Yes it is a bit pricey….but Switzerland is pricey. Upon arrival, the lady at the front desk gave us a map of the Loop trail and suggested we go the next morning since we were expecting to have good weather.
That evening we explored the village, and after searching Trip Advisor for decently rated Swiss Cuisine, we settled on Hotel Oberland Restaurant. The cheese fondue really did live up to the high rating, and the view from our table on the front porch was lovely.
Jungfrau Region Loop Hiking Trailhead:
The next morning, we were off on our hike. Knowing it was going to take nearly 8 hours or more, we were up and on our way by 8am. From our hotel, it was about a 7 minute walk to the cable car/tram. The tram takes you up the mountain to Grutschalp to begin the hike. And it costs about 80 euros per person for the ticket.
You’ll buy the tickets there at the cable tram station. The ticket price included the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp and on to Murren. It also included the return cable car from Gimmelwald back down to the valley. And also included entry to the cable car that takes you to the Schilthorn Summit, as well as entry to Trummelbach Falls at the end of the hike.
The Schilthorn summit and Trummelbach falls are optional, and the ticket would be cheaper than 80 euros if you forego them. However, I highly recommend including them both for your day hike. All in all, that 80 euros pp was totally worth it for all the things we got to see that day.
Grutschalp to Murren:
After getting off the cable car in Grutschalp (elevation 4885 ft), you have the option to take the train on to Murren, or hike 1 hour to Murren. Murren is a car-less town. So if you are staying in one of the hotels there and you have luggage, you would opt for the train. Obviously, we were there for the hike, so we set out on foot. The path starts out through the forest over several streams (all which turn into waterfalls at the bottom of the valley), and comes to a clearing with this breathtaking view (see below).
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Cable Car Ascend from Murren to Schilthorn Summit
As I mentioned, included in our purchase was entry to the Schilthorn Summit. So once we arrived in Murren (elevation 5,397 ft), we found the tram station, and took the cable car up to Schilthorn.
Schilthorn Summit (9,744 ft)
Once you arrive to the summit, you feel like you are on top of the world! We really lucked out with the weather. The impressive 360 degree view up there, in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland, overlooked the Lauterbrunnen Valley below. We had a crystal clear view! I would recommend checking the weather before adding this portion to the hike. Some people told us that they went the day before, and there were so many clouds, you could barely see just 10 steps ahead of you. If that were the case, I would not have gone.
Once at the top, we decided to splurge and had lunch in the rotating restaurant. Food was average, but the expense was geared toward sitting and having a beer while taking in the 360 degree panoramic views.
Murren to Gimmelwald
After lunch, we took the cable car from Schilthorn back down to Murren, and began our descent from Murren to Gimmelwald. This was my favorite part of the whole hike. The paved concrete path zig-zags down the mountain, passing centuries-old farm houses with pristine gardens and insane views laid out before you. After about a two hour laaaaazy stroll (we were in NO hurry…I could have stayed here for forever), we reached Gimmelwald (4,655ft).
Decent from Gimmelwald back to Lauterbrunnen Valley
From Gimmelwald, you have two options. A steep hike down through the forest, or the cable car down to Stechelberg. We chose the cable car, just to speed things along. We still had to see the Trummelbach Falls before sunset. From the tram station in Stechelberg Village you can take the bus ride, or it is about a 20 minute walk to the entrance of Trummelbach Falls. Remember, our ticket included entry to the falls, and you don’t want to miss this magnificant natural wonder.
Trummelbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen Valley
Trummelbach falls is comprised of 10 waterfalls, fed by glaciers, that have cut through the rocky mountain-side to form huge underground channels and torrents. Basically a bunch of waterfalls INSIDE the mountain. Bravo to the brilliant Swiss engineers that built the railings, platforms, tunnels and walkways inside the rock so that tourists like you and me can see this magical natural wonder. Unfortunately my crappy camera didn’t capture the best images from the inside. You will just have to go there yourself to see it and believe it.
After the falls, you can make your way back to Lauterbrunnen by taking the bus, or opt to walk like we did. It was the end of the day, the sun was setting, and the trail, that leads back along a river, only took about 45 minutes. The constant sound of waterfalls provides the music to your stroll. You pass through meadows, small farms with tiny homes, and views of mountains and waterfalls on both sides of your trail. Perfect ending to the perfect day…followed by dinner and a deserving glass of wine.
What to wear in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
The temperature changes quite a bit throughout the hike as you ascend and descend the mountain. Good walking shoes are obviously a must. I would bring a light jacket (like this one); one that you don’t mind carrying (because you will take it off) and preferably water-resistant for the Falls. I recommend this one! You will also need this jacket when walking around in the snow at the top of the Swiss Alps. The majority of the time, I was comfortable in leggings and a tank top. Will wore a long sleeve shirt and jeans and he occasionally complained about being too hot, particularly on the decent in the late afternoon. (Will? complain? Nooooo.)
If I haven’t already made this clear, you MUST put Lauterbrunnen at the top of your bucket list. It truly is the dreamiest place I’ve ever been…thus far. Hiking is only ONE of the many things to do in the Lauterbrunnen Valley area. We will certainly be going back once the kids get a little bit older and paragliding will be first on my list. Unfortunately I was told I couldn’t para-glide this time since I was pregnant.
Stay tuned for my post on our full 4-day road trip Itinerary from Geneva to Zurich, Switzerland.
Happy and Safe travels,
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