We’re here to talk all about the Bernese Oberland area and, more specifically, the incredible snowshoeing on offer in the vicinity of Interlaken and Jungfrau. If you’re dreaming of exploring alpine terrain at a more leisurely pace this winter, look no further than right here.
While hiking is, arguably, the best way of exploring the Bernese Oberland during the warm months of summer, we think snowshoeing makes for a brilliant winter alternative. There are loads of snowshoe trails to choose from here. What’s more, for those who like to travel by public transport, many of these trails are accessible by train. Additionally, snowshoeing requires little to no experience. All you need is a pair of snowshoes, poles and a trail map. In a nutshell, it’s adventure but at a much more casual speed.
“Get ready to crunch past snow-capped trees, spot soaring eagles, and soak up sensational alpine views”
Below, we’ve hand-selected a collection of the best snowshoeing routes to discover in the Bernese Oberland this winter. Get ready to crunch past snow-capped trees, spot soaring eagles, and soak up sensational alpine views before returning to civilisation for dinner and a well-deserved beer.
Approximate duration: 1 hour 55 minutes
Length: 4 km
There are few sights in the Bernese Oberland, and Switzerland in general, more astonishing than the Eiger. At nearly 4,000m above sea level, the towering limestone peak rises majestically out of the valley. You’ve likely already heard of the mountain’s infamous North Face, a notoriously difficult mountaineering route. But don’t worry, you’ll just admire this icy peak from a distance today.
“There are few sights in the Bernese Oberland, and Switzerland in general, more astonishing than the Eiger”
Begin your snowshoe tour at the Upper Glacier car park in Grindelwald. Pass through snow-covered meadows towards Weidli; look out for the Wetterhorn, an equally beautiful peak to the east. Stop for lunch at the Ischboden Hütte restaurant. Bag a seat on the terrace (weather permitting) and tuck into steaming cheesy spätzle while soaking up views of the Eiger. Then, it’s a short descent before climbing up to the Unter Lauchbühl. Finish back at the car park.
Don’t drive? Catch a train to Grindelwald via Interlaken.
Approximate duration: 1 hour 35 minutes
Distance: 3 km
Welcome to the source of Interlaken’s drinking water. Here is a snowshoeing trail that puts nature front and centre, and then underlines the word ‘nature’ with a fat red pen. It’s a route which takes visitors on a journey through the relaxing and untouched surroundings of the Saxettal valley. On the trail, you’ll be surrounded by the Schwalmere, Bällenhöchst and Morgenberghorn peaks, and take in a view of the unforgettable Lake Brienz. You’ll hike from the relative metropolis of a traffic-free mountain village and work your way up into a funnel-shaped high valley. The ultimate slice of Swiss escapism? Quite possibly.
“Welcome to the source of Interlaken’s drinking water”
The route kicks off at the Skipintli Restaurant in Saxeten. In its early stages, you’ll climb on up to a bridge that traverses the Brandgraben ditch. Before crossing the bridge, be sure to look back towards the heart-stealing water of Lake Brienz. On a clear weather day, you will end up shooting the kind of wanderlust-inducing photos that will have your Instagram followers chucking hearts at you like there’s no tomorrow. From this point, you’ll work your way down in a zigzag pattern (or in a straight line if you’re feeling brave) over two small ditches to another ascent up to the ‘Seilere’. You’ll come across an old dwelling with a livestock shed, and it’s worth noting that the highest point of the trail is situated just above this spot.
Take a breather, take a look at a snow-covered mountain stream stream as you go, and work your way to Renggrabenbach. Continue over a bridge, make a short ascent, and prepare your eyeballs for some more fantastic views. The snowshoe route carries on over the Allmend, and past the ‘Glühweinbar’. Hikers feeling particularly hungry or thirsty, at this point, might want to take this opportunity to refuel. From here, the trail then follows the same route to the ‘Seilere’. It then turns right, and descends alongside a natural stone wall to a sledge run (at which point, let’s face it, the childish voice on your shoulder may just take over). Then it’s just about making your way towards the unspoilt Saxetbach stream, before striding back to the starting point at the Skipintli. Dreamy.
Approximate duration: 5 hours
Distance: 12 km
Work your way from Aeschiried to the Brunnihütte cabin, on this snoeshoe route, and be rewarded with some truly majestic views over the Bernese Oberland for your efforts. The well-signposted trail leaves Aeschiried at a gentle incline, before taking you on to snow-covered alpine meadows and Aeschiallmi. The famous ski lodge in these parts is a great chance to mingle with other mountain enthusiasts. Don’t miss the opportunity to do so. Be sure to look up and outward as well, as the Kandertal valley view here is so good.
“It’s a chance to rest up for a while, enjoy one of the region’s finest panoramas”
From this point, follow the road up to the Bireberg. Upon reaching an alpine cabin, it’s time to leave the path and ascend to the arête over open countryside. This is when the epic-ness really starts to ramp up, so be sure to take some breathers to physically recover and also enjoy some of the sweet scenery at your back. Follow the ridge at a steady incline, passing through Greberegg, until you reach the foot of the Morgenberghorn. If conditions are good, you’ll get a special and unique look at Lake Thun and Lake Brienz on this snowshoe trail. Take a moment to absorb it, and imprint it on your mind’s eye.
The final ascent is pretty steep, and will take you ultimately to the eye-pleasing Brunnihütte cabin. It’s a chance to rest up for a while, enjoy one of the region’s finest panoramas (it might actually be the finest, to be fair, but we’ll let you be the judge), before descending back down to Aeschiried on the same route you came up.
Definitely one of the longer and more tiring routes on this list, if you are feeling up to it and think you can manage a little extra physical exertion, this is one where the additional effort you put in comes with a more than worthwhile payoff.