Via Alpina – Hike Jungfrau – Itinerary
Exploring the Jungfrau Region – a guided hike
Day 1 – Arrive in Engleberg
Welcome & Orientation
About 3-4 hours train from Bern or Zürich This is at 1,000 meters . An easy valley level hike.
Day 2 – Majestic in the Heart of the Swiss Alps
Absolutely Awesome Panorama Scenery
Engelberg to Melchsee-Frutt, 1900 m / 6300ft – 3 hrs total hiking / 6 miles distance
Mostly level with 150 ft. down – 150 ft. up.
From Engelberg we ride two sets of gondolas, with a short level walk around a lake and 2 chair lifts.
Afterwards we begin our mostly level hike with the Engstlen lake in front of us. This is one of the largest mountain lakes in Canton Bern.
After 30 minutes we arrive at the historic Engstlenalp hotel preserving its 19th century charm.
We are now in hiking heaven as the well-secured trail clambers up along the walls to Tannalp, an ensemble chapel, Alpine dairy where you can purchase local mountain cheese, a guest house, a beautiful mountain lake.
This is a perfect lunch stop: we cook Swiss sausages in a typical Swiss grilling place.
We continue on a level trail and arrive in the early afternoon to our overnight stay in Melchsee-Frutt. We are in the middle of the Swiss Alps with stunning views of the mountain lake, green pastures, all providing a great way to relax and acclimate.
After our first full day. we recuperate overnight in a four-star hotel with swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms.
Day 3 – Melchsee-Frutt – Meiringen – Grindelwald
We have hiked from Melchsee-Frutt up to the ridge trail. This is steep terrain, continually up and down. The trail along the ridge is narrow, rocky and ascends to Panplatten, our gondola station.
We have done this in a day and realized it’s too much to do.
The ridge views are stunning and magnificent. However you need to watch your steps, as the trail is steep and narrow. This ridge trail is strenuous.
We have come up with a ridge trail & easier option where we all will end up in the town of Meiringen and continue together to our end destination of the day in Grindelwald.
2 hours total hiking, mostly level
We depart Melchsee-Frutt & walk around the lake and hike up the easier part of the ridge to a point where you see the surrounding alps.
Afterwards we return to Melchsee-Frutt and ride the cable car down to Stöckalp. We connect with the Postal Bus to Sarnen and train to the Meiringen train station where we will meet up with the others.
In Meiringen – We all take the Postal Bus located at the train station for the 1 hour ride to the Grosse Scheidegg, Grindelwald summit.
Two options are presented for the easier trail:
We get off the bus and enjoy a level walk at 1922m / 7000 ft elevation overlooking the village of Grindelwald and the surrounding alps.
Depending on our timing and energy levels, options include to hike back to Grosse Scheidegg and take the Postal Bus to Grindelwald where we will be staying
Option # 2
Continue to the “First” gondola station and then take the gondola down to Grindelwald and walk to our nearby hotel.
Ridge Trail Option
4 hours max total hiking, 2 hours with 1000 ft. up, 2 hours on narrow ridge rocky signposted trail
We depart Melchsee-Frutt and hike around the lake before we start our ascent to the Balmeregghorn 2255m / 7000 ft ridge.
Some have labeled this ridge hike to Panplatten as a hike near to heaven because you see the awesome Alpine peaks of Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn, and Rosehorn in the distance while you are looking at the steep valleys below you.
Once we arrive at our cable car station of Panplatten, 2233m / 7000 ft. we will see the Lake of Brienz and village of Meiringen in front of us. Our cable car down consists of two transfers where we reach the town of Meiringen.
Then it’s a short walk to the train station where we meet the others for our Postal Bus ride to the Grosse Scheidegg,1922m / 7000 ft summit of Grindelwald where we will enjoy a level hike with incredible view of the Jungfrau Region Alps and surroundings.
Day 4 – Majestic, Awesome, Views of the Jungfrau Mountains
Grindelwald, 1034m / 3392 ft to First, 2167m / 7000 ft to Bussalp, 1800 m / 6000ft – Grindelwald
4 hrs hiking – 8 miles distance – 600 ft up, 1100 ft down,
We use the gondola to get us to our trail head in First.
We hike along the signposted trail to beautiful Bachsee, then descend on the signposted trail to Bussalp.
After 2 hours of hiking there is public transportation for those who wish to return to Grindelwald.
This summit hike provides a direct view of the world-famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains all the while hiking above the forest tree line while seeing and hearing the cows in the green pastures.
Once in Bussalp we take the Postal Bus back to Grindelwald. Overnight Grindelwald
Day 5 – Experience Europe’s Highest “Aletsch” Glacier
View one of the World’s Most Famous Mountains “The Eiger”
Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch & Afternoon – Hiking Kleine Scheidegg / Eiger Trail – Grindelwald
Today offers a real highlight as we all experience the Jungfrau Railway completed in 1912 that tunnels through the Eiger mtn to the Jungfraujoch station at 3454 meters /11371 ft.
This places us on top of the Aletsch glacier. It is Europe’s largest glacier with a length of 14 mi and covers over 32.5 square miles.
Depending on the weather, there is time to walk outside on the glacier. There is a snow packed trail where we can get out and walk around.
For lunch I recommend we take the Jungfrau railway down to the Eigergletcher restaurant at 2320 meters / 7000 ft whichdirectly faces the Mönch glacier & Jungfrau mountain.
Depending on the weather, and energy levels, we have a couple of options.
Some people may wish to stay in the Kleine Scheidegg area, do some easy and scenic hikes.
Others may wish to hike the 3 hour Eiger Trail down to Alpiglen, 1650m / 5000ft.
Here you hike the base of the Eiger on a gravel signposted trail to Alpiglen. This is the place people wanting to climb the Eiger stay until the weather is right to ascend.
Once in Alpiglen we take the cogwheel train back to Grindelwald.
Day 6 – Experience why Rick Steves loves this area
Grindelwald – Lauterbrunnen, 800 meter / 2400 ft – Mürren, 1600 meters / 5000 ft
We depart via train with 1 transfer and arrive in Lauterbrunnen for a 1 hour valley walk viewing the many waterfalls with some 1000 ft falls from Mürren.
We visit the Trümmelbach falls gorge where you see a series of ten glacier-waterfalls inside the mountain made accessible by tunnel-lift and is illuminated.
From Trümmelbach Falls, we take the local bus to the Stechelberg cable car and ride up to Mürren, 1600m / 5000 ft.
In Mürren there are many hiking options: level hiking path to Wanderegg and or Grütschalp offers 1 to 2 hours of summit level hiking while viewing the Jungfrau alps of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau.
We overnight in Mürren
Day 7 – awesome Swiss Mountain Peaks – Panoramic Scenic Views
Mürren – 4 hours total hiking, 6 miles, 1200 ft down / 900 ft up.
Today’s hike starts with a ride up the funicular to 1900m / 7000 ft.
You will see a display of the local wild flowers with descriptions of their medicinal attributes. We hike on wide gravel trails viewing the many alpine peaks bordering the Aletsch glacier.
Signposts along the way list the history of the individuals who first climbed the different alpine peaks.
For the Rick Steve’s Swiss guidebook reader fans, there is time to visit Gimmelwald reachable via cable car to and from Mürren.
We overnight in Mürren
Day 8 – Mürren – Zurich Airport
After breakfast our journey ends
The transfer time from Mürren to the Zürich airport is 3 ½ hours with departure times starting at 6:06.
Your first-class train ticket is included along with an overnight at the Radison Blu.
We stay in family run hotels/lodges in each location.
Luggage is dropped at the front counter and handled by our portage carriers who bring it to the next hotel by 6.00p.m. that evening.
One needs to carry a day pack for the 3-4 hours of daily planned hiking.
Because there is public transportation along each segment, the plan is to accommodate people who may wish to cut the hike short and take the public bus to our next overnight stop. This way the “avid hikers” get their hike in and those wanting to spend more time at the destination get to check-in early and walk around.
There will be two guides, both have hiked each segment during the 2017 summer to scout out the best of hikes and hiking options.
The trip features include: all lodging, breakfast & dinners, luggage porterage from place to place, all transportation in the itinerary including the ride up to the Jungfraujoch and rail transportation back to the Zürich airport for the last night’s stay.
There is also a 1-night Lucerne/Engelberg pre-trip and 4-night/ Zermatt post-trip program for those interested to extend your stay.