Grindelwald is one of the best hiking destinations in the Swiss Alps but the price for all the mountain rides and trails is that it is a popular tourist and tour bus destination. Grindelwald sits in a large valley at the foot of the Eiger. There are several mountain rides that take you up both sides of the valley. You are close to other hiking areas - Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Murren - and can reach them by train. Grindelwald is very popular with Japanese tourists.
Location: Switzerland - Bern - Grindelwald
Category: Walking Trails
Tags: Hiking Base
The Grindelwald Tourist Office website has a lot of information, including descriptions of the hikes, and maps showing hiking trails (choose Panoramakarten). To order brochures, click Services > Brochures. At the tourist office they have a good map showing all the hiking trails, with descriptions of the popular trails.
You do not need a car in Grindelwald. Trains, buses and mountain rides take you everywhere.
Book your vacation rental on the Grindelwald Tourist Office website or with Interhome. The town sprawls along the valley and some rentals can be far away from the center.
The mountain rides in Grindelwald are expensive. Spend time on the website looking at prices and compare them to the cost of a mountain ride pass. If you are taking the train around Switzerland, consider a half-fare pass which will give you a discount on mountain rides. You have to spend a bit of time figuring out how to get the best prices for your week of hiking here.
The most popular day trip from Grindelwald is to the Jungfraujock to walk on the glacier. This ride is very expensive and I think is not worth it. I would rather spend the day hiking and looking at the glacier from afar.
Website: Grindelwald Tourist Office
Day trip contributed by Pauline Kenny
From Grindelwald there are two gondolas, each with middle stations, a mountain train line and several bus routes up into the mountains. This makes for a great variety of hiking trails.
On the south side of the valley, the Mannlichen gondola goes along one side and the mountain train on the other. Trails go from one side to the other. On the north side of the valley, the First gondola goes up the middle, with buses going up either side. Trails here go across the top and middle of the mountain, or back into the mountains.
Gondola: Grindelwald to Mannlichen
South side of valley - middle station Holenstein
From Mannlichen you can walk the Panoramaweg to Kleine Scheidegg. This is a 1 1/2 hour easy walk with a slight downhill on a wide trail. You could also take another gondola down to Wengen. From the middle station Holenstein you can walk to Brandegg, where you take the train back to Grindelwald. This is an easy hike. The trail is called the "Apfelkuchleinweg" - because the restaurant in Brandegg makes a dessert called "Apfelkuchlein".
Mountain Train: Grindelwald to Kliene Schidegg
South side of valley - several stops along the way
Gondola: Grindelwald to First
North side of valley - middle station Bort
The First gondola takes 40 minutes to reach the top of the mountain. From there you can do long or short hikes. It is an easy walk is to Bachalpsee (1 hour). From there you can climb to Faulhorn, a peak with a mountain restaurant and exceptional views (from First 2 1/2 hours uphill and 2 hours back). Or you can walk to Busalp and take the bus back to town.
Bus: Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg
North side of valley
It is an easy walk from here to the First gondola station.
Bus: Grindelwald to Waldspitz and Busalp
North side of valley
Use this bus to get back to town after hiking from First.
At the end of the valley
This gondola leaves from town and does not go as high as the others. It is a nice walk back to town or to Hotel Wetterhorn, where you can get a bus to town.