What Is the Eiger Trail?
The Eiger Trail is a hiking trail in the Swiss Alps that runs along the north face of the Eiger mountain. It starts from Eigergletscher station, which can be reached by train from the town of Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. The trail then descends to Alpiglen, passing through spectacular Alpine scenery with views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and valleys. The Eiger Trail is a popular and challenging hike that requires good physical fitness and hiking experience; it is typically open from June to October.
We chose to do the Eiger Trail from the Eigergletscher train station and approached Alpiglen. We follow the signs to the Eiger trail down the train path. It’s spectacular! As you start your descent, the flora becomes denser and denser. Water streams run down from the Eiger, and the north wall is always close and intimidating. Towards the last third of the trail, the descent becomes really steep.
Use good sturdy walking boots rather than sneakers. It took us almost five hours to reach Alpiglen; it was tiring and exhausting, but worth every step. Kleine Scheidegg and Eigergletscher stop both warrant some time. When you reach Alpiglen, you can grab a drink or bite near the train station before heading back to Interlaken.
Related article: 15 Places to Visit In and Around Interlaken Switzerland
How Long Is the Eiger Trail?
The length of the Eiger Trail can vary slightly depending on the route taken, but generally, it is six kilometers (3.7 miles) long. The trail starts at Eigergletscher station at an altitude of 2,320 meters (7,610 feet), and descends to Alpiglen, which is situated at an altitude of 1,610 meters (5,280 feet). The hike typically takes around three hours to complete, depending on the individual’s fitness level, pace, and the amount of time spent taking in the stunning scenery along the way.
The Eiger Trail is considered to entail moderately difficult hiking, with some challenging sections that require a good level of physical fitness, experience, and appropriate hiking gear. The trail has a total descent of about 700 meters (2,300 feet), with some steep sections and rocky terrain, so hikers need to be prepared for some uphill and downhill hiking, and occasionally to use their hands to scramble over rocks.
The trail can be exposed in some places, with steep drops and sheer cliffs, so hikers need to exercise caution and be comfortable with heights. The weather in the Swiss Alps can be unpredictable, so hikers need to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature, or increases in rain, and wind.
The Eiger Trail is recommended for experienced hikers with good physical fitness and proper hiking gear.
Should children hike the Eiger Trail?
The Eiger Trail involves some steep sections, rocky terrain, and exposure in certain places, which may be challenging for children, particularly those who are not used to hiking or are afraid of heights.
That being said, children who have experience with hiking and are in good physical condition may be able to complete the Eiger Trail with proper preparation and guidance. Parents should consider the age, ability, and temperament of their children before deciding whether the trail is suitable for them. It is recommended to start with shorter, easier hikes before attempting the Eiger Trail, and to make sure that children have appropriate hiking gear, including sturdy hiking shoes, warm clothing, and sufficient food and water.
Make sure children are accompanied by a responsible adult who can ensure their safety throughout the hike.
Eiger Trail Experience: From Eigergletscher to Alpiglen
The hike from Eigergletscher to Alpiglen is known as the Eiger Trail or the Eiger North Face Trail. It is a popular and rewarding hike in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, offering breathtaking views of the Eiger North Face, as well as the surrounding mountain landscape.
The hike starts at Eigergletscher station, which is accessible by train from Interlaken Ost or Grindelwald. From the station, the trail descends steeply on a well-maintained and well-marked path. The first section of the trail is relatively steep, with some rocky and uneven terrain, but it is not difficult for experienced hikers.
As you descend, you’ll be treated to views of the Eiger North Face, one of the most iconic and challenging mountain faces in the world. The trail runs along the base of the North Face, and you’ll have ample opportunities to stop and take in the impressive views.
After about two-and-a-half kilometers, the trail levels off somewhat, and you’ll enter a beautiful Alpine meadow with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail continues to descend, passing through a series of switchbacks and offering more breathtaking views of the landscape.
About four kilometers into the hike, you’ll reach the hamlet of Brandegg, where you can take a short break and enjoy refreshments at a small restaurant. From there, the trail continues to descend, passing through forests and meadows, offering more impressive views of the Eiger and the surrounding mountains.
The final section of the trail is a relatively gentle descent, passing through a series of switchbacks and ending in the village of Alpiglen. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery of the surrounding landscape, including the Grindelwald valley and the Wetterhorn mountain.
Swiss wildflowers along the Eiger Trail
The Eiger trail in Switzerland is home to a variety of beautiful wildflowers, which add to the natural splendor of the surrounding mountain landscape. We explored some of the most popular swiss wildflowers along the way down. Here are some of the Swiss flowers you may encounter while hiking the Eiger trail:
1. Edelweiss: The Edelweiss is a famous alpine flower that grows in rocky and dry areas. It has white, woolly petals and is known for its beauty and resilience.
2. Gentian – The Gentian is a bright blue flower that thrives in the rocky and alpine meadows. It is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
3. Alpine Anemone – The Alpine Anemone is a small, delicate flower with white petals and a yellow center. It grows in alpine meadows and is often found in clusters.
4. Yellow Rattle – The Yellow Rattle is a bright yellow flower that grows in grassy meadows. It is a parasitic plant that feeds on the roots of other plants.
5. Alpine Forget-me-not – The Alpine Forget-me-not is a small blue flower that grows in rocky areas. It is often found in crevices and on rocky ledges
How to Get to Eigergletscher Station?
Eigergletscher station is the starting point of the Eiger Trail. There are two ways to get there: through Kleine Scheidegg or Grindelwald.
- Take a train from Interlaken Ost station to Grindelwald. Trains run regularly throughout the day and the journey takes 35–40 minutes.
- At Grindelwald station, transfer to the Wengernalp rack railway. The cogwheel train from Grindelwald Grund to Eigergletscher station takes 20–25 minutes.
Note that the Wengernalp railway runs seasonally, so be sure to check the timetable in advance to plan your trip accordingly. You can also purchase a combined ticket for the train and rack railway from Interlaken Ost station to Jungfraujoch, which includes the transfer to Eigergletscher station.
From Kleine Scheidegg:
- Take the Jungfrau Railway from Kleine Scheidegg towards Jungfraujoch. The Jungfrau Railway is a cogwheel train that runs through the mountains amid charming views of the surrounding scenery.
- After a short ride of about four minutes, you will arrive at Eigergletscher station.
Note that the Jungfrau Railway operates seasonally, and the timetable may vary depending on the time of year, so be sure to check it in advance and plan your trip accordingly.
- Take a train from Lauterbrunnen station to Kleine Scheidegg. Trains run regularly throughout the day; the journey takes 20–25 minutes.
- At Kleine Scheidegg, transfer to the Jungfrau Railway, a cogwheel train that runs through the mountains. Take the train towards Jungfraujoch and get off at Eigergletscher station. The journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher takes around four minutes.
If you are traveling by car, you can drive to Grindelwald and park your car at the Grindelwald Grund train station, which has a large parking lot. From there, you can take the cogwheel train to Eigergletscher station.
It’s always a good idea to check the train or cogwheel train schedules and purchase your tickets in advance to avoid any delays or confusion on the day of your hike.
Green Hotels in Grindelwald
Choose a sustainable hotel that is designed to respect the environment, and which takes extra measures to implement their facilities with efficient lighting systems, and low-pressure water installations. It also generates its own energy. In addition to the environment, eco-friendly hotels try to help the local community through their service.
Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Responsible Travel Matters
Luckily, there are quite a few eco-friendly hotels near the Grindelwald Eiger Trail. They make for an amazing, low-impact stay in the natural beauty of Switzerland. Below are a few sustainable properties for you to consider:
Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof
Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof is a historic and elegant five-star hotel in Grindelwald. The hotel was originally built in the 19th century. One of its unique features is a collection of historic Swiss costumes, which are displayed throughout the hotel and provide a fascinating glimpse into Swiss culture and history.
Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof has been awarded the “EcoLabel” certification by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. The hotel uses renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and hydroelectric power, and has implemented measures to reduce water and energy consumption.
In addition to its eco-friendly practices, Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof offers a variety of comfortable and spacious rooms and suites, many of which have balconies with breathtaking views. The hotel also has a wellness area with a sauna and steam room, as well as a restaurant serving delicious Swiss and international cuisine.
The hotel is an excellent choice for Eiger Trail hikers looking for a comfortable and sustainable stay in the heart of Grindelwald, with a touch of history and Swiss culture.
Hotel Kirchbühl is a four-star green hotel located in the picturesque village of Grindelwald. The hotel has a long history, dating back to the early 20th century. The hotel is well organized, and situated at the foot of the North Face of the Eiger, which offers outstanding mountain views.
One of the notable features of Hotel Kirchbühl is its commitment to sustainability. The hotel has been awarded the Swiss “Minergie” eco-certificate, which recognizes buildings with particularly energy-efficient designs and sustainable materials. The hotel’s energy-efficient features include triple-glazed windows, solar panels, and a wood pellet heating system. They also have a commitment to using local and organic produce in their restaurant.
In addition to its eco-friendly commitment, Hotel Kirchbühl offers comfortable rooms and suites, many of which have balconies with fantastic views. The hotel also has a wellness area with a sauna and steam bath, as well as a restaurant serving delicious Swiss and international cuisine.
Hotel Kirchbühl is an excellent choice for travelers who want to enjoy a comfortable and sustainable stay in Grindelwald.
Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel
Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel is a modern four-star hotel located in Grindelwald, a 20-minute drive from the starting point of Eiger Trail: the Eigergletscher station. The hotel has a unique and stylish design, with natural materials such as wood and stone used throughout the property.
Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel has been certified by the “Green Globe” international standard for sustainable tourism, which recognizes businesses that are committed to environmentally friendly practices. The hotel has implemented several energy-saving measures, including a geothermal heating and cooling system and energy-efficient lighting. They also use eco-friendly cleaning products; they have implemented waste reduction programs, and they source local and organic produce for their restaurant.
The hotel offers a variety of comfortable and stylish rooms and suites, many of which have balconies with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel also has a wellness area with a sauna, steam room, and relaxation area, as well as a restaurant and bar serving delicious local and international cuisine.
Hotel Spinne is a family-owned four-star hotel located in the center of Grindelwald, a 20-minute drive from the Eigergletscher station to start the Eiger Trail. The hotel dates back to the early 20th century, and has been renovated to offer modern comforts while still preserving its traditional Swiss style.
Hotel Spinne has been awarded the “SwissEcoHotel” certification. It has energy-efficient lighting and heating systems; it uses eco-friendly cleaning products, and has recycling and waste reduction programs.
In addition to its eco-friendly practices, the hotel offers a variety of comfortable and spacious rooms and suites, many of which have balconies with stunning views. The hotel also has a wellness area with a sauna, steam room, and indoor pool, as well as several restaurants serving delicious Swiss and international cuisine.
One of the unique features of the hotel is its rooftop bar and pool; it offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular socializing spot.
Hotel Belvedere is a traditional four-star Swiss hotel in Grindelwald with a variety of comfortable and spacious rooms and suites. One of the most popular features of this hotel is its outdoor heated jacuzzi, which is situated in a picturesque location with panoramic views of surroundings.
Hotel Belvedere is has been awarded the “SwissEcoHotel” and “safe-and-clean” certification. It has energy-saving measures such as LED lighting and an energy-efficient heating system, as well as a recycling and waste reduction program.
In addition to its eco-friendly practices, the hotel has stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It also has a wellness area with a sauna and steam room, as well as several restaurants serving delicious Swiss and international cuisine.
Hotel Gletschergarten is a family-owned three-star hotel in Grindelwald. The hotel has been awarded the “EcoLabel” certification, it uses renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and hydroelectric power, and has implemented measures to reduce water and energy consumption. In addition, the hotel has a recycling and waste reduction program, and uses eco-friendly cleaning products.
Hotel Gletschergarten offers a variety of comfortable and cozy rooms, many of which have balconies with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel is also conveniently located near the center of Grindelwald, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities. Most customers praise hotel for its excellent customer service, comfortable accommodations, and high quality amenities.
Hotel Tschuggen is a charming, family-run budget hotel in Grindelwald. The hotel has been awarded the “SwissEcoHotel” certification, it uses solar power to generate energy, has implemented water-saving measures, and uses eco-friendly cleaning products. In addition, the hotel’s restaurant serves locally-sourced, organic food, and the hotel has a recycling and waste reduction program.
Hotel Tschuggen offers a variety of comfortable and cozy rooms, many of which have balconies with views. One of the unique features of Hotel Tschuggen is its beautiful garden for guests to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. The hotel is also conveniently located near the center of Grindelwald, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities.
The Eiger Trail in Grindelwald, Switzerland is a breathtaking hiking experience that takes you along the base of the famous Eiger mountain. This scenic trail offers stunning views of the surrounding Swiss Alps and glaciers, as well as the charming mountain village of Grindelwald. With its challenging terrain and rewarding vistas, the Eiger Trail is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Switzerland.
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