Day Trips: Lauterbrunnen Valley
Whether it's relaxing in town, biking in the Bernese Oberland, or taking day trips across the many trails passing through resort towns and quaint villages, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is full of wonders for thrill seekers and those wanting to take a peaceful stroll.
You have multiple options on this route to reach Murren from Lauterbrunnen (798 meters). You can hike the steep path taking about 2-3 hours to Murren (1638 meters), ride a funicular to Grutschalp and walk, or ride the toy train from Lauterbrunnen-Grutschalp-Mittelberg-Murren. In 2007 week hiked the steep & difficult path from Lauterbrunnen to Murren, however in 2013 we decided to take the funicular to Grutschalp & walk past Murren to Gimmelwald descending back to the valley. The hiking trail out of Lauterbrunnen is found walking down the main street towards the train station, making a left at a clearly marked path on the left climbing past a fast moving Gryfenbach stream. The path eventually climbs then steeply traverses up a path through forest, crossing several streams including a bridge over the Staubach. The path eventually opens up to a meadow with fantastic views of the Jungfrau and surrounding peaks. Passing Mittelberg it's another 20-30 minute walk on a path following the railroad tracks towards Murren, a famous resort village with several lodging options and restaurants that is one of the highest continually inhabited villages in the Bernese Oberland and has been visited by travelers for centuries. Continue walking through Murren taking the left fork and follow signs towards Gimmelwald, about a 30-45 minute descent with occasional traverses through steep farm and pasture land. The gardens surrounding Gimmelwald are impressive and this tiny village perched on the mountain is a lovely and peaceful retreat that is accessible from the valley by funicular or a hiking path. Take a rest stop or walk down the main street through Gimmelwald following signs to the valley. Out of town, you descend a path that winds through meadows where cows and lovely farm houses are your companions. At the bottom, take a left and walk through forest crossing a couple of bridges next to waterfalls and rivers before descending out of the forest down to the valley road. At the road, take a left following a walking/biking path about 1 - 1 1/2 hour walk back to Lauterbrunnen.
The trek from Murren-Sefinenfurke-Murren takes about 8-9 hours and is strenuous in some sections so we recommend having accommodation in Murren for the night or getting a really early start from Lauterbrunnen & taking the train then funicular back to Lauterbrunnen from Murren. From the Murren station take to upper road passing the funicular on the right continuing until to wide paved path branches right with signs leading towards Blumental. You begin climbing uphill past houses and through a meadow under the shadow of the Schilthorn. Passing the first small guest house/pension take a left at the junction before coming to another guest house/pension (Suppenalp) and farm. Continue up the path that climbs until entering pastures where you will come upon several huts, some selling cheese and local dairy products as well as refreshments. Continue past, taking a path going slightly left around the hillside eventually crossing a stream take the path that climbs steeply up on a ridge with fantastic views below. Follow the way marked red/white trail blazes, bearing right at the Oberlager junction towards Sefinenfurke. About 15-30 minutes later you reach a mountain hut know as Rotstock with accommodation and dining options. You may need to call and reserve ahead of time if planning on spending the night. Continue taking the path past small boulders and rocks and over patches of grass finally traversing up a scree slope path in high alpine rocky terrain until you reach Sefinenfurke (2613 meters) about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after leaving Rotstock.