To the south of Grindelwald, at an altitude of 2,668 meters, is the Ischmeer glacier, literally the “sea of ice”. In order to have it almost at your fingertips (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit), you have to take the nearly three-kilometer-long trail from Alp Pfingstegg to the Berghaus Bäregg mountain hut. It is a relatively short hike, only 5.4 km there and back, but the views are truly “well deserved” given the elevation.
How to get to Grindelwald
Grindelwald Pfingstegg is located in the Jungfrau region, easily accessible by car or public transport.
By car: from Bern, take the A6 motorway in the direction of Interlaken. Take the Wilderswil exit and keep to the right. Continue in the direction of Grindelwald. You will then pass through the village, turn right behind the church and follow the signs that say “Pfingsteggbahn”. In the immediate vicinity of the cable car station, there is a paid parking lot with enough parking spaces to accommodate you even during the summer peak season. Parking fees can be paid at a machine that accepts coins and cards, or you can use the Sepp parking app to pay.
By public transport: it takes 34 minutes from Interlaken-Ost to Grindelwald Station (attention! Not Grindelwald-Terminal!). From the station, you can either take bus 122 to the Pfingsteggbahn stop (bus only runs once an hour, always at .16, takes 5 minutes) or walk – it’s a pleasant walk that takes less than 15 minutes.
Pfingsteggbahn Cable Car
The cable car (btw the oldest cable car in the valley) to the Pfingstegg Alp is open from May/June (depending on the weather) until October. A return ticket for an adult costs 28 francs, half price with Halbtax Abo, and children aged 6 to 15 pay 14 francs for a return ticket (with Juniorkarte they get a free ticket). With the Regional-Pass Berner Oberland, you get free fares.
In July and August, it operates from 8.30 am to 7 pm and runs at 15-minute intervals. In May, June, September, and October it operates from 9 am to 6 pm and runs at 20-minute intervals.
Pfingstegg presents itself in its advertising material as a paradise for families with kids. And no wonder. You can spend a whole day here and not get bored.
Restaurant & Playground
Already when you come up by cable car, you can have a coffee or something good at the Bergrestaurant Pfingstegg with its terrace overlooking Grindelwald, while your kids can go and play on the adjacent playground with slides and other elements.
Summer toboggan run & Fly Line
Of the two local adventure attractions, we chose the toboggan run. It’s 725 meters long and runs through an alpine pasture and you can rush down at speeds of up to 45km/h. Adults pay 6 francs for 1 ride, children aged 8 to 15 pay 4 francs, and children aged 4 to 7 (accompanied by an adult only) pay 2 francs. The toboggan run is open from 10:30.
You can also try the Fly Line, where you fly over the trees for 2.5 minutes at a height of 350 meters. A lift also takes you back out so you don’t have to walk back uphill.
Hiking from Alp Pfingstegg to Bäregg Hut
The route starts and ends at the top station of the Pfingstegg cable car. Follow the signs in the direction of Bäregg. First, you will enjoy nice views of Grindelwald, then the path leads through the forest and then under the rock cliffs. The hut is about 2.7 km uphill with a “decent” elevation gain of about 670 m.
Shortly afterward, the steep ascent to the Bäregg hut begins. The snow-capped peaks of the Fiescherhorn can be seen in the background. The trail narrows and winds upwards, turn by turn and is full of natural steps. Down in the valley to the right are the remains of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier (Unterer Grindelwaldgletscher).
Bäregghütte – Bäregg Hut
After about an hour and a half, you will reach the Bäregghütte mountain hut, where you can order typical Swiss snacks (soups, rösti, sausages, Chnoblibrot, fruit tarts, Meränge meringues, or ice cream). Those who want to can continue 3 hours to the next hut, Schreckhornhütte, but this is an alpine mountain trail (marked in blue and white) for experienced hikers only.
The pictures show what the path looks like. Fortunately, there are railings in some places for safety. If you don’t want to go back to the top station of the cable car, it is possible to turn left at the Wysseflüö signpost in the direction of Berggasthaus Marmorbruch (on the map above as green route 5) and you will get back to the car park.
- It is a relatively short (5.4 km) but relatively demanding hike, especially in the last section. However, we have also seen five-year-old kids here, or parents who managed the hike with small kids in a baby carrier.
- You can combine the hike with a trip to the glacier canyon Gletscherschlucht.