World’s Best Hikes: Grindelwald, Switzerland
By Peter Potterfield
Today's Featured Hike: First to Lake Bachal to Faulhorn Hut
Round-Trip: 10 miles if you ride up and walk down, 2 to 3 days
When to Go: High summer is the season here, but hikable weather often extends into September, when the Europeans are back at work. The Faulhorn closes in October. Perhaps the biggest payoff for effort applied in the Alps, this ridiculously beautiful walk takes in the scenic highlights of the Bernese Oberland—including the notorious Eiger and its more impressive sister peak, the fearsome Shreckhorn—looming across Grindelwald’s fairy tale valley.
All this, and a night or two at the comfortable Faulhorn hut or berghotel, impossibly perched at 8,800 feet on its namesake peak, for just a day’s worth of hiking. And you can shave some time off that by taking a cable car up to First. Walk the whole way from Grindelwald and you’ll earn that beer you’re drinking on the terrace as the setting sun paints the Eiger’s north wall a blood red.
Insider Tip: Even if you ride the lift on the way up, be sure to walk down, and have lunch at Waldspitz, a classic Swiss mountain chalet where you’ll enjoy a tasty rösti watching snow plumes blow off the summit of the Shreckhorn so close it’s scary.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
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Photograph by Patitucci Photo