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Hiking Trails and Outdoor Activities Near Swiss Alps Resorts: A Guide to the Best Trails, Parks, Ziplines, and Mountain Bike Trails for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The Swiss Alps are a hiker, backpacker, and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From scenic hiking trails with stunning mountain views and flower-filled alpine meadows to challenging via ferrata climbing routes and family-friendly mountain coaster rides, there are endless outdoor adventures to be had among the majestic Swiss peaks.

This guide covers some of the best hiking trails and outdoor activities near popular Swiss Alps resort towns like Zermatt, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, and St. Moritz. Whether you’re an avid hiker looking to summit peaks and traverse high mountain passes, or just want some scenic nature walks to take in the incredible scenery, you’ll find plenty of trail suggestions in this guide.

Table of Contents:

  • Hiking Trails Near Grindelwald
  • Hiking Trails Near Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen/Mürren
  • Hiking Trails Near Zermatt
  • Hiking Trails Near St. Moritz
  • Best Parks for Outdoor Activities in the Swiss Alps
  • Ziplines/Adventure Parks Near the Swiss Alps
  • Mountain Bike Trails Near the Swiss Alps
  • FAQ

Hiking Trails Near Grindelwald

Grindelwald, located in the Bernese Oberland region, is surrounded by the iconic Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks and serves as a popular base for hiking, mountaineering, and outdoor adventures in the Swiss Alps. Some of the top hiking trails near Grindelwald include:

Eiger Trail

Length: 15.7 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 1,100 m

This stunning day hike takes you along the base of the mighty Eiger North Face and offers incredible views of Grindelwald valley, numerous mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and alpine meadows filled with wildflowers during warmer months.

Bachalpsee

Length: 10.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 950 m

This out and back trail leads you to the beautiful Bachalpsee – an idyllic turquoise alpine lake at 2265 m altitude, set against the backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers.

First Flyer

Length: 4.1 km
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Elevation gain: 700 m

This short but steep hike rewards you with amazing views over Grindelwald valley as you ascend via the First gondola lift and First Cliff Walk by Grindelwald.

Bussalp Panorama Trail

Length: 12.9 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 950 m

A longer day hike with rewarding alpine scenery, this trail takes you from Grindelwald Grund up to Bussalp. Along the way see waterfalls, glaciers, flowering meadows, old wooden barns, and panoramic mountain views.

[[Comparison Table for Hiking Trails Near Grindelwald]]

 

Trail Length Difficulty Elevation Gain Highlights
Eiger Trail 15.7 km Moderate 1,100 m Waterfalls, Eiger North Face views
Bachalpsee 10.2 km Moderate 950 m Turquoise alpine lake, glaciers
First Flyer 4.1 km Easy/Mod 700 m Cliff walks, views over Grindelwald valley
Bussalp Panorama 12.9 km Moderate 950 m Alpine meadows, waterfalls, glaciers, old mountain huts and villages

Hiking Trails Near Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen/Mürren

The area around Interlaken and the neighboring towns of Lauterbrunnen and Mürren offer incredible hiking among towering cliffs, roaring waterfalls, and views of the famous trio Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau mountain peaks. Top hiking trails include:

Schynige Platte Alpine Trail

Length: 6.5 km
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: Minimal

Ride the Schynige Platte railway up to 1967 m for this easy alpine hike with panoramic views of Interlaken, Thun lake, and the snow-capped Bernese Alps – great for families with younger kids or those who want an easy alpine hike.

Saxeten Waterfalls and Alpine Trail

Length: 10.4 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 700 m

Set out on foot or ride the cable car for this rewarding hike along cliff walk ways, over suspension bridges, and see five waterfalls including Saxeten’s highest free-falling waterfall. Finish at Mürren village.

North Face Trail

Length: 23 km
Difficulty: Difficult/Challenging
Elevation gain: 2,200 m

Considered one of the most stunning hut-to-hut hiking routes in the Swiss Alps, this challenging trek goes from Lauterbrunen valley floor to Eigergletscher Station at the foot of the Eiger North Face. Requires good fitness and sure-footedness. Allow 2 days minimum to complete.

Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Panorama Trail

Length: 11 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 300 m

Starting high at Männlichen mountain station, this rewarding ridge hike traverses along cliff edges and offers non-stop incredible views of the Jungfrau peaks, valleys and lakes below. Finish at Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass before taking the train to Grindelwald or back down to Lauterbrunen/Wengen village.

[[Comparison Table for Hiking Trails Near
Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen/Mürren]]

 

Trail Length Difficulty Elevation Gain Highlights
Schynige Platte Alpine Trail 6.5 km Easy Minimal Panoramic mountain views, good for families
Saxeten Waterfalls 10.4 km Moderate 700 m 5 waterfalls, Mürren village finish
North Face Trail 23 km Difficult 2,200 m Hut-to-hut, Eiger North Face up close
Männlichen Panorama Trail 11 km Moderate 300 m Ridge trail along cliffs with non-stop incredible mountain scenery

Hiking Trails Near Zermatt

Surrounded by iconic pyramid-shaped Alpine peaks like the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and Dom, Zermatt makes a perfect base for exploring some of Switzerland’s most beautiful high alpine hiking trails and scenery. Popular trails near Zermatt include:

5 Lakes Hike

Length: 16 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 400 m

This beautiful day hike combines mountain scenery and charm as you walk from lake to lake near the Gorner gorge, taking you through larch and pine forests interspersed with meadows and mountain huts – a great way to take in Alpine scenery without major elevation gains.

Europaweg – Mountaineering Path

Length: 11.7 km
Difficulty: Difficult/Demanding
Elevation gain: 1,836 m

Part trail, part alpine climbing route, this stunning path traverses across cliff faces and requires sure-footedness and lack of vertigo. Rewards include Matterhorn views and higher vantage points overlooking Zermatt valley and the iconic Gornergrat ridge. Allow plenty of time (7-8 hours) if completing the full distance.

Sunnegga to Schwarzsee Paradise Trail

Length: 8.1 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 462 m

Offering far-reaching views from Zermatt to the Mischabel Massif peaks, wooded trails and open mountain ridges – this hike from Sunnegga to Schwarzsee makes a varied and beautiful day hike suitable for fit hikers.

Edelweissweg High Altitude Trail

Length: 25 km
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation gain: 2,244 m

For experienced hikers willing to embark on a challenging but scenic multi-day hike, the Edelweissweg connects mountain huts and summits between Zermatt and Arolla. Expect high altitude exposure, glaciers, and rewarding panoramas of some of Switzerland’s most iconic 4000m peaks.

Comparison Table for Hiking Trails Near Zermatt

 

Trail Length Difficulty Elevation Gain Highlights
5 Lakes Hike 16 km Moderate 400 m Lake to lake hike, mountain huts
Europaweg 11.7 km Demanding 1,836 m Cliff traverse paths, Matterhorn views
Sunnegga to Schwarzsee 8.1 km Moderate 462 m Paradise hiking trail, Mischabel massif views
Edelweissweg 25 km Difficult 2,244 m Multi-day hike, high altitude, iconic 4000m peak panoramas

Hiking Trails Near St. Moritz

The scenic trails surrounding the glitzy resort town of St. Moritz offer hikers plenty of options to take in beautiful Alpine panoramas, emerald-colored lakes, flowering meadows, refreshing mountain streams, and charming Swiss villages. Popular hiking trails include:

Lej Marsch Hike to St. Moritz

Length: 18 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 1,100 m

Starting from the base of Diavolezza mountain station outside St. Moritz village, this rewarding day hike on good trails zigzags through larch forests, over alpine streams and flower meadows before finishing at St. Moritz Lake.

Muottas Muragl Panorama Trail

Length: 8.5 km
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation gain: 100 m

Reached by funicular railway, this incredibly scenic balcony trail contours around mountainsides overlooking turquoise lakes and offers spectacular views from Piz Julier mountain and across to Piz Bernina – one of the area’s most spectacular easy hikes.

Alp Languard Hiking Trail

Length: 13 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 950 m

Starting from Piz Nair mountain station, this rewarding ridge hike traverses along an ancient path used for mountain crossings, boasting fantastic high mountain scenery all the way to the quaint village of Bever.

Piz Ot Hike and Via Ferrata

Length: 19 km
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation gain: 1,411 m

A challenging day out for via ferrata enthusiasts and mountaineers – ride the Corvatsch Funicular to access high altitude hiking trails to Piz Ot summit at 3,708 m. Continue along sections of via ferrata (secured climbing route with fixed cables and ladders) back down offering exposure and incredible views. Advanced skills and proper gear required.

Comparison Table for Hiking Trails Near St. Moritz

 

Trail Length Difficulty Elevation Gain Highlights
Lej Marsch to St. Moritz 18 km Moderate 1,100 m Flower meadows, streams, St Moritz Lake finish
Muottas Muragl 8.5 km Easy/Mod 100 m Panoramic balcony trail, Piz Bernina views
Alp Languard 13 km Moderate 950 m Ancient mountain crossing path, village finish
Piz Ot 19 km Difficult 1,411 m Summit hike & via ferrata back down, advanced skills/gear needed

Best Parks for Outdoor Activities in the Swiss Alps

The natural playground provided by the Swiss Alps lends itself perfectly to mountain adventure sports and thrill-seeking activities. Many mountain destinations offer incredible outdoor activity parks where visitors can enjoy ziplining through pine forests, mountain carting, climbing adventures, and more. Some of the top adventure activity parks and slopes near classic Swiss Alps resort towns include:

Jungfrau Park near Interlaken

At the foot of stunning Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, Jungfrau Park offers family-friendly adventures like zip lines, rope courses, giant swings and slides. Mountain cart downhill tracks with banked curves give incredible views of the imposing north faces.

Glacier 3000 Near Gstaad

Accessed by scenic cable car from Col des Mosses, Glacier 3000 is home to Europe’s highest rope park and longest Alpine Coaster mountain cart track at 5 km, with sweeping valley views along the way as you zip along to Scex Rouge at 2,950 m elevation.

Swissalpline Outdoor Park near Grindelwald

Just a 5 minute walk from Männlichen cable car station, experience thrills like the gravity-propelled 1.2 km long zip line ride 500 vertical meters back to Grindelwald, along with adventure trails and pendulums overlooking the North Face climbing cliffs and Lower Grindelwald Glacier.

Action Park Sommerrodelbahn Obristhöhe near Lauterbrunnen

The Obristhöhe mountain area boasts Switzerland’s steepest summer toboggan/mountain cart run with a gradient up to 60% incline – reach speeds up to 40 km/hr as you descend 1,300 vertical meters back to Stechelberg village with beautiful views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley along the way.

Comparison Table for Outdoor Activity Parks Near Swiss Alps Resorts

 

Park Location Activities
Jungfrau Park Interlaken Zip lines, rope courses, swings, mountain cart track with Eiger North Face views
Glacier 3000 Near Gstaad Europe’s highest rope park, 5 km mountain coaster ride with valley views
Swissalpline Outdoor Park Grindelwald 500 m vertical zip line ride, adventure trails and pendulums over Lower Grindelwald Glacier
Action Park Sommerrodelbahn Lauterbrunnen Switzerland’s steepest summer toboggan run (60% incline) back down to Stechelberg

Ziplines and Adventure Parks near the Swiss Alps

Several mountain destinations around classic Swiss Alps resort towns boast incredible adventure parks with ziplining, rope courses, climbing walls and Alpine Coasters to get your adrenaline pumping. Some top ziplines and adventure parks near Swiss Alps resorts include:

Peak Walk by Tissot at Glacier 3000 near Gstaad

Highlights: Suspension bridge experience including 107 m long walkway bridge with minimal side railings. Feel like you’re walking on air with nothing but 3000 m drop underneath. 12 m long Liberty Swing ring also challenges you to swing over the gorge. Fantastic views of 24 Alpine 4000m peaks surrounding the area.

Location: Access from Col des Mosses cable car.

First Cliff Walk by Grindelwald

Highlights: Dramatic glass and steel walkways cling to vertical cliffside with 1000 m drop below, overlooking the towering Eiger North Face and Lower Grindelwald Glacier.

Location: Access from Grindelwald Grund gondola station.

Canyon Swing at Swissalpline Outdoor Park near Grindelwald

Highlights: Free fall 55 meters before giant pendulum ride swings you up 180 degrees upside down across the canyon at speeds over 120 km/hr, with views of Eiger peaks above. Must be 48 kg minimum to ride.

Location: Access from Männlichen cable car station.

Comparison Table for Ziplines/Adventure Parks in Swiss Alps

 

Park Highlights Location
Peak Walk by Tissot Suspension bridge, swing over 3000 m cliff face drop, 24 Alpine 4000 m peak viewing platform Glacier 3000
First Cliff Walk Vertical 1000 m cliffside traversing, glass walkways, views of Eiger North Face Grindelwald
Canyon Swing 55 m free fall and 180 degree upside down 120 km/hr swing over canyon, views of Eiger above Grindelwald/Männlichen area

Mountain Bike Trails near the Swiss Alps

Boasting scenic Alpine singletrack trails ranging from flowing cross-country routes to technical downhill tracks, mountain bikers are spoiled for choice when it comes to mountain biking in the Swiss Alps. Some top mountain biking areas near classic Swiss resort towns include:

Lenzerheide Bike Park near Chur

With over 45 km of varied downhill runs and fun flow trails descending 1500 vertical meters backed by scenic grey stone peaks, Lenzerheide Bike Park caters to downhill enthusiasts as well as cross-country riders. Trails range from easy blue cruisers to double black expert lines. Bike rentals and protective gear available on-site.

Location: Access via Rothorn cableway above village of Lenzerheide.

Kander Bike Val Ferret Park near Verbier

Just over an hour’s drive from Verbier, this bike park located in the Italian speaking Swiss-Italian Alps near the Mont Blanc tunnel features varied singletrack from green to black-level downhill runs descending 1300 m over 15 km of trails, plus dirt jumps, wallrides and slacklines. Breathtaking views of Mont Blanc massif.

Location: Access from Le Châble télécabine.

Crans-Montana Bike Park

With over 120 km of fat tire friendly trails ranging from gentle glacial valleys to heart-pumping vertical descents, this huge trail network spans three different areas best accessed via the Cry d’Er cable car above the posh resort area of Crans-Montana. Amazing views of the Rhône valley and Matterhorn.

Location: Access from Crans or Cry d’Er cable cars.

Comparison Table for Mountain Bike Parks Near Swiss Alps

 

Bike Park Location Trail Highlights
Lenzerheide Bike Park Near Chur 45+ km trails, 1500 m vertical descent, downhill & cross country routes
Kander Bike Val Ferret Near Verbier 15+ km singletrack, 1300 m descent, flowy and technical downhill runs, wallrides + dirt jumps with Mont Blanc views
Crans-Montana Bike Park Rhône Valley 120+ km trails, gentle valley & hardcore vertical descents, Matterhorn views from high alpine ridges

FAQ

What is the best season for hiking in the Swiss Alps?

The best hiking months in the Swiss Alps are generally from June to September when snow has melted on most lower to mid-altitude trails. July-August offers the most consistently good weather for hikes, though these peak summer months can also be quite crowded on popular routes.

For higher altitude multi-day hut-to-hut treks, mid summer timing is best to avoid residual snow/ice on passes. Unless properly equipped with technical gear like crampons and ice axes, do not attempt exposed high ridge routes outside peak summer months.

Are hiking trails well marked in Switzerland?

Yes, in general hiking trails and routes are very well marked in Switzerland making navigation quite easy for tourists. Signposts and waymarkers with destinations + times are posted frequently at trail junctions. Trails may be marked by:

  • Painted red/white bands on rocks/trees
  • Yellow signposts
  • Waymarker pointers

Some cliffside trails may have fixed cables as added safety precaution on exposed sections. Always exercise caution and turn around if unsure of the route ahead.

How strenuous are Swiss Alps hiking routes?

The level of difficulty on mountain hiking trails can range tremendously based on steepness of the route and total elevation gains. While generally very well maintained, trails rated as ‘easy’ can still be quite steep and tiring for casual hikers unused to mountain elevations and terrain.

Be conservative in estimating your fitness level and hike duration times. Trail ratings can be quite subjective. Start with easier shorter routes to gauge your abilities before attempting long or difficult graded alpine routes, which also tend to be at higher elevations with increased risk exposure if weather turns hazardous.

Are dogs allowed on hiking trails in Switzerland?

Dogs are allowed on a majority of trails in Switzerland but may be prohibited in protected wildlife areas or on certain cliffside cable route trails deemed dangerous. Dogs should be kept on a lead at all times both for safety and to avoid disturbing grazing livestock like cows commonly found on Alpine meadow paths. Owners must clean up after their dogs as well.

Check individual trail regulations in advance if planning to hike with a dog. Consider if your pet has the required fitness and training for steep mountain route terrain that can be challenging even for humans!

We hope this guide gives you plenty of hiking inspiration and helpful tips on the many incredible trails found across the majestic Swiss Alps region. With towering peaks, refreshing streams and waterfalls, scenic lakes, and charming mountain huts along the way – a hiking adventure in the Swiss Alps promises magnificent Alpine scenery certain to impress. Check specific trail opening dates, weather conditions, duration timing needs and map routes well in advance to make the most of your hiking holiday.

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