Last Updated on 09/03/2023
Lauterbrunnen valley waterfalls hike is for me more interesting und must to do as train to “Top of Europe”. In this post we go through “thundering streams” of Lauterbrunnen valley, climb with cable car to Mürren and fascinate incredible views of the Jungfrau mountain range.
Lauterbrunnen valley waterfalls
The train from Interlaken splits: one half goes to one valley, the other to the other. In the previous post, we turned left to Grindelwald. Now let’s go right to Lauterbrunnen.
Lauterbrunnen is known in documents since 1240. It got its name, “thundering streams”, from 72 waterfalls located in the valley. According to some sources, this valley is the deepest in the world, U-shaped. I must say that the steep walls with regularly occurring large and small waterfalls are really impressive.
A circular route is highly recommended: through two commonly visited waterfalls, Stechelberg, Mürren and Grütschalp (points 1,2,3, 5, 7). Which way is it better to go first, through the top or the bottom? Since there are stunning views of the Jungfrau from above, it is better to first walk along the valley, letting the sun go to the side. From Murren we look to the east, south and southeast. That is, the views are better in the afternoon when the sun goes southwest and west.
A Lauterbrunnen waterfalls hike will take at least an hour and a half of pure walking, plus a visit to the falls. If you are pressed for time, you can take a bus.
The Staubbachfall was a source of inspiration for Goethe (Song of the Spirits over the Waters), although its name is not the most inspiring – the “dusting” waterfall. Water, flying almost 300 m in one jump, breaks into thousands of drops by the end of the path, which is why mist hangs in the air. This is the second highest waterfall in Switzerland.
Unfortunately, at the end of summer, it does not produce the desired stunning effect. There is not enough water. The best time to visit the waterfall (and the entire valley) is the beginning of the summer season.
There is a gallery at the foot of the waterfall. You can climb to it (open in June – October). Just be prepared to get a little wet.
Trümmelbach Waterfall – waterfall inside mountain
The walk to the next Trümmelbachfälle waterfall is quite pleasant – without too many ascents, with wonderful views. Here and there waterfalls of different sizes are visible.
But you will not notice Trümmelbach Falls even when you come very close. It is completely hidden in a deep cleft.
The cascade of 10 waterfalls of the Trümmelbach River is the only one that collects water from the mighty glaciers of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch. It passes through 20,200 tons of water and everything that has melted with it. Up to 20 thousand liters passes by the viewer per second.
This waterfall inside mountain is unique in Europe and is included in the UNESCO list.
After passing through the ticket office, visitors rise to about the middle of the waterfall by elevator. Further – on foot along the stairs. It is recommended to dress warmly and have good shoes. The stairs and walkways are wet. The cascades inside the rocks are highlighted.
Part of the gorge from Trummelbach to Stechelberg can be skip by taking a bus.
The only thing that gets on your nerves while walking along the gorge is the extreme sportlers. The first time we did not understand what had happened. There was a sharp bang and a paraglider fell three steps away from us. My thought that he only opened his parachute near the ground seemed wild and was rejected. We decided that we just hadn’t noticed him.
After Trummelbach, history repeated itself. Another bang and two paragliders sit down on a distant lawn. At this point I decide to achieve the truth. Five minutes of waiting, and I see a small dot rapidly falling. It falls for so long that the assumption “Is this a bird ?!” arises, which was immediately refuted. The paraglider opened with a pop and the man almost immediately sat down on the lawn. It was not possible to continue walking when people were falling from a cliff by. And we waited until the whole mad company reached the ground. From the Internet it turned out that extreme jumpers love to dye in this valley, and 60 people (2020) have already died. The authorities are considering banning this “sport” in Lauterbrunnen.
The end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, behind Stechelberg, belongs to the UNESCO-listed Jungfrau-Aletsch area. If possible, we recommend going to another very beautiful waterfall Schmadri (Schmadribachfall, point 4 on the map). The waterfall is now little visited, but meanwhile, it is one of the most powerful and in former times no less famous than Staubbach waterfalls. The walk will take about 3 hours. To shorten the road, you can drive up to the final bus stop.
In Stechelberg we take the cable car to Mürren. Some maps show two cable cars. One goes directly to Murren, the other with a transfer. The one that goes directly is a cargo cable car that does not lift people.
We begin to climb. From there we came.
And those lucky ones who have time to walk to the Schmandri waterfall will go there.
Not far from Gimmelwald middle station you can see a narrow bridge over a deep crevice. This is the so-called via ferrata. In the Alps, in different places there are via ferratas of different difficulty levels. For example, in Meiringen and Engelberg. It is a prepared safe road along the cliff, with a bridge and one tyrolienne – something in between a normal mountain trail and rock climbing.
Anyone can use it (except Tyrolienne, which is only with a guide). Only I think that harnesses, carbines and helmets are needed. They can be obtained with a guide from the tourist office.
From Mürren the cable car goes further to Schilthorn.
It is a steep mountain (2970 m) with a small observation deck and a spinning restaurant. All this was created for the shooting of the Bond film “In the Service of Her Majesty”. And Bond regularly returns the money spent on its creation. Parts of the film are shown in the cinema. The restaurant serves breakfast a la Bond. Apart from Bond, the main entertainment is the panoramic view.
Mürren himself is a small village, located on the edge of the cliff. Three streets and a few lanes, a sports center, a cable car to Schilthorn at one end. A railway to Grütschalp at the other. A funicular to Allmendhubel in the middle.
At the beginning of the village, Jungfrau and Mönch are not very visible.
The best views are from above or closer to the railway to Grütschalp. In the hotel-restaurant Edelweiss, almost at the railway station, you can dine on the terrace above the abyss itself. The view is amazing, the food is normal, the prices are tolerable. Several restaurants have such terraces. Do not be lazy, search, do not eat in the first place you see.
From Murren to Grütschalp there is a railway that looks more like an old tram. He goes mainly among the trees, occasionally there are views of the mountains. Taking advantage of the slowness of tourists, you can have time to shoot from the terrace of the terminal station and catch the cable car down. Apart from the view, there is nothing special there.
Jungfrau on the right, Mönch on the left, station in the middle.
The Mürren-Grütschalp-Lauterbrunnen hiking trail runs parallel and often next to the tram (2 hours 30 minutes). Since she goes in the same trees, there is no particular sense to go the entire route. But you can go down from Grütschalp. There is along the way another not very large, but not very small waterfall.
Wengen is located above Lauterbrunnen, but on the opposite slope from Mürren. Trains go through Wengen to Kleiner Scheidegg and Jungfrau. There is also a cable car to Männlichen. From Männlichen you can follow the panoramic trail to Kleiner Scheidegg. Or you can go down to Grindelwald, on another cable car.