Hiking the Bernese Oberland: Lauterbrunnen to Wilderswil

by Gigi Griffis

Here in the Swiss Alps, winter is slowly fading into spring. The snow is melting. The waterfalls are heavy and beautiful with glacial melt. And the rain has slowly turned the valley floor from muddy brown to bright, vibrant green.

And, so, it makes sense that the year’s hiking adventures have begun—with a hike from Lauterbrunnen to Wilderswil along the valley floor.

The hike begins at the Lauterbrunnen train station, takes you through Zweilutschinen, and takes about two hours to complete.

To follow in my footsteps, simply walk to the large, wooden pizzeria next to the train station, pass behind it to the left, walk down the stairs, take a left at the road, and then take another left to follow the signs toward Zweilutschinen and Wilderswil. When you see a gravel path, usually surrounded by green and flowers, you’ll know you’re in the right place.


Luna photobomb

Follow the gravel path through the flowers and down toward the water.


When the road forks at the river, take the left path.

stump in the forest

Keep following the path with the river on your left and forested slope on your right.


Eventually, you’ll pass into the forest and see a waterfall (or several) to your left.

the road forks

When the road forks, take the left path.


When you come to this gravelly stretch of river, you’re nearly at the Zweilutschinen train station (where, if you’re tired, you can catch a train).

view along the trail

This is where you can find some of my favorite views of the whole hike.


Cross the road and walk toward the train station. You’re now in Zweilutschinen.


Walk past the train station and up to the old wooden building ahead. Then turn right to walk over the train tracks.


Turn left again once you are across the train tracks and walk over the bridge to keep following the trail to Wilderswil.


Continue following the path as it turns into a road through one of the charming, small towns in the region.

The views to your left


The views to your left might just take your breath away.

Big house

When you come to the big house with green shutters, follow the left fork in the road.

Signpost to wilderswil

As you walk along the road, you’ll notice a signpost on the right. Here, you can either follow the signpost to the right or continue following the road. Both lead to Wilderswil.

In this instance (and most others, mostly because I usually miss the signpost), I followed the road.

View of wilderswil

As you follow the road, you’ll see Wilderswil spread out below and to the left.


When you come to the old, pretty church tower, you have reached Wilderswil (and are only a few minutes from the train station). Take a left to walk across a covered bridge.


Once you reach the cobblestones, keep left and you’ll end up at the train station.

Total walking time: about two hours.
Difficulty: easy.

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Rebecca May 15, 2014 - 9:25 am

Awesome pictures and great views! Now I gotta go to Switzerland and go hiking absolutely beautiful. Thanks.
Enjoy more hikes and more shouts of F**K Ya!

Gigi May 16, 2014 - 3:46 am


Anita May 15, 2014 - 11:18 am

I’m Swiss native living in California wishing I was hiking in your boots; following your footsteps makes me homesick for places I have never known but nostalgic familiar with. Thank you for this essay and others alike. I want to go home now.

gigigriffis May 16, 2014 - 3:48 am

Oh, I’m so glad!

Ali May 17, 2014 - 6:23 am

Those mountains are just gorgeous! I love being able to see snow-capped mountains when it’s warm. Also, that last picture of Luna is just adorable! (Well, they all are, but that’s my favorite.)

gigigriffis May 17, 2014 - 8:22 am

She’s so photogenic. :) (Just kidding; she barely stands still for any of my photos. The only way I get a good one is by taking 1000.)

Helen G. Dickerson May 18, 2014 - 2:12 am

Oh Switzerland my favorite! You have such a great photos. Switzerland has gorgeous mountains to hike and enjoy.

gigigriffis May 18, 2014 - 6:02 am


Swissrose May 21, 2014 - 5:02 am

Aw, it feels like Alina and I should have hopped down on the train to join you :)

gigigriffis May 21, 2014 - 8:36 am


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