I've been hiking all over the world, and this one is a clear favorite. The dramatic topography, the wildflowers, the mountain views, and the lack of crowds (it's a bit hard to get here) make for an incredible hike if you're lucky enough to get a sunny summer day.
Features: Views — Wildflowers
Family Friendly: Rocks to climb, exciting ridges, up close and personal cows, and a wealth of beauty everyone should experience.
It is possible to hike up to Schynige Platte, but virtually everyone takes the historic cog train from Wilderswil. Save your legs for the vastly superior trails up high. The train is slow and doesn't run very often (it's a fascinating museum piece by itself!), so pay attention to the schedule, and don't miss the last one of the day!
From the train station, head through the restaurant (which seems a little weird), and turn up towards Aussichtspunkt Daube. It's easy at first but has a serious set of switchbacks near the top. The 360-degree views are excellent: all of the high peaks, parts of Interlaken, and of course Lakes Brienze and Thune.
From the Daube overlook, take the exciting trail right on the Schynige Platte ridge, with amazing views of the lakes nearly 5,000 feet below. Turn the other way and admire the high peaks of the Jungfrau 6,000 feet above. In case that's not enough, this is the alpine wildflower capital of Europe, and they're spread out all around you.
Reach the Oberberghorn, and take the optional trail up to the top - though you could bypass it, consider it mandatory! Take the steps, climb through a tunnel, and emerge at one of the finest viewpoints in Europe. Relative to many of the other places around here, it's not crowded at all, and you might even have it to yourself. Back on the main trail, continue along more spectacular ridge trail to the Laucherhorn. You reach a promontory with good views of the imposing Faulhorn.
It is worth going off trail a bit here (in front of the Laucherhorn) to a rocky outcrop that will make you feel like the "king of the hill."
Turn around here and backtrack a short distance to the Berghotel to Loucherhorn
Trail. Unlike the Panoramaweg Louchernhorn
, this trail is nested in a miniature hanging valley high up on Schynige Platte. There are working pastures, hummocks of bright green grass, more wildflowers that you thought possible, and perfectly framed views of the Jungfrau peaks.
Save some time at the end to visit the Alpengarden Botanical Garden
Be sure to read about the Schynige Platte train before or after your journey - an incredible engineering feat!