Snowshoeing in Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps

The snow-covered main street into Grindelwald

The snow covered main street into Grindelwald

The Schwarzhorn peak above Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps is a great place for snowshoeing. Grindelwald itself is a short train ride from Interlaken which is major destination for visiting travellers. In summer and winter, the villages of the Jungfrau region draw people in to see the iconic peaks of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. There are four charming villages, Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren and Lauterbrunnen.

Grindelwald is a 30 minutes train ride from Interlaken and only an hour and half from Bern so it’s a great access point to enjoy the Schwarzhorn and other famous peaks.

Forest Trail above Grindelwald

Forest Trail above Grindelwald

For me, one of the best places to enjoy these peaks and get the best view of them is from Grindelwald First. That’s the name given to the ski area above Grindelwald and it’s often overlooked by skiers who head for the slopes above Wengen. For snowshoers, Grindelwald First has a lot to offer with a high-speed lift taking them high up on the mountain with trails that meander down the mountain back to the village again.

Up on Grindelwald First, the Jungfrau Massif over the valley

Up on Grindelwald First, the Jungfrau Massif over the valley

The cable car on Grindelwald First is known as the Firstbahn and starts from the centre of town just a few minutes walk from the rail station. That takes us all the way up to the restaurant at First itself which is great chance to catch our breath and enjoy a coffee with their excellent pastries while taking in the breathtaking views over Grindelwald to the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger

The restaurant and highest cable car station at Grindelwald First

The restaurant and highest cable car station at Grindelwald First

There’s a few marked trails on Grindewald First. However, like me and my group of English Outdoor Education students, you can break trail over pristine higher slopes and down through the forest. Obviously, this option isn’t on marked or secured trails and my group are all equipped with avalanche safety equipment which we’ve to practiced with.

Lichen covered summer farm

Lichen covered summer farm

Generally my plan is to make our “off trail” routes to cross the marked trails just around where there are mountain huts serving hot drinks and food! There’s quite a few of these dotted around the mountain and one of favourites is the Berggasthaus Waldspitz with amazing views, great food and excellent service, they serve snacks, full meals, local specialties and it’s a great spot to just enjoy a well-earned drink.

photo : Berggasthaus Waldspitz

photo : Berggasthaus Waldspitz

a less traveled trail in the forest above Grindelwald

A less travelled trail in the forest above Grindelwald

"First" time - a group of British students trying snowshoeing

“First” time – a group of British students trying snowshoeing

This is one of many fine snowshoe routes near Grindelwald and one of many possibilities in the Jungfrau region. The great Swiss transport system runs between the villages of Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren and Lauterbrunnen which makes them all pretty to reach from each other and it’s a short trip to Interlaken or even Bern.

Grindelwald itself is a nice place to stay, the pretty village has a great selection of bars,restaurants for the evening, some really great cake, and coffee shops for a well deserved snack at the end of the day.

the less exciting part of being a snowshoe guide, clearing up the gear!

The less exciting part of being a snowshoe guide, clearing up the gear!

About the author

Ian Spare

Ian is a UK Mountain Leader and an International Mountain Leader (IML). He runs SwissMountainLeader and in winter he's a snowshoe guide in the Swiss Alps and runs trips from Chalet L'Epicea his own B&B in Leysin

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  • How does one go about organizing a snow shoe hike in the Interlarken, Lauterbrunnen region over December this year?

    • Hi Karen,

      That’s a great question! Are you looking to book a snowshoeing tour while in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen? The author is actually a snowshoe guide for the Swiss Alps and has several tours offered through his site, Swiss Mountain Leader. The contact info is If you’re not looking for a tour, please let us know and we can help you find the info you’re looking for 🙂 Thanks for your interest in our article!

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