Calling all adrenaline junkies! The Gelmer Funicular located in the Haslital region of Switzerland is the 2nd steepest in Europe!
What It’s Really Like to Ride the Gelmer Funicular
The Gelmer Funicular is the steepest funicular railway in Europe! It starts off gradually but within minutes you find yourself seated not just perpendicular to the earth below you, but actually overhanging it at 106°! Going down is even more exciting on this funicular railway!
I’m not afraid of heights and even I screeched out YIKES a couple of times!
The kids that were on it at the same time as I was also loved it. I loved it!
You know that feeling when you’re at the top of a rollercoaster just before it goes down? It’s like that. But on steroids.
The track rise 448 m(1470 ft) and is 1028 m (3373 ft) long. If you love that feeling, then you’ll love the Gelmer Funicular. The panoramic views are just incredible up top.
If you’re afraid of heights or hate that sinking feeling in your stomach that something BIG is about to happen, this hair-raising ride is not the adventure for you.
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Check out this video that shows you what it’s really like:
History of the Gelmer Funicular
It was built in 1926. Not as an attraction for adventure tourists but to aid in the construction of Gelmer Lake. It’s a reservoir built for hydroelectric power. It wasn’t even open to the public until 2001.
Now Gelmer Lake is a popular hike (see below). Gelmer Funicular is owned and operated by Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG (KWO), the owners of the power station.
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Hiking Around Gelmer Lake
Once you get to the top with the Gelmer Funicular, you reach the beautiful Gelmer Lake. The majestic views reminded me of why I went on this trip despite my fears of death by falling from heights.
We walked around the lake which takes less than 2 hours. While it is relatively flat, there are a few sections in which you walk across a narrow cliff above the lake. Thankfully, there was plenty of time to take in all the incredible views and take photographs.
I love this kind of stuff, and it’s totally safe – there are cables, but you should be forewarned if that’s not your cup of tea.
Hiking Gelmer Lake Tip: If you’re afraid of heights, walk around the lake clockwise. You can get about halfway before reaching one of these spots. Then you can go back the same way.
If you go counter-clockwise you will encounter a tunnel and steep ledge within a few minutes (pictured below).
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The Hike to Gelmer Hut
If you’re searching for a longer hike, go to Gelmer Hut. It’s a steep ascent that takes ~ 2 1/2 hours from the lake. We just hiked around the lake since we were short on time. But I have no doubt the sensational views would be well worth it. You’d get an eagle-eye view of all the surrounding glaciers.
The Haslital Region is not as well-known in Switzerland as other regions like the Jungfrau. However, don’t let that stop you from thinking that it’s any less spectacular. I truly enjoyed it. My only mistake was only spending a day there!
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Where is the Gelmer Funicular?
If you’re driving, put the following address in your navigation system: 3864 Guttannen, Switzerland.
While it’s more convenient to reach it by car, the Handegg bus stop is located at the entrance.
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Know Before You Ride the Gelmer Funicular and Hike Lake Gelmer:
- Return tickets are CHF 32 for adults.
- Tickets can be purchased on the spot or one day in advance at the Tourist Center Grimseltor in Innertkirchen.
- The funicular runs from June – October (check the site for exact dates).
- The funicular may be closed due to poor weather.
- While you’re there also walk over the Handeck Suspension Bridge for a beautiful view of a waterfall.
- The Hotel and Natur Resort Handeck is just a few minutes walk from the entrance and makes a convenient place to reach the Funicular. It’s great if you’re looking for a mountain escape with an alpine garden. It also has an outdoor heated pool.
- See other attractions in the area.
Where to Stay Close to the Gelmer Funicular
You can see hotels and vacation rentals that are close to the Gelmer Funicular on the map below:
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If you love adventure, you’ll love a ride on the Gelmer Funicular. Are you brave enough?
Note: Thank you to the Haslital Region for making my visit possible. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.