The hike to Bachalpsee and the Faulhorn located in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland has it all. Mountain Lake? Check. Glaciers? Check. Majestic peaks? Check! Wildflowers? Check!
It is breathtakingly beautiful and that’s high praise coming from someone who grew up in the Canadian Rockies.
Getting to The Bachalpsee
Unlike the Canadian Rockies though were gondolas are few and far between, we took a gondola directly from Grindelwald where we were staying up to the First (2168m). From there it’s a nice leisurely hike up to the Bachalpsee, a gorgeous blue-green lake that pops next to the bright green grass surrounding it. This is a relatively easy hike and only ~100m of elevation gain. Anyone who is reasonably fit could do it.
Related Reading: Tour du Mont Blanc: How to Plan for this Epic Adventure.
At this point, you could turn around, or continue on as we did to the Faulhorn, a mountain in the Bernese Alps between Lake Brienz and the Bachalpsee (lake). It’s a bit steeper – you’ll be gaining ~400m of elevation gain but nothing too strenuous, although you likely will be huffing and puffing a bit.
The Top of the Hike
When you reach the top you’re almost eye-level with the glaciers across the valley. Below you are the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz. That should be enough motivation in itself, but just in case it’s not, the Berghotel Faulhorn (mountain hotel) is there and yes they serve lunch! I personally recommend the Rösti, a Swiss potato dish. Fair warning though, cheap it’s not, as all food and supplies arrive by helicopter. Two Rösti dishes and two drinks cost us the equivalent of €50!
Related Reading: The Best Things to Do in Geneva When You Only Have a Day.
You could head back the same way, but we choose to head down to the Bussalp. It’s a steep descent but the mountains are covered in wildflowers! I was so impressed, I dedicated a whole post to the wildflowers of the Junfrau, but here’s a sneak peek:
From the Bussalp, you can stop for a bit to eat, then either continue on to Grindelwald by foot, ~ 90 minutes – 2-hour descent, or take a bus. If you do take the bus, be forewarned, it costs ~€20 per person! If you don’t think you want to walk all the way down from the Faulhorn to Grindelwald, then I would recommend returning the same way you came from the Faulhorn to the First, since a return trip with the gondola works out to be much cheaper than a one-way gondola ride and a one-way bus trip.
Related Reading: Gelmer Funicular, The Steepest in the World: Adventure Junkies Only
My only regret is not spending more time in the Jungrau region. Judging by the number of peaks surrounding Grindelwald, you could easily spend a week or two there and not run out of hiking trails! I guess that just means I’ll have to come back!
I also recommend hiking to Gelmer Lake in the Haslital Region, about an hour away from Grindelwald. Getting there is half the fun as the Gelmer Funicular is the steepest in Europe!
Where To Stay in Grindelwald
Hotel Cabana is a cosy, family-run hotel with modern facilities in the centre of Grindelwald. Some of the rooms and studios offer views of the Eiger and the Grindelwald valley. The hotel offers a garden with deck chairs, a playground, sauna ad a gym.
Sunstar Hotel & SPA Grindelwald is centrally located and offers panoramic views of the famous North Face of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. The hotel offers a great restaurant as well as large and comfortable bedrooms that are well furnished. The lobby has an open fireplace and guests can use take advantage of the Wellness Oasis that offers a large swimming pool, log cabin sauna, Roman baths and massage showers.
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa is located 15km away from Grindelwald in Interlaken between 2 beautiful lakes at the foot of the Jungfrau. The hotel offers a Spa equipped with a pool, sauna and steam room. There is also a fitness centre and health coaching is offered. The rooms are elegant and range from classic to contemporary. Guests can take advantage of the massive garden area and an excellent restaurant.
The hike up the Bachalpsee and the Faulhorn is one that you definitely need to try at least once if you love hiking as much as I do.
Note: Thank you to the Jungfrau region for making my visit possible. All opinions expressed are my own.