Hiking to Bachalpsee and the Faulhorn: Everything You Need to Know

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!

Bachalpsee (lake), reached from taking the gondola from Grindelwald and then an easy hike.
Bachalpsee (lake), reached from taking the gondola from Grindelwald and then an easy hike.

It is breathtakingly beautiful and that’s high praise coming from someone who grew up in the Canadian Rockies.

Ascending past the Bachalpsee up to the Faulhorn among grass and wild flower covered mountains.
Ascending past the Bachalpsee up to the Faulhorn among grass and wild flower covered mountains.

Unlike the Canadian Rockies though were gondolas are few and far between, we took a gondola directly from Grindelwald were 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.

Views overlooking the Bachalpsee (lake) en route to the Faulhorn.
Views overlooking the Bachalpsee (lake) en route to the Faulhorn.

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 ascent to the Faulhorn is a well marked hiking trail with some elevation, but never too steep when you're ascending from the First Gondola.
The ascent to the Faulhorn is a well-marked hiking trail with some elevation, but never too steep when you’re ascending from the First Gondola.

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.

View of Lake Brienz from the Faulhorn Summit in the Bernese Alps.
View of Lake Brienz from the Faulhorn Summit in the Bernese Alps.
Glacier views from near the summit of the Faulhorn in Swizterland.
Glacier views from near the summit of the Faulhorn.

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 wild flowers!  I was so impressed, I dedicated a whole post to the wild flowers of the Junfrau, but here’s a sneak peek:

Mountain wildflowers seen descending from the Faulhorn to the Bussalp in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland.
Mountain wildflowers seen descending from the Faulhorn to the Bussalp in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland.

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

Cows and glaciers...only in Switzerland!
Cows and glaciers…only in Switzerland!

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!

Hiking Map:

Hiking map from the First Gondola to the Bachalpsee to the Faulhorn, down to the Bussalp, then back to Grindelwald.
Hiking map from the First Gondola to the Bachalpsee to the Faulhorn, down to the Bussalp, then back to Grindelwald.

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!

Note: Thank you to the Jungfrau region for making my visit possible.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Enjoyed this content? Please share:

9 thoughts on “Hiking to Bachalpsee and the Faulhorn: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Photos Looks absolutely amazing. I visited a similar place in South India last year. Thanks for this interesting article. 😀

  2. I was there in winter (it was barely undoable to hike up to Faulhorn, untrained as I was). I read there was a lake, but I couldn’t remember. Googling it I found your site and I noticed I had almost the same picture, but without the lake! 🙂 I uploaded it here: https://imgur.com/a/nsVUY

    • @Peter – Oh wow, that looks totally different than when I was there in summer. Very gorgeous, but hiking in snow is definitely a lot harder than hiking in summer 🙂

  3. Hello !
    Your post is very helpful and I appreciate it.
    Did you have to book the tram from Grindwald in advance or could you just show up ?
    Maybe I missed it but did you mention how long this all took you. Assuming you gave yourself most of the morning and day .

    Thank you !

    • Hi Vanita – Glad to hear it. We just showed up for the tram. We set out in the morning and returned in the afternoon. I can’t remember exactly how long it took, but there are options to take a bus part way down, or you could return the same way after reaching the Faulhorn and take the tram as well. Enjoy! It’s a gorgeous hike!

Leave a comment

shares