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