Home > Tourist Guide > Table of contents > Bernese Oberland > Jungfrau > Grindelwald > Around Grindelwald
The possibilities for exploring the area are endless. The area around First (2168m) has some particularly lovely hiking trails (example for skiing): the gondola rises in three stages, and from the top relatively easy routes lead off in all directions – to the Schwarzhorn summit (3hr) passing through Schilt, renowned for its population of marmots; on a high-level route over the Grosse Scheidegg pass (2hr or so); back down to Grindelwald (2hr 30min); or, best of all, on a breathtakingly expansive ridge-top walk to the gorgeous Bachsee lake and on to the Faulhorn summit (2hr 30min) with its atmospheric Berghaus (033/853 27 13, fax 853 10 25; Fr.34); the stunning sunset and sunrise views from here are one of the high points of a walking tour of Switzerland. Schynige Platte is about the same distance again further on.
The cable-car up to Pfingstegg and the little café at the top station with its giant views, make for a pleasant excursion for non-athletic types; an interesting trail leads for a little over an hour from Pfingstegg through varying geological formations on the slopes of the Mettenberg (the Breitlouwina terrace is celebrated for its evidence of glacial action), to the Oberergletscher, from where an easy valley-floor hour’s stroll brings you back into Grindelwald.
Grund station is the start for several fine walks, including a two-hour ramble up the sloping pastureland through Brandegg to Alpiglen, a stop on the Kleine Scheidegg train line (this can help cut costs if you’re aiming for the Jungfraujoch). The gorgeous five-hour trail from Grund beneath the gondola up to Männlichen brings you through meadows and rolling open countryside, with the towering Eiger a constant presence. From Grund, if you cross the river and head southeast for a few minutes, you’ll come to the Gletscherschlucht (Glacier gorge; May–Oct daily 9am–6pm; Fr.5), catwalks leading you for 1km or more into a narrow defile above the Lütschine river, with evidence of glacial erosion everywhere, including polished valley walls, corkscrew potholes and lumps of green and pinkish marble in the river bed.
An hourly bus from Grindlewald station (or an hour’s walk east) leads you close to the icy caverns of the Oberergletscher – from the Hotel Wetterhorn bus stop follow the leafy trail down to the river and, on the other side, climb the 890 stairs to the nose of the glacier. There’s a missable ice-grotto up there (May–Oct daily 9am–6pm; Fr.5), and, a ten-minute walk further up, a much more dramatic path which runs alongside the glacier itself, giving spectacular views.
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