Trift Glacier and Suspension Bridge

Trift Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge 100 meters high and 170 meters long with a view of the Trift glacier and lake. You take a cable car up, then hike about 1hr30min up a rocky trail to reach the bridge. It’s something really special.

I hesitate to post about this one because the hike was hard, straight uphill on a super rocky trail. But it was so beautiful and the suspension bridge so fun, that I think some of you might be interested. Plus there were so many little kids hiking the trail that I concluded that my kids can do more than I think they can. So if you’re feeling adventurous, you should definitely do this one. It’s worth it.

Location:   Bernese Oberland Switzerland
Address: Sustenstrasse, 3863 Gadmen
GPS: 46°43’15.4″N 8°19’06.0″E
Car: 1hr45 from Zurich
Train: 3hr10 from Zurich
Trail: 2.6 km each way, about 1hr30 each way
Condition: narrow rocky dirt path, no strollers
Skill: difficult but short
Open: June to mid October, cable car 8:00 to 16:00 daily
Prices: Adult CHF 24, Child CHF 10, under 6 free
Services: no fire pits, restaurant at cable car station
More info: www.grimselwelt.ch

Overview

The trail starts at the top of the cable car and goes straight up a rocky path to the suspension bridge overlooking the glacier and lake. There is a trail from the cable car to the valley if you have to hike down.

Getting There

By car: Drive through Meiringen to Innerkirchen. Turn on Sustenstrasse, which leads over the Susten pass. Drive just past Gadmen. The Triftbahn is on your right with a little parking lot. You can’t miss it.

By transit: Take a train to Innertkirchen, then a bus to Nessental, Triftbahn. The cable car station is directly adjacent to the bus stop.

Tickets

Even though the cable car runs about every 10 minutes, it only fits about 8 people. So on a crowded day you’ll have to buy a tickets for specific up and back times and wait an hour or more for your specified time. You group might have to split between multiple cars, but it’s not a big deal since it runs pretty frequently.

When selecting your return time, make sure you give yourself enough time to do the hike or you may find yourself walking another couple hours back down to the valley instead of riding the cable car (they do reserve a few spots for drop-ins, so this probably won’t happen to you).

There’s not much to do while you wait. There’s a little kiosk with some snacks, but don’t think you can make a picnic out of what you find here.

Details

Going up the cable car.

There is a restaurant at the top of the cable car, but after that, nothing. So bring a picnic. You start the hike here by crossing the river, then heading up, up, up.

No strollers here. Hiking sticks are a good idea. Little kids will need a lot of help. My seven year old was pretty self-sufficient. But I had to hold my 4YO’s hand most of the time and help him over large rocks and tricky spots. We carried him half the time too; he got really tired. But as I said above, I saw lots of little 4 to 6 year olds hiking, strong and fast. Maybe I needed more lollipops.

It took us about 1hr30 to get to the top, but it seemed like a lot longer. Once you reach the bridge, there is a large area on both sides to wander around and lounge. There are cliffs, so it’s important to keep little kids close.

The bridge itself is very safe even if it seems scary. Some of our kids loved the bridge, others not so much.

We spent 30 mins or so at the top, then had to head back down to make our return time. It took us about the same 1hr30 to get down, easier than going up but still tricky with all the rocks. Even though, and perhaps because, we had to work hard, we all loved this outing.

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9 comments

  1. Hi Kris – I should definitely go back to this post and add some details and more pics of the hike. I don't remember any cliffs on the hike itself. The trail was sometimes narrow and the mountain usually descended down one side of the trail, but no stark drop-offs. Once you reach the bridge, there are cliffs looking out over the glacier on both sides of the bridge. It gave me vertigo and I stayed far back from the edge. I also kept a close hold on my kids so they didn't get close to the edge either. You don't have to get close to the edge – there are plenty of areas to enjoy the view without getting close to the cliffs. I hope you have a good time wherever you go! – Tanya

  2. Tanya, even though it was over a year ago for you, I read this post with great interest, but had a few questions. I and my 21 year old son will be in Switzerland this August. I know he would love this hike, but I am a little nervous. Not so much about the bridge itself, but about the hike. If you take the left trail (easier trail) are there drop offs? I am weirdly scared of heights…I can probably walk the bridge because it has railings, but drop offs and cliffs scare me. Can you tell me more about the hiking part itself? I am thinking if you did it with kids, it can't be too scary but would love to hear more.
    Thanks so much,
    Kris

  3. Hi Tanya, after seeing your post here, I finally visited the bridge with some friends and my 6 yr old son today. It was fantastic. I didn't think that the hike was too tough, and my son didn't tire until about 1km from the return to the cable car station. We also called ahead of our visit to these guys to get an accurate weather reading for the day of our visit, and just general info: http://www.grimselwelt.ch/grimselerlebnis/bahnen/triftbahn

    I'd also second your advice for visitors to try to get here as early as possible. Any delay you have to face before you get on the cable car, you'll also get on the way back. One group who arrived at the bottom station about 15 minutes after us, had to wait an additional 1.5 hours to get their turn going up. I'd probably suggest arrival by 9am latest.

    Thanks Tanya!

  4. Hi. I did this hike the first week of Sept 2011, it just took me awhile to post about it. I'd use the dates from the website for sure. I hope you enjoy it!

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