This lovely hike winds along the mountains below the Jungfrau, giving you sweeping views of the the whole Jungfrau region including the glaciers and famous peaks, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. So beautiful! While many of the trails in this region are quite steep and difficult, this trail is easy enough for little hikers in training and is also manageable with an all-terrain stroller. Kids will love the big playground at Männlichen with swings, slides, trampolines and other amusements. Of course, this trail is a popular choice for tourists and can be crowded on sunny summer weekends. But you won’t mind so much because the views are so amazing. If we could only do one family hike in the Jungfrau region, this would be it.
|Address:||Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland|
|Car:||2hr from Zurich to Grindelwald
Parking GPS: 46°37’28.0″N 8°01’13.5″E
|Train:||2hr25 from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen
Adult full fare return CHF 77.60
|Trail:||4.7 km one way, about 2hr walking with kids|
|Condition:||wide dirt path, suitable for all-terrain strollers|
|Services:||restaurant and playgrounds at both ends of trail, no fires|
|Open:||end of May to mid October
cable car runs about 8:30 to 17:00
|Cost 2017:||Adult full fare hiking ticket CHF 57
SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted
A little sneak peak before we get to the details…
Männlichen is a mountain hub in the center of Jungfrau region, accessible with mountain transport from either Lauterbrunnen/Wengen or Grindelwald. At Männlichen, you’ll find big views, a restaurant and big playground. Several trails that start from this area.
The main attraction is the Panorama trail to Kleine Scheidegg, where you can return by mountain trail to either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. It’s easy walking over 4.7 km, gradually descending about 200m of elevation. The trail is a wide dirt path, mostly flat with mild ups and downs and some bumpy sections. It’s suitable for all-terrain strollers with big tires. I’ve also seen many people bumping flimsy umbrella strollers over it, though didn’t look so fun.
With kids, I’d plan for about 2 hours walking time. There are restaurants and playgrounds at the start and end of the trail but nothing in the middle, so take food and water with you.
I also recommend doing the Royal Walk, a short 1 km uphill detour to the Männlichen peak for amazing views (100m elevation gain). It took some convincing for our kids to go up, but I was so glad we did. The views were even more spectacular from here than from Männlichen. See below for pics.
They also have the Lieselotte theme trail for children, with 13 stations along the 1.5hr trail. I haven’t done that one yet, so you’re on your own with that one.
This hike is accessible from either Grindelwald Grund or Lauterbrunnen and the mountain transport cost is about the same. Both valley locations are easily accessible by car and train from Interlaken.
By public transport to Lauterbrunnen. If you are taking the train, I slightly prefer doing this trip from Lauterbrunnen because the train from Interlaken will drop you off at the same train station where you can catch the mountain train to Wengen. From Wengen, you will take a cable car to Männlichen. Do the hike to Kleine Scheidegg. Then take the mountain train back to Lauterbrunnen (43 mins).
By car to Grindelwald: With a car, it’s more convenient to do this trip from Grindelwald, because the parking is right at the cable car station instead of short walk away. So drive to Grindelwald, then follow signs through town to the Grindelwald Grund cable car. there is a big metered parking next to the cable car station and the train station. You will take the Grindelwald Grund-Männlichen cable car up to Männlichen, do the hike, then return on the mountain train from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald. Parking is about CHF 6 for the day.
If you don’t have a SBB Half-fare card, consider getting the Swiss Travel Pass, which includes free travel on public transportation and 50% on mountain transport (25% for Jungfraujoch and a couple others).
From Lauterbrunnen, take then mountain train to Wengen, then ride the gondola to Männlichen, do the hike to Kleine Scheidegg, then catch the Jungfrau train back down to Lauterbrunnen. In 2016, adult round trip with Halbtax was 30.20 CHF.
From Grindelwald, take the Grund-Holenstein cable car to Männlichen, do the hike to Kleine Scheidegg, then catch the train back to Grindelwald. The Grund cable car and Kleine Scheidegg train are right next to each other, making the round trip easy. In 2017, adult round trip full fare was CHF 57.
Männlichen also offers a All-in-One Family Card, which includes transport, a restaurant voucher, and a few other benefits. See website for details.
Männlichen Sennespielplatz playground
The Sennespielplatz playground at Männlichen keeps getting better, with this giant cow slide as the newest addition. You’ll also find swings, a seesaw, spinner, bowling, and other amusements.
There is plenty of room to picnic and a big restaurant.
Royal Walk Trail to Männlichen Peak
Before doing the Panorama trail, I highly recommend making the extra effort to walk up to the Männlichen peak, just north of the playground. It’s 1 km each way, with 100m elevation gain. The climb takes some effort, but the views are so worth it. At the top, there is an observation deck with amazing views. Here is the trail leading up. The path is smooth gravel, possible with strollers until the very top.
Along the path, there are info stations like the one shown below with interesting facts about the region, like what kinds of stone are found in each mountain peak and the different kinds rope knots mountain climbers use.
At the top, there is a crown platform you can stand in to get the panorama view.
One part of the 360 degree view, this part looking down at the Lauterbrunnen valley.
Panorama Trail to Kleine Scheidegg
Now to the main attraction: the panorama trail to Kleine Scheidegg. This trail heads south from the playground towards the Eiger. If you did the Royal Walk, hike back the way you came, pass by the playground and keep walking south. Here we are on the start of the trail.
The colors and mood change with the season and weather. Below was a cloudy day beginning of July.
And now a sunny day at the end of July.
This is a popular trail, with a wide variety of ages, skill, and nationalities enjoying the scenery.
The trail is not difficult, but it isn’t completely flat either. There are gentle ups and downs and occasionally some bumpy rocks. We saw lots of flimsy strollers on the path that were having a bit of trouble on the bumpy bits. Better to use an all-terrain stroller with big knobby tires.
Looking back toward Männlichen.
Taking a break in the middle of the trail, with a view of the Eiger. There was a portable toilet next to a shelter hut at this mid-point.
Back on the trail.
Some workers were herding these cows to another part of the mountain. The cows were walking on the trail, which crowded out some hikers for a bit.
Sometimes the clouds take over the view, but it’s still pretty.
When you approach Kleine Scheidegg, there are lots of restaurants to choose from. We stopped at the first one, which had great views from the outdoor seating and a small playground. Food was typical hearty Swiss fare, typical prices, good but nothing special.
Later on we passed this restaurant with a trampoline; the kids wished we had eaten here.
One last pretty picture before we jump on the train in Kleine Scheidegg, heading back down to Grindelwald. Hope you enjoy this one!
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