Schynige Platte Panorama Trail

This panorama trail might be our new favorite hike! Even on a day with spotty weather, it was utterly charming, with big mountain views, rocky peaks, dramatic cliffs, and lush meadows filled with wildflowers. It’s a dirt alpine trail, not suitable for strollers, but the hike was easy going, with only one short uphill trek to the ridge. Children will need a little endurance, but I think a six year old with hiking experience will do quite well. There are plenty of places to picnic with a view, but only one official fire pit near the start of the hike. Near the train station, there’s a restaurant with large panorama terrace and a little playground with swings, see-saw and tiny barefoot path. This is a great option for both locals and visitors of all ages.

Location:   Jungfrau Region, Berner Oberland Switzerland
Address: Wilderswil Bahnhof,
Car: ~1hr30 from Zurich
Parking GPS: 46.665969, 7.869233
Train: ~2hr10 from Zurich HB to Wilderswil, Bahnhof
Adult half fare return CHF 73.60
Trail: 5.6 km loop, about 3 hours walking with kids
Condition: dirt, rocky, alpine trail
Skill: moderate
Open: end of May through mid-October
Cost 2017: mountain train return: adult CHF 64
SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted
Services: restaurant and playground at the top
More info: www.jungfrau.ch  –  webcam  –  weather

Overview

This is a loop trail starting at the top of the Schynige Platte railway. Here is the panorama map showing all the trails from the top of Schynige Platte.

We did the yellow trail #3 , shown below (click to view larger), which is a 5.6 km loop. The trail is a dirt alpine trail, not suitable for strollers, sometimes rocky with a few switchbacks,with a little up and down, but no huge elevation gains. I’d recommend this for children over 6 with hiking experience.

The trail starts on the northwest, skirting some cliffs and following the ridge line, with views both of the Brienzersee and Rothorn to the north and the Jungfrau region to the south. The trail returns through meadows with views to the south. I recommend bringing walking sticks. There are also shorter loop trail options.

There is a restaurant and other services at the start near the train station. There are a few fire pits along the way, but no wood, so bring your own. Probably better to bring a picnic on this trail.

Here is a picture of the trail using Google Earth.

Getting There

By car: Drive to Wilderswil, a small town south of Interlaken. Park in the metered lot behind the Wilderswil train station.

By transit: Take a train to Interlaken, then a train to Wilderswil.

You can see here where the trail is situated using Google Earth.

Tickets & Timetable

In Wilderswil, buy return tickets to Schynige Platte. This special cogwheel train leaves on a separate track than the regular trains.

A return ticket from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte: CHF 64/adult, CHF 32/child & half-fare, children under 6 free. SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted, as well as other regional and Swiss travel passes. See website for current prices and offers.

The train leaves from Wilderswil every 40 minutes from 07:52 to 16:45. The train ride lasts 52 minutes. The train returns from Schynige Platte every 40 minutes from 8:21 to 17:53.

Arrival

The train station in Wilderswil.

After about 50 minutes slowly climbing the mountain with lots of great views, you arrive here.

We were greeted by alphorns. The Panoramaweg is not on the initial trail signs. So instead, follow signs to Daube, which is the first viewpoint on the Panoramaweg.

Walk on the paved path north to the restaurant. The hike starts just beyond the restaurant.

The panorama terrace for the self-service cafe. I noticed that they had high-chairs.

Just past the terrace, there is a little playground. The tables are labeled “no picnic.”

See-saw with a view.

On the trail

The trail heads up from the playground. Follow signs to Daube.

The hill behind the restaurant has a bunch of frames to look through.

The real panorama trail heads to the left and skirts the cliffs on the north side of the ridge. But we missed the turn off, so we circled around on the south side before joining back up with the panorama trail. No worries. It’s all pretty.

We’re headed up to the base of that big rock, called Daube.

Later the trail will take us to the right, but for now we are taking some switchbacks on the left.

Looking back at the trail, totally empty.

A few minutes of switchbacks.

The clouds happily parted briefly to give us this beautiful view.

The end of the short hard uphill bit, ending at Daube. You can look over the cliffs near the metal fence to see the Brienzersee, but it was in the clouds while we were there.

Picnic time.

There’s a grill up here, but no wood that we could see. The real panorama trail was just under that big rock along the cliffs.

Now joining the panorama trail heading east along the ridge. It rained on us for a few minutes at this point.

A nicely maintained path with some stairs.

Cliffs dropping down to the Brienzersee on the left. The path is well set back from the cliffs, but keep little wild ones on a short leash.

Look back along the ridge trail.

Keep following the Panoramaweg signs toward Faulhorn.

Above us is the Oberberghorn, another big rock. You can take a short detour that takes up to the top of this rock, then back down to the panorama trail. It was raining for a bit, so we stayed on the lower trail, as shown below, that skirts around the rock.

Back along the ridge after Oberberghorn.

Now we can see the Brienzersee below. Maybe you’ll see the mountains too, like the Rothorn.

Looking down to Interlaken.

Looking back toward Oberberghorn.

Looking forward to Faulhorn. The trail will turn back right before you reach that next peak.

So many flowers.

A few stairs, then you can see the fork ahead when the trail heads back to Schynige Platte.

We are going to turn around at that fork. If you keep going, you’ll be hiking to Faulhorn and First, a much longer hike.

Heading back, through rocky meadows instead of the ridge.

View toward the famous peaks, Eiger and Jungfrau.

Lots of places to rest and take in the view. The easy path just slowly winds its way back to the Schynige Platte railway station.

More flower filled fields.

At this last fork in the road, follow signs to Schynige Platte. At this point my camera and phone ran out of batteries, so I’ll have to trust that you can make it the rest of the way on your own. I hope you like it. Happy hiking!

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4 comments

  1. Thank you very much for sharing all your ideas. Even if I’m Swiss I love finding great inspiration here… do you think this hike is possible for someone who is afraid of heights? (How long is the steep part ?). Thanks a lot for all 😀
    Nb your pictures are great 👍

    1. Thanks for the kind words! If you are afraid of heights, you might feel a bit queasy on the sections that have steep drop offs to one side. But you don’t have to walk close to the edge and the other side is not a steep drop off. I only felt nervous when I walked up to the edge and looked over on purpose. If you stick to the trail, it’s not particularly dangerous. But I certainly can’t speak for everyone. I’m curious to hear if you like it.

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