The Bächlitalhütte is one of the huts recommended for families, because the hike to access the hut is relatively short and not technically difficult. We went when our kids were 5 and 8 years old and both hiked with confidence and miminal complain. It took endurance but it wasn’t too hard. The hike is super pretty and diverse, both lush and barren, rocky and surprisingly flat. The views from the hut are spectacular. There are fun areas to explore near the hut as well. We really liked our trip here and hope you do it.
GPS: 46°35’26.3″N 8°19’38.9″E
|Car:||1hr50 mins from Zurich|
|Train:||3hr from Zurich|
|Trail:||4 km one way, about 2 hours|
|Condition:||alpine trail, switchbacks, some snow patches|
|Skill:||moderate, about 500m elevation ascent|
|Open:||late June through mid October|
This hike starts near the Grimselpass, just north of the Räterichbodensee reservoir. The hike is about 4km one way to the hut, with over 500 m elevation gain. It’s a dirt alpine trail, not suitable for strollers. It has lots of switchbacks and some steep sections, but kids with hiking experience can do it. We went in mid July and there were still some snow patches covering a few parts of the trail. Check trail conditions before heading out.
The hut is open for guests from about June through mid October, but check the website to make sure. The hut cafe is open for lunch and snacks during the day. If you want to stay overnight, it’s best to make a reservation, especially on weekends. You can reserve by email or online on their website. For last minute reservations, best to call +41 33 973 11 14.
In 2016, an overnight stay with half pension was 74 CHF/adult, 56 CHF/child 10-17, 3 CHF/per year for children 9 and under. SAC members get a discount. See website for current prices.
By car: Drive toward the Grimselpass south of Meiringen, as shown on the map below. Park in the paved lot below the dam next to the Räterichsbodensee lake, before reaching the actual pass. I don’t remember paying for the parking but it may have changed since our visit.
By transit: Take the train to Meiringen, then a bus to the Räterischboden stop, which is near the paved lot and dam of the Räterichsbodensee lake. Then a short walk up the road to the dam.
To reach the trail, walk up to the lake and cross the dam, as shown below. The parking lot is located at the green flag.
Here is the parking below the dam.
Here is the dam just above the parking. Walk across the dam to the trail on the far side.
Follow signs to the Bächlitalhütte SAC.
The start of the trail, heading straight up the mountain.
The first half is all stairs.
I meant it, all stairs!
Picnic with a view.
Contrasts: a funny field of ferns and lingering snow patches.
I was nervous about this snow patch so we watched several people cross it before we did. I was glad to have my walking sticks and good hiking shoes.
The trail flattens out after about an hour of walking.
More small snow patches.
Our boys feet got a little wet, wished we had better shoes.
First view of the hut at the top of that waterfall in the distance.
Loved this flat valley, so unexpected.
Lots of streams cutting through this valley, pick your way carefully.
The river was bigger than we expected, so we were glad we kept to the trail signs and crossed at the right places.
Headed back up on rock stairs.
The hut at the top of the waterfall.
Looking up at the mountain peaks above us.
We made it!!!
We settled into our assigned bed spots, a shared room with a few other strangers. We brought our own sheets. Dinner was simple with a veggie soup and pasta.
The view from the hut.
Sunrise from the hut. We were awake around 6:30 and eating breakfast at 7:00.
Looking west of the hut. The trail behind us leads to some climbing routes. We didn’t go there.
Back of hut.
Before hiking down, we took a little detour to this little pond near the hut. You can see the hut in the background, about level with the lake. Instead of hiking down the steps, we hiked straight across to the mountain peaks. There is marked trail you can follow.
So glad we made the extra effort to get these views.
A little climbing and exploring.
Last look at the hut before heading down.
A little wet feet again.
River in the valley, mostly too wide to cross without getting our shoes soaked.
What a great hike! I hope you try it.
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