Our first experience staying at a mountain hut was at the Bergsee hut near the Gotthard tunnel. I picked the hut with shortest hike (2.8 km), packed our bags with all sorts of unnecessary stuff, and hoped for the best. My kids were 5 and 8 at the time and I was worried we would bother all the other guests. But it was a fun and special experience and we definitely wanted to do it again soon.
Below are the details for the hike to and stay at the Bergsee Hut. For more general tips and info on staying in Swiss mountain huts with kids, see my other post: Mountain Huts with Kids.
GPS: 46°38’56.0″N 8°29’58.4″E
|Car:||~2hr from Zurich|
|Train:||~2hr20 from Zurich|
|Trail:||2.8 km one way, about 2 hours|
|Condition:||alpine trail, switchbacks|
|Open:||June through September|
The hike begins at Göscheneralp, where you’ll find a restaurant and a metered parking lot. The hike heads up the mountain as shown below on a narrow alpine trail with lots of switchbacks. The hike is only 2.8 km but gains 600 m in elevation, so it can be tough on little legs. It took us about 2 hours.
The hut is open for guests from June through September, 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 phone: 041 885 14 35.
In 2016, an overnight stay with half pension was 72 CHF/adult. Children and SAC members get a discount. See website for current prices.
By car: Drive on the A2 toward the Gotthard tunnel, taking exit 40 at Göschenen. Follow signs to Göscheneralp. At the end of the road, you’ll find a hotel/restaurant and lots of metered parking. Make sure to pay for lots of extra time on the meter just in case. I only paid until 13:00 the following day and had to really hurry down the mountain. I arrived about 30 minutes past my time and I received a parking ticket in the mail a month later.
By train: Take a train to Göschenen, then a bus 411 to Göscheneralp, Dammagletscher.
The restaurant and bus stop at Göscheneralp. The metered parking is along the road.
Hike starts from parking. Follow signs to Bergseehütte.
The hike heads up, up, up.
I recommend walking sticks for both you and the kids. Even my five year old wanted a stick.
View of the Göschenen lake below.
No services along the trail. Bring snacks and a picnic lunch for the way up.
I brought a big backpack because my littlest couldn’t carry anything. But in retrospect, I took too much stuff, like stuffed animals. I should have packed lighter.
Lots of switchbacks the last third of the end of the trail. We saw several groups with kids on the trail.
My kids felt pretty proud when we got to the top.
Settling in. We were on the bottom bunks. The kids searched for small house shoes to use.
Our beds, we were happy to have a little cubby of our own with only three bed spots. The boys could wiggle around more without bothering their neighbors. This is more likely to happen if you call ahead.
Another bunk room.
Tables outside the hut.
We spent the long evening exploring around the hut.
There was a trail to a Lernpfad and Kinderklettergarten (kids climbing garden). I don’t know what that is. We tried to find it but we didn’t know what we were looking for.
On the “trail” to the Klettergarten, see the blue and white trail marker. It was tough going on these rocks, but fun for the kids.
We changed course when we saw the Bergsee, for which the hut is named. So pretty! We threw rocks in here for a long time.
Enjoying the fading light.
Sunset, such a treat.
Morning on the mountains.
Breakfast: bread, butter, jam, yogurt, muesli, cold cereal, hot chocolate.
It was exciting to see the helicopter bringing in fresh supplies for the hut.
Very proud of this boys.
A little detour on the way back down.
Almost back. What a fun trip!