Many Swiss mountain resorts offer a scooter run down the mountain. After hiking, it can be a fun alternative to riding the cable car down. Here are some tips and our favorite places to go.
The scooters take various forms, usually an large version of child’s scooter with big tires and hand brakes. A “Trottinett” or “Trotti Bike” typically has two thin wheels. If it has “Monster” in the title, that means knobby oversized tires. A “cart” means that it’s three wheeled and you sit low to the ground.
Typically the scooter path is on a paved or relatively smooth dirt mountain road. Although these roads have little to no car traffic, you still have to watch carefully in case a tractor or car is on the road. Best to stay close to the kids to help them navigate. Most paths range from 3 to 6 km long, which takes about 15 mins, depending on your speed.
The paths are usually well marked, with signs specific to the scooter path. But children aren’t always paying close attention when speeding ahead on scooters. So best to stick together and instruct children to wait at any junctions. Read about my son getting lost on a scooter run.
Scooter rental ranges from about CHF 10-15 per scooter, helmet included. This does not include the cable car to reach the scooter run. Some resorts offer a combi ticket, which gives a slight discount on the scooter run, so check when paying for your cable car ticket. A younger child can ride double at no extra cost. Usually you pick up and pay for the scooter at the top of the cable car, sometimes cash only.
Age requirements differ by resort. Usually children 8 and over can ride a scooter on their own, but I’ve seen above 10 and 12 at some places. Some resorts enforce these rules more strictly than others, so be prepared for sad children in case they tell you no.
Younger children can ride double with an adult. I recommend only from age 4 and up, because the child must hold firmly to the bike, since the adult must keep both hands on the handles and brakes. Sometimes scooters can be difficult to balance with two people, so be careful!
If you’ve been hiking, you’ll need to take all your stuff with you on the scooter. We’ve had no problems riding down with big backpacks. When the kids were little, my husband rode down with the bigger kids, while I took the cable car down with the stroller and toddlers.
Here’s a map of the scooter runs I discuss below. Click to view a larger interactive version.
Elm – Trottinett and Monstercarts
The 4 km scooter route at Elm is one of the prettiest, with big mountain views the whole time. Here you can ride two wheeled Trottinett scooters, which come in adult and child sizes. You can also ride a low to the ground three wheeled “Monstercart”. Sometimes they are strict on the age limits here, sometimes not. Last time we went, my 12 year old could ride the monster bike, but my 8 year old had to take the child sized Trotti scooter. One time our toddler could ride double on the monster bike, next time that wasn’t allowed. So be flexible. More about Elm >>>
Scooter Rental: Trottinett CHF 10 Adult, CHF 6 Child, Monstercart CHF 15 Adult, CHF 10 Child. Discount on cable car ticket when purchased together at valley station. See Elm website.
Stockhütte – Bike Board
This 5 km scooter route has beautiful views of Lake Luzern and the surrounding mountains. Much of the route is through forests, which was particularly beautiful at the end of September, when the leaves where changing. Here you ride a “Bike Board”, which is a three wheel scooter, much more stable than the two wheel Trotti scooters. So this is a good choice if you are riding double.
We did this after hiking from Klewenalp to Stockhütte, a very nice stroller-friendly hike, with playgrounds and beautiful picnic areas. More about Stockhütte area >>>
Scooter Rental: CHF 10/scooter. Does not include transport up Stockhütte cable car. See website.
Hasliberg Käserstatt – Monster-Trotti
Usually the scooter run is below the hike, so you hike first, then ride down the mountain. Here the scooter run parallels the trail, the Käserstatt-Lischen Muggestutz theme trail for children, which has interactive activity stations and nice picnic areas. So you could hike first, then ride back up the cable car and do the scooter run. They have two sizes of scooters, with a smaller version designed for children.
The path is smooth gravel and dirt. There is one section we had to walk because the path was slightly uphill and my younger son found that a bit difficult. The path is well signed and not particularly difficult to follow. But my son sped ahead, took a wrong turn, and got lost. So stick together on this one. Hasliberg also has another Trotti Bike run from the Mägsialp cable car, which has a thin wheeled scooter on a paved road.
Scooter Rental: CHF 13 Adult, CHF 9 Child aged 6-16. Subsequent runs are discounted. Does not include transport up cable car. See website.
Hoher Kasten – Kickbike
This 3 km scooter run starts in the middle of the mountain, so you have to first hike about 6 km from the top of the cable car. But it saves you hiking the rest of the way down. At Berggasthaus Ruhesitz, you pick up this thin two wheeled “Kickbike”. We found them quite difficult to balance, especially riding double, but fun once we got the hang of it.
The whole ride has wide open views of the green Appenzell rolling hills. The path was easy to navigate, but we did get stuck briefly behind a herd of sheep. More about Hoher Kasten area >>>
Scooter rental: CHF 15 per scooter, cash only, recommend 12+ but not enforced. Website.
Niederhorn – Trotti Bikes
My husband and boys had a great time on this 6 km scooter run near Interlaken. There are two scooter paths, 6 km or 12 km, both on paved roads leading from the cable car middle station Vorsass to the top of the funicular at Beatenberg. Before reaching the scooters, we did an amazingly beautiful ridge hike that led to the middle station, which I highly recommend. More about Niederhorn area >>>
Scooter Rental: CHF 14 per scooter, recommended for school aged children. Family discount: 1st child pays, additional children go free if accompanied by one parent. Cable car ticket separate. See website for current prices.
Reichenbach Falls – Monster Scooter
After riding the funicular to visit the famous Reichenbach falls, you can hike a few minutes to the top of the falls, then ride a Monster scooter back to the valley. We enjoyed the ride, but I think this one is overpriced and the path is mostly in the forest so you don’t get big views during the ride.
Funicular + Scooter: CHF 24 Adult, CHF 20 Child. See Reichenbach Falls website.
Here are a few mountain scooter runs that I’ve seen but haven’t done.
Engelberg – Trotti Bikes
This 3.5 km scooter run goes from Gerschnialp to Engelberg, the lowest section of the ride up to Mount Titlis. You can do this after visiting Mount Titlis or hiking around the beautiful Trübsee lake. My husband and boys did the scooters once and said it was ok, not their favorite. It’s a two wheeled Trotti scooter with thin wheels. Cost: CHF 8 per scooter. Open May – October. See Engelberg-Titlis website.
Grindelwald First – Trotti Bikes and Monstercarts
We really enjoyed our hike to the Bachalpsee and the fantastic playground at the Bort middle station (shown below). From Bort, you can ride a Trotti Bike down 4.5 km to Grindelwald, which many people were doing. However, much of the ride is on a sidewalk along the main road, which didn’t appeal to us. Cost: CHF 15 per scooter. They offer a smaller sized scooter for children from 125 cm in height.
From one stop higher up the mountain, you can ride a Monstercart from Schreckfeld to Bort. This is suitable for children over 135 cm in height. Cost: CHF 15 per monster cart, not including mountain transport. See website for details.
Männlichen – Summer Sled
This strange contraption is supposed to have a similar ride to a snow sled. It looks interesting but also a bit difficult to ride. My 13 yr old was desperate to ride it but we had already made plans to hike to Kleine Scheidegg before knowing this existed. Also it’s quite expensive, so I wasn’t too keen on paying almost CHF 100 for the whole family to go. But I promised to take my son back next summer to try it, maybe a treat for his birthday. I’ll let you know who it goes.
In the meantime, definitely do the hikes in this area. The views are spectacular. Below you can see the summer sled path winding it’s way down the mountain.
Summer Sled Rental: CHF 24 Adult, CHF 19 Child aged 10-15, does not include mountain transport. See website for details.
More mountain scooter runs at MySwitzerland.com.
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