“A family-friendly route with spectacular alpine views, starting from the charming village of Wengen.
— Jennifer Robson
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The run starts with an exhilarating cable car ride from the charming car-free village of Wengen. In winter, it's a wide and well-groomed trail, with spectacular views of the Eiger (13,020') and the Jungfrau (13,642'). There are many ups and downs, making this route difficult if you aren't acclimatized to the altitude! If you're looking for an easier option, come in summer, the route is much more level then.
This trail is open year-round, although the winter route differs somewhat from the summer route.
Need to Know
You can take the train from Wengen up to Kleine Scheidegg, and do the walk in reverse -- but there's a lot more 'uphill' in that direction.
Lunch with a spectacular view can be had at the restaurant at Wengeralp, on the train line from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. Cash only, and not cheap. During ski season, it's best to book ahead if you want to be seated on the outdoor terrace. On a sunny day, it can't be beaten. Guests are provided with sheepskins and blankets. A less expensive, but very fun option is lunch outdoors at the station (Bahnhof) cafe at Kleine Scheidegg, where they take credit cards. Reservations are also taken there for large parties; local hotels are good about calling to make reservations for you.
It's best to stop in the Tourism office in Wengen (located at the base of the Mnnlichen cable car) to pick up a map of the trail and to enquire about conditions.
In winter, it's an easier run if you have yak tracks (available at sports shops in Wengen), particularly for the spots where the trail crosses ski runs. Poles might be useful, as well.
From the village of Wengen, hop on the Mnnlichen cable car. The trail is incredibly well signposted and takes off to the west of the top cable car station. There are a few restaurants here, good for lunch, a snack, or a beer -- depending on time of day. You'll walk up and down several hills, through open areas and through woods -- all the while with incredible views of the Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger. There is some steep uphill to Kleine Scheidegg at the very end, after which you can either take a gentle path to Wengernalp, or hop on the Wengneralpbahn (the mountain railroad) to get there.
Expect to share the trail occasionally with sledders, and to cross ski slopes at several points. Skiers seem to be aware that you can't move out of their way very fast, but it's these areas, in particular, where poles & yak tracks come in handy.
Once you've reached Kleine Scheidegg you have several options to either continue running, or to take the train in any cardinal direction, depending on your final destination!
History & Background
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is the cradle of alpine skiing, and Wengen is currently home to the World Cup Lauberhorn races.