Hi, My sister and I are planning a 5-7 day hut to hut hike and looking for any thoughts or experience from out there. We're both in pretty good health and anticipate some 5-7 hour days and sleeping dormitory-style with the possibility of meals. We are just getting started with our planning and any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Are you interested in a point to point route or a more leisurely exploration of an area?
We have not done any point to point routes.
My wife and I absolutely love hiking from hut to hut in the Appenzeller region. The huts are pretty much fully modern B&Bs by our standards. They are located just the right distance apart for a snack or meal and then again for lodging. Some are small some are large. Everyone we have stayed in has single rooms available as well as dorm style sleeping rooms called matratzenlagers. Bathrooms are typically shared but not always. Some have limited water.
Enlarge this map for more details of the huts and trails:
I had a really hard time finding a good map before our first hiking trip. The above map is in the Bahnoff as well as the hotels and huts. It seemed to be everywhere except outside of the area. The trails are very well marked.
Aescher is the best hut visually and a cable car ride and short hike from Wasserauen. There can be a lot of people since it is famous and relatively easy to get there.
Berggasthaus Seealpsee and Forelle are next to each other on a gorgeous alpine lake. We have stayed in Forelle as well as enjoyed a delicious trout dinner there. We had the place to ourselves mid-week in September. Both of these 'huts' are large.
Further up the valley on a high plateau is Meglisalp. This is a great place to stay and/or eat. There are several working farms right outside the door. You will hear the traditional evening prayer from your room window. Magic.
You can't really go wrong with any of the huts. Each is unique. All of them prohibit hiking boots in the rooms and provide house shoes. Bring your own sleep sack if you plan to stay in the dorm style rooms. We have cotton sleep sacks but I'd spring for the more expensive silk for smaller pack size in the future.
The hiking is not an easy stroll through the park. But the views are stunning. The descent to Rotsteinhutte is not for the faint of heart. And the Lisengrat ridge walk, if the weather is clear, is not to be missed.
Oh, and don't be surprised to be passed on the trails by 70+ year old retired Swiss hikers. They are in shape!
I spent a week doing day hikes in the Sierre region of the Val d’Anniviers canton. We were based in San Luc. I know there’s hut to hit hiking there, one place, the Weisshorn, is particularly nice. I saw at least 3 refugios or gite.
You could do a section of the Alpine Pass route, starting in Mürren and ending at Lenk.
This takes you over some high passes ( Sefinenfurka and Höhtürli) so best done after mid-July. There is a guidebook by Kev Reynolds that would be useful for planning. One of the huts ( Blumlisalphütte) is on top of Höhtürli with wonderful views of Oeschinensee.
After descending to the lake, you could stay in the mountain inn right on the lakeshore, with private rooms if you want.
I would recommend a detour from the main route to ascend from the lake to Früendenhütte, which is also perched above the lake in a spectacular location. The hike up is on ledges ( wide enough to not be scary) with cables to hold where you want them.
Full disclosure: I have not done the full route myself but have hiked portions of it as dayhikes, from Mürren to Rotstockhütte and from Oeschinensee to both huts I mentioned above. Friends of ours hiked from Mürren to Kandersteg last summer with their toddler in a backpack, and said it was fantastic.
You could also start in Engleberg and hike to Grindelwald over several days; there is a mountain inn On the way I keep trying to incorporate into our Swiss trips but I haven't worked it out yet.
From here you hike to Grosse Scheidegg where there is another mountain inn. You can then descend to Grindelwald or, better yet, traverse around to the top of the First gondola and hike up to Berghotel Faulhorn for a spectacular overnight stay.
From here you can either return to the First gondola to descend to Grindelwald, or hike the Panoramaweg along the ridge to Schynigeplatte, where you catch a train down to civilization at Wilderswil. Or spend the night in the mountain inn at Schynige Platte.
Another thought is to get a used copy of the Liebermans' book Switzerland's Mountain Inns" on Amazon and put together a route linking inns in an area you find appealing. The book is out of print and dated but still useful for inspiration. I still consult mine when contemplating a trip to Switzerland.
Thanks so much for these wonderful and very helpful replies. So many good ideas and inspiration for us. Our mother's family is from Zurich and we plan to visit there before heading to the mountains so we are very excited about seeing family and walking in the mountains of the "old country". Thanks again to each of you that responded.....Happy Trails!