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Berner Oberland Hiking

My wife, son (6 years old) and I will be spending 2 full days and 3 nights in the Berner Oberland area next August. We would like to go on a hike but we are having trouble finding a suitable hike for a 6 year old. We would like something very scenic in the 2-3 hours range. Something that would be considered easy (not too much up hill) is preferred.

We appreciate any help you can offer.


Posted by
11294 posts

The Mürren Flower trail should be great; if your son (or you) get tired, you can just do part of it, and take the Allmendhubel back down.

There's also the Valley Floor walk (details in Rick's Switzerland book). This has the advantage of bus service twice an hour during most of the day. So, if any one gets tired, you can just hop on the bus; or, you can use the bus to join up sections. For instance, your son would probably love the Trümmelbach Falls, but may not want to do all the walking to or from it.

Note that the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg walk is touted as flat or downhill, but I found it to have a bit more up and down than billed. There's also no way to cut it short if someone gets tired. And finally, I spent more time than I would have liked looking down at my feet, as there's water, loose rocks, cow dung, etc, and you can't just be looking at the mountains all the time. For these reasons, it wouldn't be my first thought with a 6 year old (an older child, say 10, would be fine).

Posted by
1353 posts

The walk between Murren and Gimmlewald is very nice. I think the hike / walk between Mannlichen and Klein Schiedegg should also be doable for a 6 year old. In August the trail should be clear of any leftover snow and should be quite safe. Honestly, I've done it 3 times and don't remember ever feeling it was at all strenuous. I should add though that one time we did it part of the trail was closed and they were diverting traffic to a VERY small narrow trail that did make me a little nervous. So make sure the entire path is open and in good shape.

Posted by
219 posts

The most charming children's hike I've ever seen is the Muggestutz Trail, which is in the Berner Oberland, but not near the Jungfrau Mountain. It's so special, though, that it's worth the time to get there.
It has signs (in German and English) along the way that tell a story about a fictional dwarf who lived in the woods on that mountain, and which explain the different elaborate children's activity stations representing parts of the story. It is through woods and is only downhill. It has spectacular views of the Rosenlaui glacier-topped mountain and the mountain range that leads to the Jungfrau. It has a picnic table area with campfire stations which are well supplied with kindling wood each day. People bring hot dogs called "servalot" to cook over a campfire with their children. Your son is the perfect age for it.
Here are informative links with some pictures:

The Muggestutz Trail is on the Hasliberg (Hasli Mountain) east of Lake Brienz, and would take about 2 1/2 hours to get there from Wengen, where I see, from your other posting, that you plan to stay (although if you stay in Lauterbrunnen, instead, you could get there a half hour quicker). You would take the train from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen, then change to the train that goes to Interlaken Ost, then take a very scenic train ride around Lake Brienz to Meiringen. At Meiringen you walk from the train station about 15 minutes to the cable car station--it has a nice playground (ask directions at the Meiringen train station), and take cable cars up to Mägisalp where the trail starts. It ends at Bidmi where you take the cable cars back down to Meiringen.

A very nice playground with a gorgeous view of the Jungfrau Mountain and mountain range is a cable car ride up above Wengen, at Männlichen. It even has a child-size primitive bowling alley made from logs. To get down a little hill there, you have a choice of the stairs or a slide. That is near the beginning of the hike to Kleine Scheidegg, which is only 2 1/2 miles long and has benches along the way, with a spectacular view. I've hiked it 7 times, including twice this summer, and it was well maintained and easy except for one year when I was there the first day it opened for the summer (June?) and it still had snow patches melting. So I make sure to only hike there in the heart of the summer. It has restrooms at the beginning and the end. A train at Kleine Scheidegg takes you back down to Wengen and on to Lauterbrunnen. I saw a playground in Wengen, too, but I don't recall anything special about that one.

The cutest playground I ever saw, and also with a stunning beautiful view, is across the Lauterbrunnen Valley, above Mürren at Allmendhubel. That's the Flower Park that some other posters already mentioned. To get there from Wengen, you would take a train from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen. At Lauterbrunnen take the cable car up to Grütschalp. At Grütschalp take the train to Mürren. At Mürren walk over to the funicular and take it up to Allmendhubel.

By the way, trains from the Zurich airport that go directly to either Luzern or to Bern have a playground in them! The train carriage with the teddy bear symbol on the outside is where you find it, usually at the beginning or end of the train. It's on the second floor.

Posted by
11073 posts

The walk from Grutschalp to Muerren that parallels the little train is under 2 hours. Also, I have seen many children on the hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, under 2 hours.

Posted by
15121 posts

Since you asked in your other post for lodging suggestions in Wengen, I will suggest an easy but highly scenic hike there.

Ride the cablecar up from Wengen to Männlichen. From there a nearly level path along the ridgetop leads to Kleine Scheidegg. On your left you look down into the Grindelwald valley; on your right is Wengen far below. In front of you is the Eiger and beyond that, the Jungfrau. You may see chamois by looking over the edge. There is a nice little restaurant with a deck on your left before you arrive at Kleine Scheidegg.

You can ride the train down to Wengen from KS. Or if the 6-year-old has energy left you can walk---all downhill, past farms and cows.

A third possibility, realistic only if you have Swiss passes, would be to walk back to Mânnlichen and ridenthe little gondola cars down to Grindelwald,,then walk through town tomthe Pfingsted lift. There is a Rodelbahn ( summer luge) up there the child might enjoy. Then takenthe train back to Wengen from Grindelwald, via Wilderswil and Lauterbrunnnen.

Posted by
116 posts

Thank you very much everyone. Your feedback and ideas are much appreciated.

I have seen North Face Trail and Mountain View Trail mentioned in the Rick Steves' guidebook. Has anyone hiked these before? Would they be suitable for a 6 year old?

Again, thanks for your help.


Posted by
1353 posts

In my first reply I actually started recommending the North Face trail, but ended up deleting it:) I think it depends on your 6 year old. I took my 11 year old on it and he did fine. If your child is athletic and doesn't wear out easily then I would say yes. It's a safe beautiful hike. My only concern is that it could possibly be strenuous for a 6 year old, but I see many people here in Colorado taking kids that age on hikes I would have thought might be too strenuous. It's one of my absolute favorite hikes in the area!

I'm not sure which hike you are referring to with the "mountain view trail". If you can tell me where it starts and ends that would help.

Posted by
1353 posts


Thanks for the link. I've done that - it's more of a walk than a hike, but is beautiful and would be very easy and enjoyable with a 6 year old! I should say though that we did it from Murren to Grutschalp. I think going from Murren will be more elevation loss than gain.

Posted by
219 posts

Ryan, as much as I love the Northface Trail and the Mountain View Trail, I think they'd be too much for a 6-year-old. I recommend the Männlichen-to-Kleine Scheidegg hike, as mentioned in Rick Steves' Switzerland guide book, and also mentioned above by Lola. It begins with a restroom and a great playground, has benches along the way for taking scenic breaks and enjoying the gorgeous view, and ends 2 1/2 gradual miles later with several cafes (with restrooms--always important with young children and old adults!). (My favorite is the Grindelwaldblick restaurant.)
To get there from Wengen, take the cable car up to Männlichen, play in the playground, and then simply walk the path to Kleine Scheidegg, where there's a little cog rail train that can take you back down to Wengen.

Another very easy and short beautiful walk is from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengernalp.
To get there from Wengen, take the cog rail train up the mountain to Kleine Scheidegg. Across and below the tracks is a well-groomed wide walking path with spectacular scenery of the Jungfrau Mountain. The path has a bench about half way. It passes beside cow pastures and cheese-making huts, and ends at Wengernalp, where there's a great outdoor cafe and a train stop where you can catch the cog-rail train back down to Wengen.

Posted by
4 posts

When our son was 4, we hiked from Gimmelwald to Chilchbalm, which is at the end of the Sefinen valley. It was a beautiful hike, but a little long for him at that age. After descending from Gimmelwald, the hike to Chilchbalm is a gentle uphill, following the river up the valley. On the way back, it's just the opposite, mostly gentle downhill but there is a nice uphill on the last part of the hike coming back into Gimmelwald.

Also, when he was 4, we hiked from Almendhubel towards Grutschalp, but cut part of it off and ended up at the restaurant at Winteregg, which is also a train stop between Murren and Grutschalp. That hike offered spectacular views the whole way.

Last year, when he was 7, we hiked from Gimmelwald to Spielbodenalp over to the Rotstockhutte for lunch and then down into the Sefinen valley and back to Gimmelwald - that was a long trip. So, I guess it depends on how much your child likes hiking - we hike all the time, though we don't live in the mountains, but our son does do some trail running with us.

Posted by
13250 posts

I’ve also done the Mountain View trail down from Almendhubel. I took a cut off trail that took off to Mürren about 2 hours along the way. That was a much narrower and steeper dirt track but not sheer. If you’ve headed back to Lauterbrunnen you would stay on the main trail which is wide and partially paved to get to the cable car station.

Based on the Idaho 6 year olds I’ve hiked with I would say this is very doable. It was almost all downhill with maybe some rolling terrain to start but nothing so noticeable that we couldn’t talk the whole way. I’m old, overweight and don’t do anything that has sheer drops.

I’d also say Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg would be fine. I’ve done that one twice. I would pick up sandwiches at the coop in Wengen and eat them on one of the benches on the way.

To me the views along the way were jaw droppingly gorgeous!

I will add that I just had on athletic shoes not boots. I usually travel with Altra Lone Peak trail shoes but there was no place (including the cut off trail) that I felt I needed an aggressive tread.

I don’t know if you all usually hike but going in August you may have the opportunity to do some conditioning hikes at home before you travel.