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Day Trip from Lucerne to Jungfrau for a day of Hiking...

Doing a day trip from Lucerne to enjoy a hike and what ever possible we can get!

I Have checked out hikes like the following link below:

and we are curious about doing something like this. (4 adults, in good health, 40s) and possibly the shorter walk down the valley of Lauterbrunnen to see the falls.

Then trying to figure out if we will have the time to travel to the top of Jungfraujoch but wasn't sure how long the visit will take. A few of us are not fans of heights. Planning on using the train to get to and from Lucerne, we may still have a rental car but rather enjoy the train after hearing how beautiful the ride is.

Posted by
2311 posts

Isn't that train ride, from Lucerne to say Grindelwald, around 2.5 - 3 hours each way? Not saying it's not worth it, but it will be a long day - which most certainly has to include time for a "mountain" lunch.
Steel the resolve and make it a 6:00am departure from Lucerne and plan on catching a 6:00pm return to Lucerne and make it a day.

Posted by
9 posts

That is part of my worry is how long the train ride is...some say its worth the ride. I was just going to keep my rental car and drive there (1.5 hrs) but then many people complain that an American cannot live without a rental car and how expensive the car would be.

Posted by
8438 posts

I just looked up the trip on sbb (Swiss rail) and its 3.5-4 hours by train, with 3-4 changes. Thats a lot of time in transit. Even if you drove to say, Interlaken, its still another 1.5 - 2 hours up the mountain. Travel is slow in the mountains, and driving isn't any better.

Posted by
485 posts

Don’t worry about other people’s opinion regarding car vs. train. It’s your vacation, do what works best for you - taking into account the size of group you are with and the amount time you have available, driving seems like a good option.

If you toggle between the train icon and the car icon on Google maps you will see that when driving you will take almost the same route as the train takes - definitely not missing out on any of the beauty.

Posted by
485 posts

Sorry, I my above comment is referring to

"That is part of my worry is how long the train ride is...some say its worth the ride. I was just going to keep my rental car and drive there (1.5 hrs) but then many people complain that an American cannot live without a rental car and how expensive the car would be."

Not what Stan just wrote 😅

Posted by
32738 posts

Certainly possible.


Time will be against you with the plan you have.

If you can get an early train (set an alarm or three) from Luzern (I don't think you said what time of year this would be) over the genuinely beautiful Brünig pass you can be as far as Interlaken Ost by - say - 8 or 9 o'clock on the 06:06 or 07:06. Then straight up the mountain to Jungfraujoch.

If you wait later, or if you hike first and train up the mountain later, you will likely run into fog or clouds. What can be brilliant sunshine in the morning often starts to cloud over at Jungfraujoch in late morning and often by noon is completely socked in. If you go late you'll miss the good stuff. If you go late you also get the masses of tour bus crowds up there and on the Jungfraubahn.

I disagree that car is as good as train over the Brünig. It may be for some of the passengers but the driver will have their eyes on the road and the traffic unless you stop at some of the scenic lookouts, but there goes any speed advantage. Also the road mostly one lane each way with no overtaking (except motorcycles of course to which no rules apply). I have before now been behind a slow tour bus the whole way.

The train is a cog railway and has virtually seamless beauty the whole way (sit on the right leaving Luzern and stay in the same seats when it changes direction in Meiringen (the home of the real Reichenbach Falls which you can go up) for the best scenery). It is true that about half way down the pass there is a view where you are high over the valley and looking down for the lake and the waterfalls, for your height averse, but the train is extremely stable and smooth and I don't know anybody who has had trouble.

The car, on the other hand, has many single lane each way tunnels on the route (can't see much inside tunnels except the magnificence of Swiss tunnel manufacture) and as you drop down into the plain between Meiringen and Brienz you have a series of very steep and very tight corkscrew turns and switchbacks, The slope up to the pass from the Luzern end is gentle and not always noticed (except by the lookout and rest area before the summit) but steep and technical going down (reverse of course on the way back).

I know the previous poster is local, and I have only crossed the pass maybe 15 times, split between car and train, and, yes, for much of the route it covers similar territory, but I maintain that the train is much more dramatic, much more impressive, and much more fun.

So - early train; up the mountain early (check the screens before you ascend); hike when you come down with whatever time you have left. The scared of heights among you might skip any cable cars like the one from Grindelwald to part way up the Jungfrau, and think how they will handle the road if driving or car passengering..

Posted by
336 posts

As pretty as Lucerne is, the Bernese Oberland is spectacular!! I'd urge you to consider 2 nights in Wengen (since you want Jungfrau and Kleine Scheidegg) if at all possible. That would increase your chances of clear weather on Jungfrau, and give you time to do all of your hikes. If you really just have one day, maybe consider Pilatus or Titlis which are easier to get to from Lucerne.

Posted by
16239 posts

Yes, skip the Jungfraujoch, but do go to Wengen and do the hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg.

The train ride from Luzern to Wengen is only 2.5 hours. Nigel gave you the details and explained the highlights, and good reasons why you should take the train rather than driving.

Once at Wengen, walk through the village to the Männlichen cablecar and ride up to the hiking path. I suggest you turn left fron the cablecar and hike up the little Gipfel for a great 360 degree view of the area, then turn around and hall to Kleine Scheidegg with the mountain peaks right in your face.

There is a little restaurant with a view terrace for outside dining on the left side, about 10-15 minutes before you reach Kleine Scheidegg. Stop there for lunch.

If you want more walking when you reach Kleine Scheidegg, you can continue the walk down to Wengernalp and catch the train there. Ride down to Lauterbrunnen and walk the valley floor path to Trummelbach Falls.

Posted by
9 posts

My apologies for got to add that we will be there at the beginning of October for 3 to 4 days.

We arrive in Lucerne, most likely via train from Freiburg, Germany, where we will be dropping of the rental car...saves about 320 in a drop fee in Switzerland.

Day 1 . Lucerne Lake tour and possible tour to the top of Rigi
Day 2. Train to Lauterbrunnen ( to do the hike that a few of you have mentioned above )
Day 3. Open - weather day for back up

we do not have a ton of time so we are trying to cram in a few good days...and hopefully come back to visit again.

I am leaning towards getting rid of the car so we can sit back and enjoy all the great tips that were mentioned about the ride itself.
Thanks so much

Posted by
28 posts

Totally doable by train. We left Lucerne via train at 7:04 this morning and arrived in Lauterbrunen at 9:25 relaxed and ready to hike!

Posted by
9 posts

Great to hear! looking forward to seeing how the day goes and what you accomplished!