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Hiking alternatives to the Berner Oberland

During several trips over the years, I've hiked a fair amount on mountain trails in different parts of the Berner Oberland. Such spectacular scenery and hiking opportunities!

Recently, I've been debating where to go next. I had a trip planned last September (again to the Berner Oberland) but had to cancel because of COVID. I just received the first of two COVID vaccinations and will receive the second dose in three weeks. Assuming all goes well, I hope to take another hiking trip in September 2021.

I thought I'd post here and ask for recommendations of alternative hiking destinations (mainly in Switzerland but other countries, too) that might be as good as, or even better, than the Berner Oberland.

I've been to Zermatt and was very impressed when I did some limited hiking there. Thus, I'm considering the area around Zermatt including Saas-Fee and Bettmeralp. Any thoughts or suggestions about this region would be appreciated (or preferences for hiking around Saas-Fee vs. Bettmeralp vs. Zermatt). Also, what are the best hiking opportunities around Geneva, Zurich, Basel, or other areas of Switzerland?

I'm primarily interested in (1) a good base location, and (2) having an interesting variety of intermediate-level day hikes for a 14-day trip. Although I love hiking, I know my limitations at age 71. I can handle hikes up to four hours long (at a steady, moderate pace) if they do not have total elevation gains or losses more than about 2,000 feet. For shorter hikes, I can handle some additional elevation change.

Thanks very much for your thoughts and suggestions!

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What is it that attracts you to Berner Oberland and what is a good hiking destination for you? One person's dream vacation can be another person's nightmare…

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Zermatt has lots of great hiking opportunities, including hikes to huts and mountain inns above the town. One can do 2-3 day inn to inn or hut to inn hikes in glorious scenery. There used to be a map and guide to a whole circuit above the Valley on one of the websites ( Zermatt.ch or Zermatt.com) but zinhave not seen it in a long time. We have only been there once and had two fullmdays to hike, but I would happily return for more.

Bettmeralp, on the other hand, is practically our "second home" in Switzerland; we have been there 5 times, most recently in 2018 with our son and his family (6 year old twins). We do some of the same hikes to viewpoints of the Aletschgletscher over and over and I never tire of the view. There are numerous lifts that one can ride up or down to shorten the hikes if you wish.

Another place to consider would be the Dolomites. Weather might be better in September in these more southerly mountains on the "sunny side of the Alps". We have not been to the Dolomites as many times as we have been to Switzerland, but loved what we saw there. That will be our first priority when we are able to travel again ( likely not until summer or fall 2022).

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Hi Badger - What a good question! Let me reflect on it a little, and I'll post something in a few hours.

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Hi Lola - Thanks a lot for your thoughtful response. I spoke to someone a couple of years ago who also loved Bettmeralp. I've never been there. If you have the time, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on the similarities and differences (hiking and non-hiking) between Bettmeralp and the Berner Oberland region around Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Wengen, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, Grindelwald, etc.

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Hi Badger - What a good question! Let me reflect on it a little, and
I'll post something in a few hours.

Please do that, I have many hiking suggestions, but it would be helpful if you told us a bit more about what exactly you are looking for.

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Have you hiked in the Kandersteg area of the Berner Oberland? If not, there are several trail options. A couple of years ago we hiked up to the Oeschinensee - beautiful.

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@Badger - Ok, I’ll try to explain why the Berner Oberland is my favorite travel destination. I’ll consider the hiking vs. non-hiking aspects of a trip to the Berner Oberland.

Regarding hiking, I think the Berner Oberland has a stellar combination of magnificent Alpine scenery, ease of getting to high mountain trails, and a very long list of hiking options including easy family trails, strenuous day hikes, and multiday (or hut-to-hut) hiking trips. For example, on a 10-14 day trip to the Berner Oberland, I’ll usually focus on intermediate-level hikes in my wheelhouse like the following: (1) North Face Trail (start at top of Allmendhubel and end at Murren), (2) Sefinen Valley Trail from Gimmelwald to Kirchbaum (and return), (3) Eiger Trail (from Alpiglen to Eigergletscher), (4) hike from Kleine Scheidegg to top of Mannlichen Summit (and return), (5) mountain trail (Hohenweg 2400) from Grosse Scheidegg to intersection with the paved road at First Station to top of Marmot’s Trail at Chrinnenbogen saddle (and return to Grosse Scheidegg), (6) hike for 2.5-3 hours on the various trails around Schynige Platte (or from Schynige Platte to Weber Hut and return), (7) hike for 2.5-3 hours on the various trails around Oeschinensee above Kandersteg, (8) hike from Stechelberg to Berghotel Obersteinberg, (9) Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher, and (10) Wengenalp to Kleine Scheidegg.

Regarding the non-hiking aspects, my wife and I like to combine alternate days of hiking with some day trips to nearby locations like Meiringen, Interlaken, Bern, Thun, Brienz and Kandersteg. Also, multi-day trips to places like Luzern, Zermatt, and Lausanne at the beginning or end of our trip to the Berner Oberland.

When hiking, we usually have our main meal of the day at a restaurant in the mountains like Hotel-Restaurant Grindelwaldblick or Hotel Grosse Scheidegg or Hotel-Restaurant Stechelberg or Hotel Oeschinensee. But it’s also nice to have some restaurant options, and we enjoy visiting a variety of local restaurants in Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Interlaken, etc.

We also enjoy visiting all of the different villages like Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, etc. From my perspective, the Berner Oberland is easy to get to and it has a great combination of hiking options, restaurant options, and sightseeing options.

As I mentioned above, I'm primarily interested in other locations that offer an interesting combination of intermediate-level hikes. The other things like restaurant and sightseeing options are nice additions but secondary.

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Hi KBK - I've hiked on the trails around Oeschinensee a couple of times. What a beautiful mountain lake surrounded by peaks!

I know there are a lot of other hiking trails around Kandersteg. What are your favorites?

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Upon reflection, I've got four prime candidates (alternatives to Berner Oberland) - and Zermatt makes five (thanks to Lola) - and Slovenia makes six (thanks to Badger) - and Norway makes seven (thanks to KBK) - and Pontresina makes eight (thanks to Laurel):

  • Dolomites
  • Chamonix
  • Mont Blanc
  • Bettmeralp
  • Zermatt
  • Slovenia (Triglav National Park)
  • Norway
  • Pontresina (and Samedan)

I've never been to any of the above. I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts or assessments of the above locations, including comparisons to the Berner Oberland region.

I'm particularly intrigued by Bettmeralp. My impression is that the hiking around Bettmeralp is excellent -- and that Bettmeralp has somewhat better hiking options than Zermatt or Saas-Fee.

Since my focus is "intermediate-level hiking trails," I'm wondering if the hiking around Bettmeralp is more focused on either easier family-type trails or more difficult hikes that exceed 4 hours (or have a lot of elevation change)? Can some of the more difficult hikes be aided by taking a lift partway up the mountain?

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By way of background, we have done all the Berner Oberland hikes you listed except 2 and 8, plus the Panoramaweg from Schynige Platte to First (by way of Faulhorn for a lunch stop), the hike to Rotstockhütte from Mürren, and a few others I am forgetting.. At Kandersteg, we like to stay at Hotel Oeschinensee and hike from there—-Blumlisalphütte and Freuendenhuette (the latter on ledges that are made safe with cables).

As for Bettmeralp, it is hard to compare to the Berner Oberland, but I will say that the village is car-free like Muerren, and similarly perched high on a bench above a valley, accessed from below by cablecar. The ascent to Bettmeralp from Betten is over 1000 meters. The village itself is not as old as Muerren; it has some new chalets and hotels due to its popularity for skiing. Above the village is a small lake, Bettmersee, which is popular for swimming and rowboats. The village has a good grocery store, lots of hotels, and chalets for rent. I recall only one stand-alone restaurant (pizza), but each hotel has a restaurant where both guests and non-guests dine. We used to take half-board at Hotel Panorama and often would see people at dinner who walked over from Riederalp. On our most recent visit we rented a 3-bedroom apartment which worked well for our family.

Bettmeralp is linked by a level paved path to the village of Riederalp to the west, and the small cluster of hotels and huts known as Fiescheralp or Kuhboden (“cow land”) to the east. Lifts (cable cars, gondolas, or chairlifts) ascend from each of these three places to the top of the ridge behind the village, which undulates up and down, rising to pinnacles at two summits, Bettmerhorn and Eggishorn. Both of these can be reached by trail or lift, so one can hike up and ride down, or vice-versa (we like to hike up and ride down, but others might like to ride up and hike down). Each peak has a restaurant or cafe on top as well as the top station for the lift.

If you have ever been up to the Jungfraujoch and walked outside to see the Konkordiaplatz and the start of the Aletschgletscher, you could have seen the Eggishorn at the far end of the visible glacier (it makes a 90 degree bend and heads west out of sight from the Jungfraujoch viewpoint.)

The whole area is cross-crossed with hiking trails at all levels. One can make an easy hike by riding a lift up, traversing along the ridge to another lift, and riding down. We like to hike to the top of the ridge and then traverse along the slope above the Aletschgletscher as far as the Marjelensee, a small lake with a rustic restaurant. One can return to Bettmeralp by walking through a 1 -km tunnel under the ridge, or hiking up and over the ridge, to eventually come to Kuhboden (stopping for ice cream) and the muddy trail back to Bettmeralp. Another good hike is to ascend the ridge and hike west along the top to the Aletschwald area, then ride the Moosfluh chairlift down to Riederalp. No restaurant stops on that hike until you get to Riederalp. If you look at a hiking map you will see lots more possibilities. Often there are cows (young ones, not being milked) and groups of sheep on the ridge.

But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Scroll down on this page past “offers” to another photo and use the arrow on the right to flip through a few photos.

https://www.aletscharena.ch/en/activities/walking#c1211

More photos here:

https://www.aletscharena.ch/en/world-natural-heritage-site/great-aletsch-glacier

That photo on the opening page uses a fish-eye lens to slightly distort the perspective. The glacier makes a 90-degree bend, not a horseshoe as it appears in the photo. But these will give you an idea of the scenery. Unfortunately none of them show one of our favorite spots, a place near the Marjelensee where you are actually alongside the glacier with it towering above, and calving into a small pond. Don’t get too close!

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@Lola - Thank you so, so much for all of the detailed information.

I've thought about attempting the hike from Murren to Rotstockhutte. Did you stay overnight at the hut? I know you can make it a circle hike and return from Rotstockhutte down to the Sefinen Valley Trail (pick it up not far from Kirchbalm) and then hike back to Gimmelwald. How hard would you say is the hike from Murren to Rotstockhutte? How does it compare to the Eiger Trail from Alpiglen to Eigergletscher? I'd also love to be able to hike from Murren to Birg, but I know that's outside of my range due to the elevation gain.

As you mentioned, I'd love to do that classic hike from Schynige Platte to First Station (with a stop at Faulhorn for lunch), but that's also too much for me now. I have an old knee injury that flares up when I overdo the hiking. It's worse on steep declines, and I think the descent from Faulhorn to First would kill me.

How far is Bettmeralp from Zermatt? The only time I was in Zermatt was five years ago. When we left Lauterbrunnen in the morning it was raining hard. We drove to the train tunnel by Kandersteg, drove the car onto the train, sat for about 30 minutes in the car in complete darkness through the tunnel, and arrived in Zermatt when it was still raining. After lunch it had stopped raining but low clouds were overhead. We took the funicular to Sunegga to try to get a glimpse of the Matterhorn. About 15 minutes after we arrived at the Sunegga station, the clouds started to part and the sun came out -- and we saw the Matterhorn as the clouds drifted by in front. We hiked for awhile, took a lot of photos, and watched a bunch of black-faced sheep walk by.

It sounds like I'd have no problem finding 7-8 good intermediate-level hikes in Bettmeralp (roughly similar to the ones I noted above in the Berner Oberland). Is that correct? Are there many restaurants in Bettmeralp? Do you recommend a hotel or a rental apartment? My wife and I usually try to stay in a small apartment if we can find one with a reasonable rate so we can cook some of our meals and have a little more space (hopefully with a balcony and a view of the mountains).

Thanks again!

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Laurel from Oregon, who often posts here, has a post about Bettmeralp on her blog, Girovaga.com. If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy a look. She has written two hiking books: one focuses on the Berner Oberland and the other on the Val Gardena area in the Dolomites. Chances are you are aware of all this, but I thought I'd throw it onto your post in case it might help others who are researching those areas.

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Hi Janet - No, I wasn't aware of her books or the website. I'm sure they're very informative -- I'll check them out. Thanks very much.

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Thank you! Since you mention magnificent Alpine scenery I assume that is important to you. In that case, I'd suggest that you consider Slovenia as well. especially the northwestern part of the country, in and around Triglav national park. It is a beautiful area with plenty of stunning scenery. As well as many options for day trips (and overnight trips) both in Slovenia and to Italy and Austria. Slovenia also has the advantage of being a bit cheaper than Switzerland.

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@Badger - Thanks very much. I'll add Slovenia to my list of candidates.

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@Janet - I just ordered "Walking in Italy's Val Gardena: 23 Easier Walks in the Dolomites near Ortisei" by Laurel Barton from Amazon. Looks like a perfect book for the types of hikes I'm interested in.

Laurel Barton also has two websites, "ProjectEasyHiker.com" and "girovaga.com" that have a substantial amount of information for hiking in the Dolomites and the Berner Oberland.

Laurel Barton uses the village of Ortisei as her base for hiking in the Dolomites. Any thoughts or suggestions for using that village or alternative close-by villages (like Selva or Santa Cristina) as a home base would be appreciated. Also, thoughts on the best intermediate-level hikes in Val Gardena.

Thank you, Janet!

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I think you will be happy with that book, Bill W. - I got the first edition shortly after it was published and love it, the revised edition has lots more good stuff....

Laurel and her husband walk every inch of every walk and write very clearly.

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Here is Laurel’s article about Bettmeralp from her blog:

https://girovaga.com/?s=Bettmeralp&submit=Search

Nice photos and good recommendations for a hotel and a restaurant. They endorsed the pizza restaurant I mentioned above, although I did not know the name. As far as I know it is the only stand-alone restaurant in the village; all the others are in hotels—-but non-guests are welcome to dine there.

They stayed at Hotel Waldhaus, which looks very nice in the photos. I believe that is the hotel quite close to the cablecar station. I would take that recommendation over the place we used to stay, Hotel Panorama, because I haven’t been there since 2007 and they have since then changed management. The new owner/manager is the the sone of the owner I knew, Fredy Schmiedhalter. That guy was such a great cook! We would take half board there and Herr Schmiedhalter always made saltimbocca for us because he remembered that I like it. I hope his son is just as good, but I will say the menu on their website looks different. Maybe that is just due to reduced operations during covid times.

Note that the photo of the Matterhorn on the page is a telephoto. You can indeed see the Matterhorn from Bettmeralp on a clear day (we saw it from the balcony of the apartment we had last time), but it is not as close as that.

That last visit we had an apartment at Chalet Guxa and I would recommend that to anyone looking for a nice apartment. The one we had, the Dachwohnung, was 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and is not listed on Air BnB any more. Perhaps the family moved into that one. They do have a studio and a 2-bedroom flat in the same building.

Bill W. asked about getting to Zermatt from Bettmeralp. It is 2 hours and either 19 or 26 minutes by cablecar and train, the difference depending on whether you make one change or two on the way.

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On Laurel's recommendation, we stayed in Ortisei on our first visit to the Dolomites in 2019. We also day-tripped (and hiked around) Santa Cristina and Selva. We enjoyed Ortisei and liked the fact that it was closer from there to Siusi/Seis to take the gondola up to hike on the Alpe di Siusi. It depends on the amount of time you have. I know that on at least one trip, Laurel and her husband spent two or three days in a hotel ON the Alpe di Siusi to get in more hikes up there. Using two different home bases might help you get in more hikes. I won't weigh in on which hikes are best because Laurel does that so well in her book. I sent her some pretty detailed notes I made when we went (at ages 72 and 74) and she incorporated some of my suggestions in the latest edition of the book. The one hike I would most want to do on a return trip is one we missed out on because we were there too early in the season (early June) and the Seceda lift was not running. It is "Seceda to Forcella Pana" in Laurel's book. Laurel seems to have settled on the first two weeks in September as her choice for the Dolomites, so you're on track there! I urge you to PM Laurel with any questions you have. She always seems to be happy to help.

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Hi Nigel - Thanks for your comments. Do you have any thoughts (hiking or non-hiking) about comparison of the Berner Oberland vs. the five candidates for an alternative (Dolomites, Slovenia, Mont Blanc, Chamonix, Bettmeralp)?

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@Lola - Thanks again for your detailed and informative comments and suggestions.

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@Janet - Thanks so much for your additional thoughts. Have you done much hiking in the Berner Oberland? If so, I'd be interested in your thoughts on similarities and differences with the Dolomites (hiking and non-hiking).

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I only know the area around the Berner Oberland so can't compare

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Another thought, if you want mountain scenery but it doesn't have to be the Alps, Norway is a good option. Stunning scenery almost everywhere. But not as densely populated, so options for day trips are limited. And it is not really a budget destination.

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Hi Bill W. The hike up to Oeschinensee is the only one I've taken from Kandersteg (we were there with our scout troop at the International Scout Centre). The only other hikes I've done in the BO area is from the top of the Mannlichen down to Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen, from the top of the cable car above Lauterbrunnen over to Murren and then down to the cable car below Gimmelwald, and along the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Would love to go back and do some of the others! Closer to your home is the Harding Icefield Trail near Seward, Alaska in Kenai Fjords National Park. Check it out at: https://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/harding_icefield_trail.htm#:~:text=The%208.2%2Dmile%20round%20trip,taking%20view%20of%20the%20Icefield.

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Hello All! I have been pursuing so many projects lately I haven't checked in here but Bill W. sent me an email asking me to "stop by" I blush at your comments! Thanks for the cheers! We are so looking forward to updating the books, se Dio vuole later this year with two week stays in each of our favorite places, Ortisei and Lauterbrunnen!

Bill, you are getting great info on Bettmeralp. We enjoyed our time there very much (thanks to Lola for turning us on to Bettmeralp) although we hit quite a chilly period in late Sept 2019. The Hotel Waldhaus is out-of-this-world delightful! Zermatt is lovely with great vistas and good hikes. Each of those places, Bettmeralp and Zermatt, are good for 3 or 4 nights, IMO, at our level of hiking and also given cost and limited potential for wandering far from those locations. There is not, AFAIK, the potential for 2 weeks of hiking nor easy day trips in either location. We have not yet been to Saas-Fee but it is on the tentative 2021 itinerary.

Ortisei in the Val Gardena is probably our top pick for hiking trips. It is, at the very least, tied with the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the greater Jungfrau Region. We have a hard time deciding between the two so almost every year we go to both places and try to spend two weeks in each.

While the train only runs to Bolzano, it is easy enough to get to the valley via bus or taxi and once there you do not need a car. (Car-free travel is a significant factor for us.) Each lodging establishment gives you a pass for use on the bus system for the duration of your visit so it is easy to go from town to town accessing lifts and hikes from Bolzano to the high passes and beyond. The lifts are not cheap, but there are convenient passes that help defray the cost and compared to Switzerland, the transportation is actually reasonable. There are myriad restaurants and the food is divine. It is Italy, after all!

There are hikes for every fitness level and desire. We call ourselves "easy hikers" and usually stay in the 2-3 hour category. Almost every hike you can do there will take you to or past a rifugio where you can rest, eat, get coffee, use a restroom, etc. So civilized. We occasionally do two hikes in a day when we are there: one before lunch at a rifugio and one after because it is so easy to string together hikes. But you can find plenty of more challenging hikes as well.

We once spent a month in Ortisei, in July, and never ran out of options. You can day trip to Bolzano, Bressanone, or Castelrotto, or even hop the (free with pass) bus over to another valley, like the Alta Badia or Val di Fassa.

One more thought on Switzerland. We enjoyed a week in Pontresina in 2018. There is some very good hiking there, great little trains that chug between valley stations, a fabulous funicular ride, glacier views, and being so close to Italy, great food choices in the restaurants. Most people even spoke Italian, which I found convenient. We had an apartment there, overlooking the rushing river and are contemplating when we can fit in a return trip. Plenty to do for a week.

We will be there in Sept (fingers-crossed and vaccines administered!) so maybe we will see you!

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Hi Laurel - Thank you so much for stopping by and for all of the wonderful information based on your extensive hiking and travel experience. Your insights are very valuable! Really fantastic!

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I’ve been reflecting on the topic of this thread (“Hiking Alternatives to the Berner Oberland”) from my own personal perspective. Hopefully, it will provide some context to the discussion. Also, it affects how I view the major alternatives like the Dolomites, Bettmeralp, etc.

Depending on my traveling companions, I’ve taken three different types of trips to the Berner Oberland over the years: (1) my wife and myself, (2) another couple plus my wife and myself, and (3) myself and a hiking buddy. I’ve enjoyed every trip, but they are different with respect to our goals and how we spend the days. The first type of trip is a combination of sightseeing, exploring different restaurants, and hiking on the less difficult trails. We’ll usually alternate days of sightseeing and hiking.

The second type is similar to the first type -- I’ll be more of a tour guide if the other couple has never been to the Berner Oberland, and I’ll select hikes according to the hiking ability of the group. For example, the best hikes might be the easier (but still great) hikes like (1) Grutschalp to Murren, (2) Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, (3) Grosse Scheidegg toward the First Station on the paved road (go as far as desired and return to Grosse Scheidegg for lunch), (4) First to Bachalpsee, (5) hiking part (or all) of the circle hike at Schynige Platte, (6) hiking from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg along the river (or the reverse), (7) Murren to Gimmelwald, (8) Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher, (9) Wengenalp to Kleine Scheidegg, or (10) hiking to the Oeschinensee from the lift (Kandersteg) on the main path (and return).

During the third type with a hiking buddy, we’ll hike almost every day, and our hikes will be the more difficult ones where I’ll test the outer limits of my hiking range. The primary focus is hiking. Everything else is secondary.

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Some reflections on traveling to new vs. old destinations: Many persons love to travel to new destinations and have new travel experiences, and they prefer not to return to prior destinations. Others are more risk averse and at the opposite end of the spectrum – if they find a location they like, they’ll return over and over. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle, but I lean toward the latter.

This dichotomy is exemplified by two couples I met on my last trip to the Berner Oberland in 2019. I met one couple on the 50-minute mountain train ride up to Schynige Platte. They lived in Canada and loved to travel. She had a popular blog that focused on family vacations to beaches and mountain locations around the world, and it had become a source of income. Her goal was to visit at least three new destinations each year. At age 38, she had already visited 45 locations in 32 countries across five continents. She could not understand why I continued to come back to the Berner Oberland with all of the varied possibilities available for good hiking vacations worldwide.

A few days later, I met the other couple while hiking along the Sefinen Valley trail. They lived in a suburb of London and had both just turned 70 (like me). After doing a lot of hiking in England, Scotland, Ireland and other locations in Europe, they first visited the Berner Oberland for a hiking vacation at age 35. For the past 35 years, they had returned each year to stay at their favorite hotel in Wengen and hike their favorite trails in the Jungfrau region. After they had retired, their only change was to take a longer vacation to Wengen each year.

Before making my first trip to the Berner Oberland, I had hiked in many of the U.S. National Parks: Acadia, Shenandoah, Smoky Mountains, Assateague, Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, North Cascades, Olympic, Crater Lake, Yosemite – and I had returned to my favorites several times. For example, Glacier National Park and the hikes to Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, and the Highline Trail.

Over the years, I had read extensively about the Berner Oberland and Jungfrau region, but it wasn’t until later in life (after the kids were launched) that I finally made it there. I was a little hesitant because I thought it was doubtful that the hiking and the area could meet my sky-high expectations. On the airplane returning from my first two-week trip, however, I realized that my lofty expectations had been significantly exceeded.

I think one dimension of the issue is quantity vs. quality. Some persons love to keep track of the number of countries they’ve visited, and the number of unique travel experiences and memories they have accumulated. I understand this perspective, but mine is somewhat different. If I find something unique and outstanding, I tend to be attracted to it and attempt to explore all of the nooks and crannies of the destination/experience.

I started this thread with the objective of trying to identify a new hiking destination that was as good as, or even better than, the Berner Oberland. At this point, I think I’ve identified two prime candidates: the Dolomites and Bettmeralp. Many thanks again to everyone who responded.

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Finally, coming back to the concept of “exploring all of the nooks and crannies,” I realize that there are four areas of the Jungfrau region that I have never explored adequately, if at all. First, I’ve never been to Isenfluh, Sulwald and all of the hiking trails in that area. Second, I’ve hiked the Sefinen Valley trail out of Gimmelwald, but there are several other trails starting at Gimmelwald that I’ve never taken. Third, from the top of the Allmendhubel, there are several trails that I’ve never explored.

Fourth, I’m particularly intrigued by the region around Grosse Scheidegg. I’ve hiked Hohenweg 2400 (to First and Chrinnenbogen) several times. I also know there are some very difficult trails (Schwartz summit, etc.) that are outside of my ability. But there are several trails that leave Grosse Scheidegg in the direction of Meiringen that I’ve almost taken and should be within my ability.

I should note that I did a trip report last year, "Hiking in the Berner Oberland," that provided descriptions of several hikes from my last trip to the Berner Oberland.