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Jungfrau area: from Zurich to lauterbrunnen, wengen, gimmelwald, Muerren in late May - please help!

Hi,
I am planning to be in this area from May 19-23. I am getting very mixed messages about whether this is a good idea. Some say too cold, rainy, muddy. Some say nice for lower elevation hiking, less people, cable cars less crowded. I am really confused and have spent so much time trying to plan. Thinking of giving up. Please help. Also there is the STP for 4 days with one free, so like to take advantage. Thank you!!!!!

Posted by
7833 posts

I was there last year May 15-19 and in 2019 May 14-17. It is my go to what to do on my birthday place. Each time the weather was fine. I am going there again this year around the same time. It may snow at night but it is beautiful and melt by daytime. You have to check what is open as far as mountain excursions.
I had a 4 day STP each time. In your case I would stay in Murren instead of Wengen. The lift to Mannlichen from Wengen to the great hiking up there will not be open.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi!
So good for hiking? Not too cold, muddy? Views of mountains, flowers blooming? If u have more detail I'd so appreciate your input. Thx!!

Posted by
7833 posts

You won't see flowers blooming. If you are staying in Murren you won't be able to hike at that elevation. You can hike down from there to Gimmelwald that's only 15 minutes on a little road. You can hike in the Lauterbrunnen valley. The views are great in Murren that time of year. Though you should wait until late June for hiking and flowers blooming at higher elevations and to see the cows grazing. Too cold for hiking or walking depends on the person. Coming from Chicago I never experienced a wind chill in Switzerland in May. Hiking walking etc warms me up;. Layering underneath with an impermeable jacket that can zip and cover the neck with a hood works for me.

Last year I took a day trip to here and there is some great views and easy hiking https://www.oeschinensee.ch/en/
Since you are coming from Zurich and have a STP you should stop in Luzern and take the boat to Vitznau to catch the train up to Mt Rigi
https://www.rigi.ch/en/inform/timetables

There are some experts on the forum that will see your post and also chime in.

Posted by
62 posts

Hi! I was in this area late May last year and had a wonderful time. I thought it was great for hiking. It was chilly but certainly not too cold and I don't remember it being muddy. As long as you bring some layers and light gloves you should be fine at the higher elevations. Some of the highest trails might be closed, but there's so many to choose from...you should have plenty. There were flowers blooming when I was there but probably not as many as later in the summer months. It's one of the most beautiful parts of the world, I can't wait to go back!

Maybe check the opening dates for the various lifts, cable cars, etc...that you plan to take. When I was there some of the smaller ones didn't open until June but that was never an issue.

Posted by
5 posts

Thx so much for your response. I m getting such different info. One site said to bring winter coat and long underwear. No thank you!! I appreciate the help from ya'll very much.

Posted by
32738 posts

the point is that at that time of year it can vary... exactly where you go also makes a difference, and the biggest variable is altitude. The higher you go the colder, the thinner the air and the stronger sun - when you get sun.

You can have all 4 seasons in one day.

You may be lucky, you may be unlucky. The key in attitude and clothes is to be flexible, and for clothes, layer.

Yes, after snow and rain unpaved paths will be muddy. Same as at home.

Yes, some people don't like to contemplate making adjustments so they go when it is predictably warmor hot and relatively dry - although then thunderstorms roll in - so yes, there are fewer folks in May.

Posted by
485 posts

I love it here in May, it is one of my favourite times. Snow up high and more and more spring-like as you go to lower elevations.

It sounds to me like you haven't actually booked things yet, is that correct? Are you still deciding when to take your trip or just looking for affirmation regarding the plans that you have already made?

Posted by
5 posts

right i have book refundable hotels and have not booked my train tickets. I could go another time, but have biz in europe so thought it would be great to piggy back. but am still worried about late may weather. i could wait but....

Posted by
485 posts

If it was me, I would go, but I grew up in Vancouver, Canada and am not too bothered by potentially rainy days. You have gotten some great responses here that accurately portray what kind of conditions you might find, only you can decide if this is what you would like or not.

Bringing layers for clothing, including a waterproof jacket as well as footwear with good grip for hiking is something you will need anytime of the year, not just in spring.

More rain and/or melting snow = best time of year for waterfalls, of which there are many.

Even now the cows are in the fields in Lauterbrunnen and last week I noticed the crocuses blooming on the hillside on the way up to Kleine Scheidegg.

If you are more interested in hiking at higher elevation and like it when it is really hot, then this is not the right time of year for you.

Posted by
2311 posts

I will be there in late June and I’m packing thermals and a packable puffy jacket for my trip to Jungfraujoch. I also live in the mountains, and know that layers are important. The average temps in May range from 43-53 degrees. That’s cold enough for a jacket for me. Add in the likelihood of rain, at any time of year, and I’d rather be prepared than cold AND wet.

Posted by
497 posts

What Nigel said.

Since this is a piggyback on a business trip you could risk it, just know that you may need to vary what you do during the day. If it’s bad weather go down and do a boat ride on one of the lakes or something else in lower elevations. Walk the Lauterbrunnen valley floor. Knowing that there is a risk that hiking, especially in the really spectacular higher areas, may not work out this trip doesn’t mean you can’t get a feel for it for your next trip.

Posted by
1634 posts

There are flowers blooming here already, so there certainly will be in May. May is often already quite nice. It is quite nice to hike down from Kleine Scheidegg for example and see the succession of wildflowers that appear as the snow melts. But be aware that a lot may still be closed. The cable cars to Maennlichen for example only start on the 27th. Many hotels and restaurants will still be on holiday...