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Oeschinensee - worth the trip (weather permitting)?

Hello -

For those who have hiked in the Bernese Oberland, have you done the Oeschinensee Panorama Hike?

If weather permits (coming to realize flexibility is essential for Alpine weather…) - is it worth the trip? I could add it in on the way in or out of the region (moving on to Lausanne).

I am planning on several other recommended hikes - Schynige Platte (panorama, not on to Faulhorn/First), Mannlichen Panorama, Eiger Trail to Alpiglen, Murren North Face. Read a lot about Bachalpsee, but seems like a very crowded experience and also a great chance to be negatively impacted by weather.

Interested to know if anyone has made the trip.

H

We were in the Alps the last 10 days of July - Grindelwald, Zermatt, Chamonix. 2.5 sunny days, five with the clouds obscuring the peak tops, and 2.5 foggy days, with only the valley bottoms out of the clouds. Brief thundershowers most afternoons.

The Oeschinensee Panorama Hike was fine. Not many people, unlike the more famous walks. We had cloudy weather, with the tops of the peaks obscured, but the lake was istill mpressive from the cliff-top trail.

Bachsee was in the fog, so not very satisfying. Lots of people like lakes, so it was pretty busy. We walked from Grosse Scheidegg, but went down a more obscure route that had no people.

Mannlichen was in the sun, and quite fine.

Posted by
16874 posts

We have done all he hikes you list, although we hiked the whole way from Schynige Platte to First instead of looping back to Schynige Platte. That is an ambitious list to accomplish in the timeframe you mentioned in your other post—-9 am on Monday until 2 pm on Wednesday, considering the travel time from Muerren as well as the hike itself. Maennlichen is the least interesting, in my opinion, so if you need to drop one I suggest it is that one. It was a nice walk to do with my 6-year-old grandchildren when we took them to Switzerland in 2018, but it is very crowded and just not as compelling as the others.

As for Oeschinensee, it is always hard for me to judge whether something is “worth it” to some else. We include an overnight stay of 1-3 nights at Oeschinensee in the Berghotel by the lake in almost every visit to Switzerland. Our favorite hike there is up to the Fruendenhutte alpine hut above the lake. The trail ascends the cliff that arises from the lake by means of ledges, and is truly spectacular—-and a unique experience. The ledges are wide and stable and provide good footing, and there is a steel cable against the rock to grip if one is nervous.

https://www.fruendenhuette.com/

The panorama trail you mention makes a loop above the lake in the other direction. I have hiked one of those trails on the way to Blumlisalp Hutte on the other side of the lake from the Fruendenhutte, but not sure if it is that one, so I really cannot comment. We do like the lake-level “sculpture path” but that is just an afternoon stroll, sometimes linked with a swim in the (cold) lake.

But when would you go to Oeschinensee? After you leave Muerren, on your way to your next destination?

Posted by
8 posts

Hi Lola,

Thanks for all your advice!

If weather is ideal (slim chance I realize), I would like to do all listed.

- Schynige Platte and Murren North Face (same day on the way from Luzern to Murren)
- Mannlichen and Eiger (same day, back to back)

Have some flexibility on the way to Lausanne to start the business part of the trip. So, I was considering heading to Kandersteg and up to Oeschinensee on the way there and ending up in Lausanne in the evening.

Any other recommendations to fill 6 hours?

I’ll definitely look into your suggestion!

H

Posted by
7070 posts

It seems difficult to do both Schynige plate and Mürren in the same day with a start from Luzern: the train up Schynige Platte is very slow (about one hour each way IIRC) and there is some travel time between the base and Mürren.
Therefore you might have to visit these places on separate days, and will probably want to use the day when you head to Lausanne.
If you want to take your time on the way to Lausanne, I would rather take the longer, scenic railway route via Zweisimmen (branded as "Golden Pass") to Montreux, followed by the 1.5 hour cruise to Lausanne with great views of the Lavaux vineyards.

Posted by
1379 posts

The hike up to Oeschinensee is enjoyable although we didn't go above the lake. I'll bet that's even better! We also did the Mannlichen Panorama and thought it was great. The hike from the cable car above Lauterbrunnen over to Murren and down to Gimmelwald is fun and easy as is the hike through the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Posted by
51 posts

We went to the Oeschinensee a couple of years ago; it is very pretty. We did the First to Schynige Platte hike (the whole hike!) two days ago. The weather was gorgeous and it was not crowded at all. It is nominally a 5 hours / 16km hike, but adding some time for lunch, gawking at the mountain peaks and lakes and panting on the steep uphill part, we barely made it in 7 hours. Adding to the challenge is the fact that the last train off Schynige Platte is at 17:36 (if you go the opposite direction, the cable car at First also stops running at 17:30). For a more leisure hike, I'd recommend starting at First, hike to Faulhorn; savour the breathtaking view and then go back to First. This will also allow you to see Bachalpsee. Alternatively, you could do the Schynige Platte panorama ridge hike. At least when we were there (early morning at First, and late afternoon at Schynige Platte), neither was crowded. Have fun!

Posted by
88 posts

Just completed this hike today and for me I would say it's 100% worth it. I believe it to be one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. But again, it is about preference.

We rode the lift up and hiked the panorama trail. While it does not go "around" the lake, it does provide amazing views of the lake 95% of the time. It was clear early with overcast later, but you definitely want dry weather. There's many areas of the trail that could be hazardous in rain.

I advise starting on the side closest to the lake and then coming back down the high side. The views are all in the beginning that way. (We started almost at the lake instead of the listed trail head)

We arrived at 10:30 and completed the trail at 4:00 after stopping to have lunch, pet a couple cows, and take a million photos.

So in my opinion, yes it's worth it - but can't be rushed and must be on a mostly clear day.
(Oh and while there were a ton of people going up to the lake, we met very few along the hike so it wasn't very crowded hiking)

Posted by
8 posts

Hello everyone!

Just completed my trip and unfortunately I did not make it to Oeschinensee.

I had great weather in Schynige Platte overlooking Interlaken (but no views to the Alps). Then, cloudy weather for two days in the Alps - but despite great weather in the valley and alpine towns, the peaks were totally obscured. My third (and last) day was perfectly clear!!! So I went back up to Mannlichen and walked to Kleine Scheidegg then around and down to Wengen.

Oeschinensee will be saved for my next trip. :). Glad to hear all of you enjoyed it!