Hiking Down the Schilthorn

Has anyone hiked down from the top of the Schilthorn to Gimmelwald? We are a reasonably fit family two adults and 2 children 7 and 10. Is this something we should attempt? I'm up for it, but I've seen varying descriptions some warning against others encouraging. I just don't want to drag the family out there and have to get glares from my wife for 5 hours.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24135 posts

Ricardo, IMHO, I wouldn't attempt the hike down from the Schilthorn with children in that age range. It IS steep in parts and some of the terrain can be a bit treacherous. There are LOTS of other hiking options in that area, which are well covered in the Switzerland Guidebook. One fairly easy hike would be to take the Allmend-Hubel Funicular from Murren and then hike down through the alpine meadows (as I recall, it takes about 1-2 hours). There's a Hotel / Bar up there also, in case you want to stop for a "cool one". Just to clarify, the trail from Murren to Gimmelwald is narrow but paved as I recall. Although the Guidebooks state this is a "car free" area, that's not entirely true. I've been passed on that "trail" by the locals in the small SUV's. Happy travels!

Posted by Ricardo
Glenwood, MD, USA
38 posts

OK, so I'm beginning to sense a trend here. Looks like I may have to bag this idea, though my wife is encouraging me to do some solo outings. May consider doing it myself also, considering renting a bike (strenuous rides) or possibly the Klettersteig.

Posted by Ricardo
Glenwood, MD, USA
38 posts

I've read that school children do it. How about down from Birg?

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11065 posts

The hike from Gimmelwald to the valley floor below is an easy walk along an unpaved road -technically, Gimmelwald is on the lower slopes of the SCHILThorn (your spelling in the title would have an interesting pronunciation). But from the summit? Watch the movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" to see why that wouldn't be recommended for the general public.

Posted by Amy
Madison, WI, USA
490 posts

Well I can tell you what my conversation was with my husband...we read that it was very narrow in parts of it and that it can be slippery when wet. I hate heights ME: no thanks HIM: kindergarden kids frequently take this hike. ME: yeah ALPINE kindergardners HIM: that doesn't make them super human.
ME: it does to me! I won.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9300 posts

Hmmmm...I'm looking at the Subject Line of this thread: has the pronounciation or spelling of this mountain been recently changed??

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6815 posts

Here are the hikes recommended for children on the Schilthorn website: http://www.schilthorn.ch/en/hiking/theme-trails/ They go by various paths down from the Allmendhubel. Here is a link to the complette hiking brochure: http://www.schilthorn.ch/en/hiking/ It says the hike down from the top of the Schilthorn is "Lohnende Bergwanderung für geübte
Wanderer." Translates as "An impresive mountain path for experienced hikers." I don't think that includes children as young as 7. We've considered that hike each time we've been to Murren (we would hike it uphill not too foggy/cloudy, or rain and thunder threatened. (There is a memorial up there to a woman who was killed by lightning in the barren rocky stretch.) We are experienced hikers and I wouldn't consider taking a child on a hike like that. Ride down to Birg and hike from there. Hopefully that will avoid the glares from your wife! I've read mixed reviews on the new Klettersteig. There is also a little climbing garden behind Gimmelwald, on the trail into the Kilchbalm; my (adult) kids checked it out but I didn't. It might have some bouldering suitable for kids the age of yours.

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
11065 posts

Kent, I've been there in April when they fertilize the pastures- liquified manure sprayed out of a power hose. So, perhaps the name in the title would be appropriate for that time of year...

Posted by Marissa
Livermore, CA, United States
22 posts

Hi Ricardo, If your children and wife are adventurous and hike with you often, I would say, do it. It is steep and I was nervous, but I did fine. We took my father in law from the Birg on down the mountain. It was a challenge for him, but he loved it. He was 68 and had the beginning stages of parkinsons. I am sure your kids could do that part of the hike. You could all take the tram to the top of the Schilthorn, then you hike from the top and meet them at the Birg. They take the tram from the Schilthorn down to the Birg. I would say this is the best solution and the most fun. I so much enjoyed seeing the Swiss cows and the beautiful flowers and all! I know your kids could do this and it would be worth it!

Posted by judy
maitland, Fl., USA
39 posts

Several years ago my 22 year old daughter and I walked all the way down from the top to Murren in July . It was cloudy , rocky in parts and difficult in parts. A local farmer offered to accompany us and I really appreciate his assistance . I would not recommend this hike for children. However, Ken's idea about going up on the Allmend -Hubel is excellent. I took this hike last summer with my two other young adult kids and it was easier and more interesting- you pass two or three places where you can stop for a bite to eat and a rest.Go on a pretty day - we got our best pics of our trip on this hike.

Posted by Adam
2925 posts

The very top of that hike, from the summit down to the next lift stop, is steep and vertiginous. I would not do it under any circumstances, personally. The hike from the first lift stop is great, weather permitting. I wouldn't miss it for anything.

Posted by Ricardo
Glenwood, MD, USA
38 posts

Thanks. My wife says shes not waiting at Birg for me with the kids while I hike down from the summit, so I'll be doing that hike alone on a separate occasion, maybe when she takes the kids to the pool. How long should it take to hike from Schilthorn to Birg?