A friend and I are wanting to hike from hut to hut in Switzerland. We do not want a pre-planned trip that cost 2000 dollars. We just want to hike from one hut to another and stay the night and maybe get a breakfast in the morning. Hoping to pay no more than 40 euros a night. Berner Oberland is the region we are thinking of staying near because we have a flight that leaves from Zurich. The time we will be staying in Switzerland is between may 20th and june 1st. Any examples, websites, or personal stories would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.alpinehikers.com/switzerland_bernese_oberland.html Google hut to hut Switzerland. Many sites to choose and research.
Most huts are in high elevation. Between May 20th and June 1st when you want to hike there will be still snow on the trails so you need to do your homework to find out which huts will be opened.
The Alpine Pass Route is a hut-to-hut route (including some villages) through the Swiss Alps, running generally east-west. It passes through the heart of the Berner Oberland. The problem is that your time frame is early, so the higher passes between Mürren and Kandersteg will be snowed under and dangerous. You maight be able to do the portion east of there, say from Meriingen up through Schwartzwaldalp to Grosse Schedegg (above Grindelwald), then over to the Faulhorn and on to Schynige Platte. But even some of that might still be snowy, depending on the winter snowpack. Thee is a book by Kev Reynolds, "The Alpine Pass Route" that gives a detailed description of the route, but do pay attention to the seasonal recommendations. You could also look on MySwitzerland.com for suggestions for multi-day hikes that are open and passable in late spring. They may be in the Jura or Voralpen regions, or possibly in the Valais, rather than the Berner Oberland. (Personally I have not done any hiking in the Berner Oberland before June 25, and even that was early-season).
You are choosing a very unstable - and maybe dangerous - time for Alpine hikings. It is the end of major thaw season, many small creeks are likely to be full of water and there might be unstable snow packs in whatever route you choose. Given Switzerland more northern latitude than, say, Colorado, and the particular geography of the Alps, it is more likely that trails and their lodgings might be closed around that time. I'd try to postpone the trip for at least 3 weeks to have less possible problems with snow-related issues. Of course, that will also depends on each year's winter. 2009-10 for instance was a brutal winter, snow melting well into June. 2010-11 was milder, not much snow by May 31st already.
Agree with the others that late May is too early for hut-to-hut hiking, at least in the Berner Oberland. In mid-June last year in Zermatt, I came across several stretches of trail that were almost completely blocked with snow. They would have been impassible a few weeks earlier. If you can't change the time of your visit, you could look into Alpine regions at lower elevations than the Berner Oberland (ie, the Alps in St. Gallen and Appenzel, which are more convenient to Zurich anyway), or nearby non-Alpine mountain ranges, like the Jura in northern and western Switzerland, the Vosges in Alsace or the southern Schwartzwald in SW Germany.
Thanks everyone, I was wondering why a lot of them didn't start till june. The time frame is pretty much set in because we already have the tickets. Hopefully we will be able to do some alpine hiking though. Is there any places cheap and possibly closer to zurich that anyone would suggest?
The Weg der Schweitzer ( Swiss Patth) is a regional multi-day trail around the Urnersee, in the area south of Luzern. It is not far from Zurich and at a fairly low elevation, so should be fine in late May.