The Best Trail Runs in the Swiss Alps
The terrain of the Swiss Alps lends itself perfectly to the needs of trail runners. Smooth, flowing singletrack, airy ridges and steep climbs characterize the Alps. But add in one of the world's most dramatic landscapes covered in glaciers, green hillsides and stunning peaks, a rich mountain culture, and finally, an infrastructure to make it all accessible, and you have trail running mecca. This collection distills the infinite potential down to some of the very best of the best trail running tours that should be on any trail runner's life list.
Gimmelwald || Maybe the Best Easy Trail Run You'll Ever Do
We actually never intended, or even thought, to add this Gimmelwald trail run to Elevation. But, after doing it numerous times this summer because it is just so perfect and easy, we realized that Elevation needs runs like this. For people visiting Switzerland, Gimmelwald is a place you must visit. For trail runners visiting Switzerland, you may as well go for a run.
Lauterbrunnen Obersteinberg || A trail runner's dream at the back of Lauterbrunnen Valley
Lauterbrunnen Valley is unarguably one of Switzerland's masterpieces. On each side of the valley sit the car free villages of Mürren and Wengen, and also the tiny village of Gimmelwald. This is Sound of Music stuff, and a trail that should top your "Must see to believe" list.
Mettelhorn || A Zermatt Classic with Big Mountain Views
Big vertical days don't get much better than this. It's that simple.
Saas Almagell || Jazzilücke Loop
This is a run that belongs in a guidebook, and it is. It's one of our favorite runs from the Run the Alps Switzerland book. Starting in Saas Almagell, this run cruises through the Furggtalli and Ofental valleys connected by a rocky pass.
Rosegtal || A Bit of Everything in the Engadine
Just outside Pontresina, the Rosegtal offers a brilliant trail running loop below glaciers and the 4000 meter Piz Bernina. With a variety of trails, and ideal altitude for training, the Engadine is a runner's paradise. It's especially beautiful in the fall if you nail it with golden larch and the mountains freshly covered with snow.
Monte Zucchero || A Full Day Above Valle Verzasca
Located in the Valle Verzasca, this is a wild run in a quiet region of the Alps. The trail starts with a long valley cruise to a steep climb before a short scramble to the summit. The downhill side of the mountain is rolling with vast traverses, but still challenging, alternating luxurious, grassy cruising with rock-hopping up and down small rises.
Fionnay - Col des Otanes || Paradise Found in the Val de Bagnes
Gorgeous trails spread out in all directions in the Val de Bagnes. It's like discovering a secret running paradise, only it's not a secret to the runners already there. Steep climbs and sweet single track make this run a Valais favorite.
Lac de Louvie || Journey Through Three Cols
Another great trail tucked into the Val de Bagnes, this run combines a steep starting climb, three high passes, a sweeping traverse, and a playful descent for a varied and challenging day on the trails.
Via Valais || The Swiss Alps Trail Running Grand Tour
Go big! The multi-stage route moves through some of the Swiss Alps’ most beautiful terrain, traversing in and out of valleys rather than straight up and down. You'll run beneath numerous 4000-meter peaks, alongside glaciers, and over high, alpine passes.