Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald: The best of the Jungfrau Marathon
Trail running through some of the most iconic Swiss Alps locations
This Run is featured in Run the Alps Switzerland: 30 Must-Do Trail Runs
Θ Point to Point
We're lucky enough to live in Interlaken, making this run home turf. As such, I use it as my go to run when friends visit and want to see the Jungfrau Region, and get a day in on trails.
If you've never been to the Jungfrau Region, your day may go something like this...
The trail starts in Lauterbrunnen Valley, unarguably one of Switzerland's most scenic and iconic areas thanks to having 3000 meters of relief and 72 waterfalls pouring down it's sides. To make things more ridiculously beautiful, there are all the glaciers hanging above to provide stark contrast to the green hillsides you'll start running up on your way to the car free village of Wengen.
After gaining about 1000 meters, you'll leave a short section of dirt road behind for singletrack. This is where things get even better. Now, you're beneath the ice covered north walls of the Jungfrau and Mönch yet still cruising up flowing singletrack which finally accesses one of the most famous pieces of trail in all the Alps: the moraine trail which serves as the final climb of the Jungfrau Marathon. Here, things get dramatic as the landscape is simply surreal thanks to 2000 meters of vertical ice and rock above.
This trail leads to the Eigergletscher Station, the final stop before the train bound for the Jungfraujoch enters the Eiger.
Does this all sound bizarre? 2000 meters of vertical still above you? Glaciers? A train going into the Eiger?
But wait, there's more! Once you've rolled over the top at Eigergletscher you'll begin the long cruise down to Grindelwald on the Eiger Panorama Trail. You've now traded cascading glaciers hanging above you for the world's most infamous alpine north wall, the Eiger Nordwand. You'll surely stop and stare at this ominous mass of wicked looking stone and marvel at the idea of Ueli Steck's 2:22 ascent.
Now it's time to continue down to Grindelwald, much of it on flowing singletrack with views that begin to take in new alpine peaks, like the Wetterhorn, which rises behind town. Once you arrive to Grindewald, you've made the journey that reveals most of what the Jungfrau Region has to offer.
Start: 46.59878, 7.90757
Save this run for the best possible weather. It truly is about the views.
- If the run is too much for you, there are many bailout options. You'll be running near the Kleine Scheidegg train line with many opportunities to jump on board. Consider the stations Kleine Scheidegg and Alpiglen as ways to shorten the day.
- Our Run the Alps Switzerland guide book has lots more info!
This is our home turf, so sure we're biased... but this landscape is stunning.
Headed up the Jungfrau Marathon course with the Jungfrau itself looming above. Not many marathons look like this.
Starting on the descent to Grindelwald beneath the Eiger Nordwand.
Kim opening it up on the way down to Grindelwald with the Wetterhorn visible ahead.
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