Lauterbrunnen to Kandersteg: Crossing the Berner Oberland
Connecting two iconic Swiss regions, this trail is a classic journey through quintessential Swiss Alps
Θ Point to Point
The north side of the Swiss Alps is quintessential Switzerland. Monster peaks, like the Eiger, rise above both glaciers and green, pastoral hillsides. Picturesque villages dot a landscape that is rarely seen without the ubiquitous cow and accompanying cowbell. It’s a landscape that seems too good to be true, even when you’re standing in it. It is spotless.
Nowhere is all of this more evident than in the Berner Oberland. There, connecting two of Switzerland’s most beautiful regions, Lauterbrunnen Valley and Kandersteg, is a trail that offers perfect running, tough climbs, big views, and a true point to point journey.
The route requires two significant climbs. For starters, you’ll enjoy the Sefinafurgga (~1700 meters) with views of the famous mountain trio: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and which serves as a warm up before the shorter, though very steep, Hohtürli (900 meters).
Thankfully, two mountain huts come when you want them most. First, there is the Gspaltenhorn Hut, which requires a short, though very worthy, detour while descending to the Kiental. There you can fill your tank before starting up the second climb to the Blümlisalp Hut, which appears right on top of the Hohtürli.
All that remains from the Blümlisalp Hut is an 11km descent, all runnable, right into the village of Kandersteg. Along the way, and in case you haven’t gotten your fill, you’ll have more food options by the shores of the Oeschinensee, one of Switzerland’s most beautiful alpine lakes.
Once in Kandersteg, you can hop on a train to get you to where you need to return.
Start: 46.09436, 7.95759
- While always on good trails, this is a long tour made difficult by the amount of vertical. Take advantage of the two huts and only carry enough food and water to get you between them.
- The second climb is very steep and has been known to burst many a quad, be in good uphill condition. Don’t underestimate what this kind of vertical does to the legs.
- This run can be done in two days with an overnight in either the Gsplatenhorn or Blümlisalp Hut.
- Our Run the Alps Switzerland guide book has lots more info!
Alister Bignell getting going up the Sefinafurggapass.
Lured in with the promise of baked goods, Alister agrees to the short detour to the Gspaltenhorn Hut at the back of the Kiental.
Nearing the top of the Hohtürli, just when your legs are starting to make their feelings known, you reach the steepest bit.
Straight from the Blümlisalp Hut, you'll enjoy 11km of downhill running all the way to Kandersteg.
If your eyes still have it in them to take in more views, you'll have plenty to marvel at along the Oeschinensee.
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