Lauterbrunnen Obersteinberg Classic Loop
A trail runner's dream at the back of Lauterbrunnen Valley
This Run is featured in Run the Alps Switzerland: 30 Must-Do Trail Runs
Before I ever ran this loop, I heard two different friends refer to the back of Lauterbrunnen Valley as a "Happy Place". I too found the place, and more importantly, the energy, to be something unique. Explaining what exactly that feeling is, is difficult. Happy works.
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. These are the places to which tourists flow, and from them people venture out to explore the area. In the back of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, starting from the town of Stechelberg, is a loop trail requiring a bit more time and commitment, ideal for trail runners. It's never difficult, mostly runnable singletrack, and always scenic as it passes beneath the Jungfrau Region's icy high crest.
I remember the first time we headed up the trail. We passed a typical Swiss barn with a water fountain out front, and as we stopped to top off our bottles, a group of animals walked out to greet us. Suddenly, it felt as if we wandered into a Disney movie as a horse, a couple of goats, and a few chickens stood among us. What the....? They'd emerged from the stalls to satisfy their curiosity, and to get their heads scratched. "Well that was a bit odd...", someone remarked as we continued on.
This is a trail runner's dream track. Plus it has a perfectly situated little lake, the Oberhoresee, and classic, old Swiss mountain hotel, the Obersteinberg, at the end of a long traverse just before you begin your descent back into Lauterbrunnen.
This is Sound of Music stuff, and a trail that should top your "Must see to believe" list. It all adds up to a very Happy Place.
Detailed GPX Track
Download the GPX File and import the route into your phone's mapping app and/or your watch for the full turn-by turn.
The tracks for the Run the Alps Switzerland runs are free for download with book purchase. We hope you’ll support what we do and buy our guidebook prior to downloading these tracks.
Start: 46.54397, 7.90328
- There are numerous options for this route, to either add on, or make shorter. Study your map.
- There is abundant water to be found throughout the length of this trail. Also, consider the Obersteinberg as your food source. It comes late on the trail, but at the optimum point before descending.
- Our Run the Alps Switzerland guide book has lots more info!
This. A trail runner's Happy Place.
Above both sides of the valley are imposing walls, one is ice and rock, the other towering limestone.
The Oberhoresee is a mandatory stop and swim.
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