Trail Running the Niesen Uphill

Big Vertical Training Day!

→ 7.5km

↑ 1679m

Δ 2362M

♦ Medium

Θ Uphill

Trail running the Niesen is a funny mix of extremes. It’s a beautiful mountain with a not so memorably beautiful trail that climbs 1700 meters, without interruption, to a stunning summit view.

More than anything, for trail runners, it is the perfect big vert training climb. The trail is annoyingly runnable because it is not so steep. As such, you feel obligated to keep running the 1700 meters, which is a lot of vert to maintain a running movement. Again, it’s perfect torture that'll have you pushing all the way to the top.

While doing it, spare a thought for Ueli Steck. He would regularly do three laps on it. Basic math reveals that to be a 5100 meter day. In Ueli’s case, a morning.

But hey, if you aren’t into 1700 meters of down, catch the roller coaster like, incredibly steep, train that goes right to the summit, which you can board smelling your best thanks to the shower on top for athletes. Beside that train track is the world’s longest staircase, which you’ll surely notice and consider how it would make your quads feel like to go up. Too bad though, it’s not allowed. Unless of course you do the annual race up it. 

I wouldn’t make the Niesen a priority destination, but if you are in the area, don’t miss all that it has to offer, it offers a lot.

Detailed GPX Track

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GPX Track
Start:  46.639781, 7.690006
Town:  Mülenen
Canton:  Bern
Country:  Switzerland

  • Go hard from the start! By the time you get to treeline you'll be curious how you did when it comes to your Strava news.

  • Save your knees and consider the train down. And another lap up, of course.

  • No need to carry food or water if you prefer to go extra light, it's available on top.

To save routes, download GPX tracks, and navigate offline subscribe to SwitzerlandMobility Plus.

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Perfect trail through thick forest kicks things off for the first 800 meters.


The perfect form of the Niesen as seen from Interlaken.

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Comments 2

  1. Can you give some information on the NIESEN TREPPENLAUF CLIMB what is the date for 2022 and also places to stay close to the start of the climb
    Thank you
    Marsha O’Loughlin

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