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Hiking the Tour of the Jungfrau Region
Hiking the Tour of the Jungfrau Region

Hiking the Tour of the Jungfrau Region

The Tour of the Jungfrau Region (TJR) makes a journey of around 111km through this area, in a constant adoration of mountain and valley, of lake, river and feathery cascade. And by choosing the most scenic trails and some of the most atmospheric places for an overnight stay, it has all the ingredients to ensure a memorable nine or ten-day trek.

scan10105 Hiking the Tour of the Jungfrau Region: A Trip Report

Beginning at Schynige Platte, the first stage of the TJR follows the classic Faulhornweg by way of the Sägistal, Faulhorn and glorious Bachsee as far as First, the upper station of Europe's longest gondola lift which links Grindelwald with some of the region's finest walking opportunities. Practically every step of this first stage enjoys a constantly evolving panorama of bewitching mountain splendour, an introduction upon which it would be impossible to improve.

The route then takes an undulating trail across pastureland to Grosse Scheidegg in the lap of the Wetterhorn, before cutting down the slope towards Grindelwald, but without actually going that far. It is here that the way divides, with one option taking a side trail climbing high above the Upper Grindelwald glacier's gorge in order to visit the Gleckstein Hut at 2317m, while the original second stage ends at Hotel Wetterhorn midway between Grosse Scheidegg and Grindelwald.

The continuing route retains an ambition to stay high wherever possible, so it cuts across the mouth of the gorge and climbs to a balcony trail easing along the steep flank of the Mattenberg with a bird's-eye view across to Grindelwald's hotels. On reaching the end of this balcony, the way divides once more, with one branch striking through the gorge of the Lower Grindelwald glacier and climbing to Berghaus Bäregg, another exciting place in which to spend a night with magnificent views into a vast glacier basin backed by the Fiescherwand.

Scan10104 Hiking the Tour of the Jungfrau Region: A Trip Report

Accommodation

There's no shortage of accommodation on this route, and practically every stage presents several options. There are hotels, gasthofs, mountain huts and matratzenlagers, mehrbettzimmer(n) (communal dormitories). There are wonderfully romantic berghotels and atmospheric pensions with creaking floors, candlelit dining rooms, gingham curtains and pitchers of water and a basin in the bedrooms reminiscent of Victorian ‘en suite’ facilities! On practically every stage modestly priced dormitories are available and, as meals are provided everywhere, walkers can trek unencumbered by heavy rucksacks.

When to walk the Tour of the Jungfrau

The season for high-level walking in the Alps is dictated by the amount and timing of the previous winter's snowfall, restrictions imposed by the onset of cold, inclement weather in the autumn and, where a multi-day journey is involved, the availability of accommodation.

Working within these limitations, in a ‘normal’ summer the best time to tackle the Tour of the Jungfrau Region will be from late June to the end of September, but bear in mind that frequent thunderstorms are common until about mid-August. As the Bernese Oberland is the first of the major Alpine districts to collect weather patterns flowing across northwest Europe, it attracts more rain and low cloud than most of its neighbouring high mountain regions.