Trail nos.57/58 approx. 4.5 hrs
Wilderswil – Breitlauenen
This hike starts at Wilderswil railway station and leads up to the Schynige Platte intermediate station. From Wilderswil the trail takes you at a steep incline through mainly shady mountain forest to Breitlauenen. What make this ascent particularly appealing are the views that encompass the deciduous woodlands of the valley floor and the colourful alpine flora and fauna at a variety of altitudes. View of a painting: The hike to Breitlauenen is rewarded with panoramic views at the destination.
Breitlauenen intermediate station is situated on the northern slope of the long Faulhorn chain. It perches, terrace-like, high above the valley floor and Interlaken. To the left and right, the fjord-like arms of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun stretch out, behind them the pre-Alp peaks of the Brienzer Rothorn, Augstmatthorn and Niederhorn stretch up into the sky. This is where the painter Ferdinand Hodler created some of his most famous works, such as “Der Brienzersee von Breitlauenen aus” (A View of Lake Brienz from Breitlauenen).
Breitlauenen – Schynige Platte
At Breitlauenen station, where you can enjoy wonderful views of Lakes Brienz and Thun and the pre-Alp peaks Brienzer Rothorn, Augstmatthorn, Hohgant and Niederhorn, the path leaves the railway tracks and branches off into the forest, after which a well-kept gravel path takes you ever higher. Here the trail branches off from the railway line, leads down through the forest and then climbs steadily along a well-maintained gravel path.
At intervals you come across lovely views of Lake Brienz and the Bödeli, the plain between Lakes Thun and Brienz. The forest soon thins out and the trail crosses some deep gullies, where the path is secured with a railing. The views widen, soon taking in the entire Lauterbrunnen Valley. You gain altitude crossing the wide basin of Alp Bigelti parallel to the Schynige Platte Railway and, after one last turn, reach Schynige Platte. The inspiring panoramic view that awaits you here is stunning. To the east, you can see the valley of the Black Lütschine with Grindelwald, to the south the valley of the White Lütschine with Lauterbrunnen and the small village of Isenfluh nestled on its terrace above.
Between them you can see the green domed peak of the Männlichen and the majestic Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks in all their splendour. Ferdinand Hodler immortalized these fascinating views in several magnificent paintings of these grandiose giants in ice and rock.
End May to mid-October
Trail is open all year but may have snow higher up during winter months.