Eiger Trail Hike

How to Hike the Eiger Trail in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Julie Switzerland 18 Comments

If you are looking for a short but sweet hike in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland, the Eiger Trail is a great one to consider. This point-to-point hike follows the north face of the Eiger mountain. Along the way, you get jaw-dropping views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and also down to Grindelwald.

This was one of our favorite hikes in the region. The views are unbeatable, it is mostly a downhill walk so you don’t have to be super fit to hike this trail, and it can be easily added onto a visit to Jungfraujoch or Kleine Scheidegg.

And did I mention that the views are spectacular?! 🙂

One of the most confusing things, at least for me, was figuring out how to get around the Bernese Oberland. In this article, not only will I tell you what to expect on the trail, but how to get around by train.

Here we go!

Facts About the Eiger Trail

Distance: 7.25 km (4.5 miles) point-to-point
Elevation Change: 140 meters up, 800 meters down
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Length of Time: 2 to 3 hours
When to go: Late June through October

If you read other articles about the Eiger Trail, the distance is consistently listed as 6 km (3.75 miles). Our Garmin GPS said this hike was 7.25 km, from train station to train station. The extra distance could have come from the change in the start of the hike due to construction at Eigergletscher or interference from the mountains. However, this hike felt longer than 6 km, so I believe our GPS was relatively accurate. 

Important Note:  This hike is different from the Jungfrau Eiger Walk. The Jungfrau Eiger Walk is a 2 km downhill walk that connects Eigergletscher with Kleine Scheidegg. You will not hike past the North Face of the Eiger on this walk. Learn more here.

Background Information on the Eiger

Eiger is one of three main peaks in the Bernese Oberland. Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau form a trio of mountains that dominate the landscape. Jungfrau, at 4,158 meters, is the tallest of the three but Eiger, at 3,967 meters, is a popular rock climbing destination.

The North Face of the Eiger was first climbed in 1938 by an Austrian-German climbing team. Since this time, 60 others have lost their lives attempting to climb Eiger.

Hiking the Eiger Trail is a great way to get up close with this massive mountain, without risking your life.

How to Get to the Eiger Trail

The Eiger Trail is located in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland.

This is a point-to-point hike, starting at Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier Station) and ending in Alpiglen. If you do the hike in this direction, it is a mostly downhill walk. Of course, you can start in Alpiglen and walk uphill to Eigergletscher, but if you do so, add another 30 to 45 minutes onto our time estimate since you will be moving at a slighty slower pace.

To do this hike, you will take a train to Eigergletscher station, the starting point of this hike. Then, at the end of the hike, take a second train from Alpiglen to your starting point in the Bernese Oberland.

Below is a trail and train map of the area. I highlighted the key towns (Kleine Scheidegg, Eigergletscher, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen). The Eiger Trail is the red hiking trail labeled #36. Trains and cable cars are the black lines. Hiking trails are the red lines.

Map of the Hike

 

Here is a zoomed-in version of the above map. I highlighted the hiking trail blue.

Map Switzerland

How to get to Eigergletscher

Eigergletscher station is located between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch. To get here you will first have to take a train to Kleine Scheidegg.

Getting to Kleine Scheidegg

Trains arrive at Kleine Scheidegg from Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen (via Wengen), and Grindelwald.

From Interlaken, you will travel by train to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. Then, you will transfer to a second train to Kleine Scheidegg.

Here are estimated train travel times and fares:

  • Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen: 21 minutes, 2 per hour, 7.60 CHF one way
  • Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald Grund: 43 minutes, 2 per hour, 11.20 CHF one way

 

  • Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg: 43 minutes, 2 per hour, 30.80 CHF one way
  • Grindelwald Grund to Kleine Scheidegg: 24 minutes, 2 per hour, 31 CHF one way

If you are coming from Interlaken, time wise it makes no difference to go through Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. But it is slightly cheaper to go through Grindelwald.

Eiger Trail hiking ticket. This is a train ticket that covers your fare from your starting train station to Eigergletscher and then from Alpiglen back to your train station of origin. The official website states that prices start at 24 CHF but more realistically they come in around 65 CHF. For more information, click here.

Kleine Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg station and the Jungfraubahn, the train that goes to Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch.

Getting to Eigergletscher

From Kleine Scheidegg, it’s a quick train ride to Eigergletscher. It takes just 6 minutes, there are 2 trains per hour, and costs 8 CHF one way. The train does not stop here long, since the majority of people are continuing on to Jungfraujoch, so be prepared to get off when the train makes its brief stop.

Pro Travel Tip: If you visit Jungfraujoch on the same day, the return train stops at Eigergletscher Station before arriving at Kleine Scheidegg. Get off at Eigergletscher to start the hike. We visited Jungfraujoch in the morning and hiked the Eiger Trail in the afternoon. This saved us the money and time for a second train journey all of the way back to Kleine Scheidegg on a different day.

What We Did

We did this hike in early July.

We started the day with a visit to Jungfraujoch. We took the first train of the day, taking advantage of the discounted Good Morning Ticket.

We took the first train of the day up to Jungfraujoch and spent the morning here. After having lunch at Jungfraujoch, we took the train back towards Kleine Scheidegg. We got off at Eigergletscher, hiked to Alpiglen, and took the train back to Kleine Scheidegg.

The Eiger Trail

Currently, the start of the hiking trail is being diverted due to construction work at Eigergletscher Station. A V-Cableway is being built and this is expected to last until December 2020.

However, the trail is very well marked and easy to follow. At the station, look for the bright yellow-orange trail signs or the large signs that direct you to the temporary access to the Eiger Trail.

Trail Sign

Eigergletscher

Eigergletscher Station

The trail sign at the trailhead states that it takes 2 hours to hike this trail if you start at Eigergletscher. We typically hike much faster than most estimates. However, it took us 2.5 hours, simply because we stopped so frequently to take photos and enjoy the views.

This place really amazed us.

The first views, just meters away from the Eigergletscher station, are incredible. This is where you can look across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren. Looming over you are Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. On a crystal clear day these views are unbelievable.

Eigergletscher View

View from Eigergletscher Station

 

Jungfraubahn

Jungfraubahn arriving at the station

 Earth Trekkers Switzerland

Great place for a family photo

 

A View of Murren

 View across Lauterbrunnen valley to Mürren and Schilthorn

The trail quickly makes a turn back towards Eiger. For most of the hike, you will hike downhill towards Grindelwald. To your right you will overlook Kleine Scheidegg. 

A View of Kleine Scheidegg

Overlooking Kleine Scheidegg

 

Start of the HIke

For most of the way, the trail slowly heads downhill without much deviation. To your right is Eiger. In front of you is Grindelwald. Even though the views don’t change a whole lot, there is still something very thrilling about this hike, especially on a clear day like we had.

Here is a journey down the trail in photos.

Eiger Trail View

Kara on the Trail

Even in early July, there was still snow on the trail.

Snow on the Trail

North Face Route

The turn-off for the via ferrata on the north face of Eiger. If you are interested, learn more here.

 Hike Switzerland

More Snow on the Trail

Best Hikes in Switzerland

Hike the Eiger Trail

Hike in Jungfrau

Hike Bernese Oberland

View of Grindelwald

A view of Grindelwald.

 

Alpiglen Trail

Alpiglen, Grindelwald, and a view of the trail as it switchbacks down to Alpiglen.

Just before the trail makes a turn towards Alpiglen, you will arrive at this waterfall.

Waterfall on the Trail

Then the trail zig-zags its way to Alpiglen. This is the toughest part of the hike, since the trail is rather steep here. If you have hiking poles, this is the perfect place to use them.

The trail ends in Alpiglen. There is a small restaurant here, if you need food or drinks or just to take a break before moving on.

Alpiglen

From Alpiglen, you can either take the train to Kleine Scheidegg (12 minutes) and onto Lauterbrunnen (50 minutes) or you can go directly to Grindelwald (18 minutes).

Alpiglen Station

Alpiglen station

Want to See More?

Check out our video about what it is like to hike the Eiger Trail.

What to Bring on the Hike

Hiking shoes. Waterproof hiking shoes are ideal, especially if you are hiking in late June into July or October, when there could be snow on the ground. However, you can get by with a good pair of walking shoes in the late summer if conditions are dry.

Hiking Poles. These are nice to have, especially at the very end of the hike, when the trail becomes a steep, downhill walk that makes the knees ache.

Food and water. There is no food or water along the trail. However, there is a restaurant in Eigergletscher and Alpiglen.

Sunscreen. There is very little shade on the trail.

Important Links


If you are planning to do this hike and have questions, feel free to comment below!

More Information for Your Trip to Switzerland:

Read all of our articles about Switzerland in our Switzerland Destination Guide.

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Hike Eiger Trail Jungfrau Switzerland

Comments 18

  1. Hello, we are traveling to Switzerland next weekend and am trying to figure out the best hikes to do during that time frame. Do you think this trail will be open? Do you know of a site that shows what trails and cable cars are open during that time? I have read in other places that things close in preparation for ski season.

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      Author

      Hello Paula. The trail might still be open. It just really depends on the weather. Many cable cars and trains will run year round. I recommend you take a look at the Jungfrau website. This site has webcams, info on winter hiking, and the timetables for the cable cars. I hope you get a chance to hike the Eiger Trail…it’s beautiful! Cheers, Julie

  2. Hey there! When you bought your tickets, did you buy them separately or went thru that Jungfrau-Top of Europe website (Eiger Trail hiking ticket)? I would be coming from Interlaken and based on the Top of Europe website, it says i can purchase my hiking tickets starting from Interlaken.

    I also have viewed your photos and noticed the trails seem fairly easy. But you mentioned towards Alpiglen, there is a steep path. Do you happen to have a picture of that? I am thinking to bring my 72 yr old mother with me, who is able, but I am worried about the steep portion. About how long is the steep portion and to what degree (ex: 45 degree angle)?

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      Author

      We bought our tickets at the train station in Murren the day before going to Jungfraujoch. We purchased round trip tickets to Jungfraujoch, not planning to do this hike at the time we bought our tickets. While on Jungfraujoch, we decided to do this hike, since the weather was still so clear. There are a lot of different ways to purchase these tickets, and the best way really depends on where you are coming from, if you also go to Jungfraujoch, and where you will go after this hike. The staff in the train station ticket booths should be able to help you purchase the cheapest tickets for what you plan to do.

      Sorry, I don’t have a photo of the steep part. The steep section is about 1 km in length and takes about 20 – 30 minutes to hike. It’s definitely not 45 degrees, it’s easier than that. It’s enough that it will tire out your legs and make your knees sore, if you have knee issues. My Mom is the same age and she could do it if she took her time but she would be done for the rest of the day (and probably wouldn’t want to hike the next day, either). Hiking poles will help a lot on this section. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

      1. Julie,

        Thanks for your reply! I think i will save the ticket buying @ the ticket booths and with the knowledgeable staff! Based on your tips; i think i have figured out the train schedule. But is there a train from Alpiglen to Grindewald Grund instead of having to go back to Kleine Scheidegg?

        Also, how much is the train tix to Eigergletscher to Top of Europe?

        I am now thinking i should bring mom… it would be a waste to go all the way to Switzerland and her not experience this trail!

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          Author

          Yes, you can take a train directly from Alpiglen to Grindelwald Grund. It only takes 18 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes. If you bought round trip tickets for Eigergletscher to Jungfraujoch to Eigergletscher tomorrow, it would cost 122 CHF per person. Here’s the link. However, tickets cost more in the summer months. On this website you can put in starting and ending destinations to get schedules and ticket prices.

          Another great trail is Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. It’s beautiful and it’s shorter than the Eiger Trail. I will be writing about it soon. You would have to get to Mannlichen and walk to Kleine Scheidegg. We walked it Kleine Scheidegg to Mannlichen, but it’s all uphill in this direction, so that’s why I recommend going the other way. But your transportation will be more challenging and we liked the Eiger Trail a lot more because it is less crowded.

          Cheers, Julie

          1. Thank you SO MUCH, Julie!!! You’ve helped a lot. I am leaving to Switz on the 18th… so im trying to work on the hiking portion of my itinerary STAT! I feel like I’m running out of time! Thanks again and will surely go back on this blog once I’m @ Interlaken (on the 23rd)!

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            Author
  3. Hi! Thanks so much for creating this guide and sharing your tips! It is greatly appreciated. I wanted to ask if you bought a round trip from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch, and on the way back got off at Eigergetscher, or did you buy a one way ticket from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch, and another ticket from Jungfraujoch to Eigergetscher? Also, would you recommend buying tickets in advance- purchased online, or is buying it on the day fine too?

    additional note: your photos and video footage are lovely!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Lyla. Since we were staying in Murren, we bought round trip tickets from Murren to Jungfraujoch. So, we went right to Jungfraujoch first thing in the morning. After visiting Jungfraujoch, we took the train to Eigergletscher and hiked to Alpiglen. We had to buy a one way ticket from Alpiglen to Kleine Scheidegg. And then, we then hiked Kleine Scheidegg to Mannlichen and rode the cable car to Wengen. So, we did not fully take advantage of the round trip Jungfrau tickets, but we did the Eiger Trail on a whim and decided to do it last minute.

      Figuring out train tickets in Switzerland is very confusing. For Jungfraujoch, especially if you want to be on the first train, it is best to buy your ticket 1 to 2 days in advance, because ther earliest train does sell out. Plus, if you have reserved seating on the train, you get to wait in a much shorter line when you leave Jungfraujoch. We bought our tickets in advance at the train station in Murren. You can ask about reserved seating at the ticket counters. The ticket agents are also very knowledgeable in helping you buy the most efficient, cost effective tickets, so I recommend talking to them. Where you are starting has a big impact what’s the best way to buy these tickets. Plus, you could compare costs of a round trip ticket Eigergletscher to Jungfraujoch vs. two one-way tickets with the second only to Eigergletscher. Option #2 is probably cheaper, but then you still need to get to and from Kleine Scheidegg.

      Cheers, Julie

  4. Thank you for this guide. We are planning a trip to Switzerland next year and will be spending a few days in this region. This is one of the hikes on our list. Will you be posting guides for the other hikes you did? We are planning to do the Schynige Platte to First hike and another involving the Schilthorn and Bryndli.

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      Author

      It is exciting to hear that you are planning a trip to Switzerland! We still have lots to write about with regards to Switzerland, including all of the hikes we did there. Please stay tuned 🙂 Happy Travels! Tim

  5. Thank for this detailed post! We are headed to Switzerland in 2 weeks and are staying 3 nights in Interlaken. Our kids are a little younger 11, 9 and 6, but I think they can do this! Any other recommendations in the area? We absolutely love following your travels!
    I see you guys are in pants. I try to pack light, just backpacks. I was planning to just bring a long sleeve for everyone. Will we freeze in the mountains in shorts? Thank you and safe travels!

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      Author

      Hello Michelle. This will be a great hike to do with your kids. As far as what to wear, it really depends on the weather. We were warm on this hike but we also had perfect weather (this was our best weather day with 6 days in the area). Up on Jungfrau you need hats, gloves, and layers. In Murren and Kleine Scheidegg, we were fine with long pants, a T-shirt, and a fleece. Shorts can be a little chilly, especially at the beginning and end of the day.

      Check out the North Face Trail around Murren. It’s a great, relatively easy hike where you get great views of the mountains and can get up close with cows and maybe goats if you are lucky. There are suspended walking paths at Birg and First that your kids might like. There are short hikes and a lot of family friendly activities to do in First. Our favorite town in the area was Murren…try to spend some time here. And right from Interlaken you can ride the funicular up to Harder Kulm for views of the Alps.

      Cheers, Julie

  6. Were you anywhere near where Iceman was found? You could easily imagine that you are 5000 years in the past up there. So beautiful and remote. I can imagine Iceman hiking through there.

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      Author

      Hello Arnette. I did not know who the Iceman was, so I had to Google search it. He is a 5000 year old mummy that was discovered in the Alps between Austria and Italy, so we weren’t in the exact region, but he really wasn’t too far away. Cheers, Julie

  7. Thank you for bringing back my memories of visiting beautiful Berner Oberland in 2009. It’s been one of my favorite parts of Europe. Now I want to visit it again and follow your steps on some hikes.
    We stayed in cozy Mürren and Wengen.
    Did you buy a Swiss Pass? We did and despite on a high cost it was totally worth it.

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      Author

      Hello Dimi. It’s a beautiful area. Yes, we bought the Swiss Pass, which was not cheap, but better than paying for everything individually. I’m glad we could help bring back some great memories! Cheers, Julie

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