Julie Switzerland 20 Comments

The Northface Trail in Mürren has a little bit of everything…stunning mountain views, small hamlets and chalets tucked away amidst the mountains, flower-filled alpine meadows, and pastures filled with cows and their musical bells.

This is an easy walking trail that is done as a loop from Mürren. Along the way, you are treated to spectacular views of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau as well as views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You also have the option to add on Sprutz waterfall.

Here’s how to do it.

Northface Trail Hiking Stats

Distance: 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 380 meters (1,250 feet)
Length of Time: 2.5 hours
When to go: It is best to do this walk from May through October.

Northface Trail Map Murren Switzerland

Map of the Northface Trail. The walking path is yellow, the Allmendhubel funicular is blue, and the detour to Sprutz waterfall is red.

Northface Elevation Profile

Elevation profile of the hike. This includes the detour to Sprutz waterfall which accounts for the extra distance (the detour to the waterfall adds on 1 km to the hike).

Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

 

The Northface Trail

Getting to the Trailhead

The Northface Trail is done as a loop and it starts and ends in Mürren.

Since this is done as a loop, you can start this hike from several different places in Mürren.

Most people start at Schilthorn Cableway station and walk the loop clockwise, ending with a ride down the Allmendhubel funicular.

However, you can do this in the opposite direction. Start at the Allmendhubel funicular and ride it to Allmendhubel, and then walk the trail counterclockwise, ending at the Schilthorn Cableway. This makes this walk slightly easier, since the funicular eliminates a small amount of elevation gain.

We started at the Schilthorn Cableway station and walked the trail clockwise. There are some brief climbs along the way but nothing too strenuous.

This post is written with the walk starting at Schilthorn Cableway station and going clockwise, ending with a ride down the Allmendhubel funicular.

On the Northface Trail

The trail is well marked. From the Schilthorn cableway station, and any time you come to a fork in the trail, simply follow the blue trail sign labeled “Northface Trail.”

Northface Trail Sign

From the Schilthorn cableway station, the trail starts off as a wide paved pathway. It’s an easy climb and from the top of the first hill you will have a nice view over Mürren.

On the Northface Trail

First View of Murren

 

The trail heads into farmland and changes into a narrow, dirt trail. You will pass small houses and farms and have wonderful views of the mountains.

Northface Trail from Murren

Detour to Sprutz Waterfall

Sprutz waterfall is a lovely waterfall tucked away in a forest. We liked it because you can walk behind it and even midday in July, we had it all to ourselves.

Sprutz Waterfall

Behind Sprutz Waterfall

To get here, it takes 15 to 20 minutes of walking, one way, on a trail through the forest. As you approach the forest on the Northface Trail, there will be a sign pointing to the trail to Sprutz waterfall.

From the Northface Trail, it is a mostly downhill walk to get to the waterfall, which means that it will be an uphill walk to get back on the Northface Trail.

Worth it? Maybe. If you have the time and the energy for some extra walking, and like the idea of visiting a waterfall tucked away in the woods, then the walk to Sprutz is worth it. You should just know that you won’t have beautiful views of the mountains on this detour, since you will be in a forest the entire time.

Back on the Northface Trail

After the detour to Sprutz waterfall, the Northface Trail really gets good. Now, you are walking through a gorgeous valley, past small farms with their rustic barns and cows grazing in the fields, with Schilthorn looming over you.

Farm on Northface Trail

Northface Trail Switzerland

Northface Trail in July

The Northface Trail with Birg and Schilthorn in the distance.

Some houses on the trail offer bathrooms, food, and water, should you need these.

As we walked up the trail, two goats greeted us, which was a wonderful surprise. They checked us out, head-butted my camera a few times, and posed for photos for Kara.

Goats on Northface Trail

Goat Face

Kara and the Goats

 

From the valley, it is a short but steep climb, but once at the top, the views are incredible. Now, you get to look down at the valley you just walked through. Meanwhile, the Schilthorn cable car quietly zips back and forth, cows and the sound of their clanging bells fills the air, and the snow-capped mountains form the perfect backdrop. If you want a hike that captures “classic Switzerland,” this is it.

Tyler and Kara in Switzerland

Pig on Northface Trail

Northface Trail and Schilthorn

Jungfrau Switzerland

As you continue on the trail, you will have stunning views of Mürren far below. You will pass through several small hamlets and restaurants before the final, short climb to Allmendhubel.

Murren Switzerland

Murren Walk

Walking the Northface Trail

Cows on Northface Trail

 

At Allmendhubel, there is a playground and a restaurant. This makes a nice place to take a break before continuing to Mürren.

Allmendhubel

From Allmendhubel, you can ride the funicular into town. If you want more exercise, there is also a trail that heads down into Mürren, just be prepared for a steep descent.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: The Allmendhubel Funicular runs from 9 am to 5 pm, departing every 15 minutes. Click here for ticket prices and the timetable (the funicular does not run year-round; periodically it closes for maintenance work and during our visit, it was closed for two days because of technical difficulties).

Things to Know Before You Go

Wear a good pair of walking shoes. Hiking shoes are great but you will do just fine in a pair of running shoes or sturdy walking shoes. If it has recently rained, the trail to Sprutz waterfall could be muddy.

This is a great hike to do with kids. The views change frequently and with a chance to get up close with cows, goats, and pigs, this trail is good at keeping kids entertained. Plus, you end at a playground at Allmendhubel. The kids can play while the parents enjoy the amazing view.

This makes a great addition to your day if you also have plans to visit Schilthorn. A trip to Schilthorn is best in the morning, when you can have brunch at Piz Gloria, and before the midday crowds arrive. The Schilthorn cable car will drop you off in Mürren, the starting point for this trail. Hike the Northface Trail and end the day with dinner in Mürren.

Where to Eat in Mürren

Here are a few great restaurants in Mürren, great options for lunch or dinner, before or after your walk.

Hotel Bellevue. This great restaurant offers cozy, indoor seating as well as seating on their outdoor terrace, which offers spectacular views of the Alps. The food was the best we had while in Mürren.

Hotel Eiger. Located right across the street from the Mürren train station, this restaurant is a bit pricey but the food is great. We ate here twice, at lunch and at dinner, and the lunch menu is cheaper than the dinner menu.

Eiger Guesthouse Restaurant. This restaurant serves Italian and Swiss dishes. We ate here on our last night in Mürren. If we had eaten here earlier in the week, we would have been here more than once! 🙂

Where We Stayed

We spent 6 wonderful nights at Hotel Alpenblick in Mürren. This small hotel is located near the Mürren train station on the edge of town. We stayed in the family room so we had two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a balcony with a view of the Alps. The rooms are basic but they are comfortable, quiet, and cozy. The wifi works well and the views are amazing. Hotel Alpenblick is a great value for the money you spend and we chose it since it’s a highly rated hotel that was cheaper than many in Mürren. We would not hesitate to stay here again. 

For more information about where to stay, read our post Best Places to Stay in the Jungfrau Region.


If you have plans to walk the Northface Trail and have any questions, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Places to Go in Switzerland:

JUNGFRAU REGION: If you are planning a trip to the Jungfrau region, check out our Guide to the Jungfrau Region, which includes maps and important travel planning information. We also have a separate article about the best things to do in the Jungfrau region. Get more information on where to stay in the Jungfrau region and how to add on the thrilling Mürren Via Ferrata to your visit.

JUNGFRAUJOCH OR SCHILTHORN: Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn are two high alpine excursions in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. If you only have the time for one, which is better, Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn?

LUCERNE: Learn how to spend one perfect day in Lucerne with a trip to Mt. Pilatus.

ZÜRICH: For things to do on a quick visit, check out our article One Day in Zürich. 

ZERMATT: In Zermatt, don’t miss the hike from Gornergrat to Riffelberg. Another popular hike is the 5 Lakes Trail. For more ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Zermatt.

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to Zermatt is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary, which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.

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

 

Murren Switzerland Northface Trail

 

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Comments 20

  1. Avatar for Marta
    Marta

    Hi!
    I´ll be staying at the Almendubel restaurant for some nights, which would be the best starting for this route then?
    Thanks for the info!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      I recommend taking the funicular into Murren and starting at the trailhead for this hike, the Schilthorn cable car station. Then you will finish right back at Almendhubel. Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for CandyG
    CandyG

    Great article. Really led us to the right places. We did it counterclockwise and loved it there is a view at every turn.

  3. Avatar for Jasbir Kaur
    Jasbir Kaur

    Hi Julie,
    You did the Northface trail clockwise and the. pictures are amazing. The mountains are literally in front of you. What if I did it counter clockwise? Will the mountains be at the back of me? Do I have to turn around to get the view? Just curious. Thanks for your reply.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      One of the many great things about this hike is that you are surrounded by mountains. If you look in almost any direction, you will see some mountains. And since this is a loop hike, the views will always be changing. So, this hike would be just as good in the opposite direction. You’ll have to turn around occasionally for the view but it’s not a big deal. Have fun on the hike! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Jennifer Wullenweber
    Jennifer Wullenweber

    This is a great article! We are traveling to Wengen May 31 – June 8 and plan to hike this trail. Do you know if the trail is officially open now or do you know of a website we can go to check the status of the trail? I know the funicular will be closed during this time so we plan to hike the trail counter-clockwise and walk down once we reach the funicular.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
  5. Avatar for Salvecho Templa
    Salvecho Templa

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for this awesome blog! When you said that you ride down the “Allmendhubel funicular” is that a separate pass? If yes, howmuch did it cost?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      To ride the Allmendhubel funicular, the cost is currently CHF 14. That’s for a return ticket, which means both ways. You might only pay half of that to ride it one way. And if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you get 50% off of this price. We bought our tickets at the Allmendhubel station right before riding the funicular. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Arij
    Arij

    Hi

    Thanks for your blog as its very informative. I have a question regarding the Northface trail. We will be coming from Wengen. How do I get to the Schilthorn cableway station in Murren from Wengen? and after we take the ride down the Allmendhubel Funicular how do we get back to Wengen?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      You have two options to get to Murren from Wengen. From Wengen, ride the Wengernalpbahn to Lauterbrunnen, then ride the cable car to Grutschalp, then ride the train to Murren. OR, ride the Wengernalpbahn to Lauterbrunnen, ride the bus to Stechelberg, then ride the cable car to the Schilthorn station in Murren. To get back to Wengen, follow one of these routes in the opposite direction.
       
      If you want to do a loop, ride the Wengernalpbahn to Lauterbrunnen, then the bus to Stechelberg, and the cable car to the Schilthorn cable car station in Murren. This puts you right on the Northface Trail starting point. Hike the Northface Trail and ride the funicular to Murren. Optional lunch or dinner in Murren. Then ride the train to Grutschalp, the cable car to Lauterbrunnen, and the Wengernalpbahn back to Wengen. It’s a lot of transportation but it’s beautiful!!
       
      Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for RoseAnne Oberheide
    RoseAnne Oberheide

    First. Your blog is outstanding!!!

    Did you hike up schilthorn from murres and if so how long did it take

    Also you said that you ran out of time on gimmelwald tanzaboli hike. How/where did you cut it off?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      We did not hike up to Schilthorn…we rode the cable car up and back. But we spoke to several people who did the hike and they loved it. However, I don’t know how much time it took. As for the Tanzbodeli hike, I estimate that we turned around about 2 miles into the hike (about halfway to Obersteinberg). It’s a nice walk on a wide trail heading out from Gimmelwald and then an uphill climb through a forest with occasional views of the valley. It was at this point where we had to turn around because of time constraints. But from other photos I saw online, if you go all of the way to the Obersteinberg hut it is beautiful! Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Prateek Haralalka
    Prateek Haralalka

    Hi Julie,

    I’m currently planning my hikes in the Bernese Oberland, and your website is GOLD!
    Everything I need is right here!

    One question: When you say ‘Schilthorn Cableway’, do you mean the one that starts at Stechelberg?

    Do let me know.

    Thanks much!
    Pat.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, the Schilthorn Cableway is the one that starts in Stechelberg. The starting point for this hike is the Murren station of the Schilthorn Cableway. I hope this clears up any confusion. 😊 Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Prateek Haralalka
        Prateek Haralalka

        Hi Julie,

        I just noticed that you actually replied to my message.

        Guess what – I’ve already done 3 of the hikes mentioned by you – Maanlichen to Wengen, Eiger Trail, and today – Schilthorn to Murren.
        And I plan on doing the North Face Trail tomorrow.

        Thank you SO MUCH for this blog and all the details you provide. It definitely made my trip fun and a lot easier to plan!

  9. Avatar for Angeline
    Angeline

    Hi

    I have been following ur write ups for my Swiss and Scotland trip planning . U r doing a great job . Thank you . I just have a question

    I am planning to take northfaxe trail as I stay in murren . And planning to visit wengen one noon and go up till Mannlichen to do royal walk , after royal walk should I get down from mannlcihen to grindelwald or should I go for a Mannlichen-Kleinscheidegg( panoramic trail) and catch a train from there .. are the north face and panoramic trails offer different views or if it’s just the same .

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Angeline. From Mannlichen, hike the Royal Way and then hike to Kleine Scheidegg on the Panorama Trail. Once in Kleine Scheidegg, return to Murren via the train through Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. You get different views on the Northface Trail and the Panorama Trail so I think both are worth it. From the Northface Trail you are looking across the valley to the Alps but you also get up close with the villages and farms. On the Panorama Trail, the mountains are right in front of you and it is a gorgeous view this entire walk. Take lots of photos and enjoy your visit! Cheers, Julie

  10. Avatar for Ly Nguyen
    Ly Nguyen

    Hi There,

    I will going to the Lauterbrunnen region from 4/9-4/14. We are moderate hikers, what trails do you think will be open around these time? Do you think I should stay in Wengen? Did you need a Jungfrau pass?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Many of the hiking trails open in June once the snow melts. I am not sure how many trails will be open in April. We had a Swiss Travel Pass, but the Jungfrau Pass does offer discounts for the region. Trying to decide between the Swiss Travel Pass and Jungfrau pass also depends on what else you plan to do in Switzerland and how long you will be visiting the country. You don’t need a Jungfrau Pass (you can by all your train tickets individually) but the Jungfrau pass might offer you some money savings. Wengen is a great town to stay in. Lots of hotels and restaurants to choose from and it has a very nice setting overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Lauterbrunnen and Murren and also very nice places to stay. Grindelwald is a bigger, more touristy town but there are a lot of options here as well. But if you are looking for charm, Wengen, Murren, and Lauterbrunnen would be my recommendations. Cheers, Julie

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