Reuti cable car station
from 1100m up to 1300m and back down to 1000m
medium length, easy Winter walk
This is an easy, mostly level hike of about 3 hours, with varied scenery and jaw-dropping views. Also the train journey is quite spectacular, climbing up from Luzern over the Brünig Pass past several lakes, and dropping down into Meiringen.
The walk traverses the side of the Interlaken valley, showing the Brienzersee, the Eiger, and the immense cliffs of the opposite wall. The initial climb takes some effort, but is well worth it. Part of the walk passes through an idyllic Swiss village, with historic and picturesque houses, before following a trail through the thick forest.
The walk described here is a fairly direct, 3-hour route. One of the many alternative walks is also shown on the picture below, climbing up through Schletter to Bidmi and along to Lischen, before rejoining the more direct route at Wasserwendi. This alternative adds around 1.5 hours and around 200m of climbing to the totals.
The signposting on all the walking paths is excellent, with all the winter paths marked with a snowman sign.
The narrow path cut into the snow
View across the valley in April
The path traversing the valley towards the Brienzersee
Descending from Hohfluh through the shady valley
The start of the walk is at the cable car station of Reuti, above the village of Meiringen. Both Meiringen, and the end of the walk at Brünig-Hasliberg, lie on the train line between Luzern and Interlaken, with regular trains in both directions.
From Zurich, take the hourly train to Luzern, and then join the connecting train (marked Panorama Express) for the trip round the base of Pilatus, past the Sarnensee and over the Brünig Pass before descending to Meiringen (total time around 2h20). A 10 minute walk through the small town brings you to the Meiringen-Reuti Luftseilbahn, from where it's a short ride up to the start of the walk.
The end of the walk is at the railway station at Brünig-Hasliberg, (which you passed through on the way), so the trip back is the same. The train ticket (with halbtax) costs CHF 36, and the cable car ticket (which has to be bought separately) is a surprisingly cheap CHF 2.
For a zoomable, scrollable map of this hike, see this online map using Openstreetmap or Opencyclemap.
You can also download this kmz file bruenig.kmz to open it in programs like Google Earth or GpsPrune and then transfer the track to your GPS.
Reuti - Wasserwendi - Hohfluh - Brünig-Hasliberg
The direct route described here, and a longer alternative
Before the walk can properly start, there's a 10 minute stroll across the small town of Meiringen from the train station to the cable car. This tourist town is doing its best to cash in on the Sherlock Holmes connection, but still manages to remain a pleasant place. Follow the signs for the Reuti luftseilbahn and cut diagonally left across town towards the wires which you should be able to see. Don't forget to pick up the free map from the lower cable car station, called "Bergfrische - Winterwandern & Schlitteln".
After your ride up to the Reuti cable car station, go down the steps onto the road, and follow this road uphill for a few yards until a small track leads up to the left. From here, just follow the signs for the Panoramaweg (marked with snowman symbols) uphill. There are several paths crossing up here, but if you keep following the panoramaweg, it eventually cuts back left, still going uphill, and heads back towards the cable car lines above Reuti.
This initial stretch can be tiring work, but once the path heads out of the trees, the views pay you back. The only thing to spoil the panorama is the gondola line and the power cables. Take care when crossing the ski slope!
The path now drops slightly, still traversing the slope and still marked "Panoramaweg". The open views remain, with the Eiger just peeking through, but the picnic spots get more tranquil as you go. Soon you arrive at the small tourist resort of Wasserwendi, but by following the path straight on (and continuing straight on at the unsignposted hairpin), you soon pass through and on towards Hohfluh. Don't miss the sharp left turn just above Hohfluh. Here the route drops down past several amazingly impressive old buldings, on the so-called Häuserweg, scattered around the small village, with a real sense of history (along with several new attempts on the same theme).
As the walk leaves Hohfluh, there is a sudden change to scenic isolated valley, as the path drops down between agricultural land and forest. The signs then lead you on into the forest, up again slightly and along a mysterious winding trail cut out of the deep snow. So much contrast in such a short walk! Soon the path starts to descend once again, in switchbacks, and finally meets the road not far from the station at Brünig-Hasliberg.
There are dozens of possibilities here, all clearly shown on the excellent "Bergfrische" map from the cable car station. From valley walks around 700m to higher ones over 1800m, there's plenty to choose from.
The following are the coordinates for waypoints along this route, obtained from GPS. They can be used either in another
GPS, or along with a map, to provide additional references if necessary.
Latitude Longitude Altitude(m) Meiringen N 46°43'41.7 E008°11'33.6 685 Reuti N 46°43'58.7 E008°12'32.5 1060 Schletter N 46°43'36.1 E008°13'22.1 1172 Ober-Schletter N 46°43'42.3 E008°13'23.4 1230 Bidmi N 46°44'38.9 E008°13'08.4 1426 Lischen N 46°45'04.7 E008°12'21.2 1487 Wasserwendi N 46°44'48.6 E008°11'49.4 1217 Hohfluh N 46°45'02.2 E008°10'31.7 1052 Gallenplatten N 46°45'12.1 E008°08'54.9 1080 Brünig-Hasliberg N 46°45'27.9 E008°08'18.3 1002
There's some general information at alpenregion.ch including a rough trail map, and some more at bruenig.ch. Also the Alpine Pass Route passes through Reuti and Meiringen on its way between the Jochpass and the Grosse Scheidegg. Or while you're in the area, you can go snowboarding in Meiringen as well.