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Lauterbrunnen Hike: BEST Route to Iconic Waterfalls

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The image shows Lauterbrunnen Valley and waterfall.
The image shows Lauterbrunnen village.

If you’re heading to the Jungfrau Region, then it’s highly likely that a trip to Lauterbrunnen Valley will be on your Switzerland itinerary.

And, if it’s not, then it definitely should be. It’s one of the prettiest villages in Switzerland and the closest thing you’ll get to a real-life fairy-tale setting.

One of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen is the famous Lauterbrunnen hike to two of the waterfalls that are situated near the village: Staubach and Trummelbach Falls.

If you’ve seen pictures of Lauterbrunnen, then it’s likely that you’ll recognise Staubach Falls as it’s one of the most iconic photographs of Switzerland.

In this guide, I’ll give you all of the information you need to know before heading on a hike through Lauterbrunnen Valley to visit the waterfalls.

I’ll cover key statistics, how to get there, the best time to visit, what to expect on the day and much more.

At the end of this guide, you’ll also find an FAQ, but feel free to drop any further questions in the comments box at the end.

Lauterbrunnen hike details

The image shows the mountains in along the Lauterbrunnen hike.

Distance

The total distance of this hike is 8.2 kilometres.

It’s not a significant distance, so most people (including children) should be able to do this easily.

Elevation

The total elevation of this walk is 359 meters.

If you were to look at the profile of the elevation you’ll see that this is covered in one very small stint.

This is the section which heads up to Staubach Falls. It’s a tough little climb that takes you very close to the falls, however, it can easily be bypassed for those who don’t fancy it.

Aside from this section, the route is mostly flat.

Duration

If you’re pushing on, then this walk could easily be completed in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

However, once you see how pretty the village and the valley are, you’ll no doubt want to stop and take a few pictures.

It took us around 2 hours to complete this walk and I’d suggest factoring in about the same.

Difficulty

Aside from the short section which leads up to Staubach Falls, this is an effortless walk.

It’s almost completely flat and is more of a relaxing stroll than a hike. After doing a fair bit of hiking in Interlaken and around the Jungfrau Region, I’d say this is probably the easiest walk in the area.

How to get to Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Lauterbrunnen hike trailhead

The image shows a train travelling through Switzerland.

Getting to Lauterbrunnen by public transport

If you’re not staying for a few days in Lauterbrunnen, then getting there by public transport is pretty straightforward as there is a well-connected train line which stops in the centre of the village.

From larger cities such as Bern, it will take 1 hour and 30 minutes.

If you’re coming from the nearby town of Interlaken, then it’s just a 20-minute trip. From Grindelwald, it’s just under 40-minutes.

Alternatively, you could take the bus from either of the two latter locations.

This will take roughly the same amount of time, but they’re way less frequent – particularly from Grindelwald.

  • Bus number from Interlaken: 311
  • Bus number from Grindelwald: 312

The image shows a train travelling through Switzerland.

If you’re heading to Switzerland for more than a few days and are travelling by public transport whilst ticking off some of the main attractions, then there are some excellent savings to be had by purchasing one of the below tickets ahead of time.

Option 1: Swiss Half Fare Pass

The Swiss Half Fare Pass is valid for 1 month and will give you a 50% discount on all public transport in Switzerland.

Check what’s included: map of inclusions
Check prices: Swiss Half Fare Pass

Option 2: Jungfrau Travel Pass: Unlimited Transportation Ticket

If you’re exploring the Jungfrau region for anywhere between 3 and 8 days and you’re planning to tick off all of the major things to do in Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding area, then this ticket will save you heaps of money in the long run.

You’ll be able to use this ticket to travel on all of the popular train routes and gain access to the most well-known attractions.

Check prices: Jungfrau Travel Pass: Unlimited Transportation Ticket

Option 3: Switzerland: Swiss All-in-One Travel Pass

If you’re travelling around Switzerland between 3 and 15 days and you’re expecting to get around by public transport and tick off as many attractions as possible, then this ticket will save you some serious money.

Not only will you get access to public transport, but you’ll also benefit from multiple scenic trains such as Glacier Express.

A ticket for this alone is almost half the cost of the Swiss All-in-One Travel Pass.

In addition, you’ll be able to access over 500 museums and enjoy many other mountain excursions as part of this ticket, or at 50% off.

Check prices: Switzerland: Swiss All-in-One Travel Pass

The image shows a Swiss house along the Lauterbrunnen hike.

Getting to Lauterbrunnen by car

If you’re heading to Lauterbrunnen by car then it’s very easy since there is only one road which leads through the valley.

Below are some timings from popular locations.

  • Bern: 1 hour
  • Interlaken: 15 minutes
  • Grindelwald: 25 minutes

If you need to rent a car, then Rentalcars.com are a reputable platform for renting cars in Europe.

They’ll compare all the best deals out there to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

When it comes to parking in Lauterbrunnen, there is a huge multi-story car park at the train station.

Where to park in Lauterbrunnen: Parkhaus Lauterbrunnen AG

Getting to the trailhead

The Lauterbrunnen waterfall hike begins from the centre of the village.

Regardless of which mode of transport you’re taking, you’ll only be a few minutes walk from the high street and the directions to here will be obvious.

What to expect on the day of your Lauterbrunnen hike

The image shows Lauterbrunnen village which is where the Lauterbrunnen hike begins.

From the starting point in the village, you’ll already have caught a couple of glimpses of Staubach Falls, however as you head away from the hustle and bustle, the sound of the water will become greater and more of the falls will be revealed.

The image shows a church in Lauterbrunnen.

The image shows Staubach waterfall.
The image shows Staubach waterfall.

You’ll pass the picturesque church on your left and within just a few minutes you’ll have reached Staubach Falls.

There is a long snake-like pathway which leads closer to the falls and provides excellent views over the valley, however, it’s an intense climb.

This section of the walk is an out-and-back trail. If you wanted to bypass this, you could do.

Personally, I think the views from elsewhere on the trail are much better anyway.

The image shows people hiking in Lauterbrunnen valley.

As you continue on your way, you’ll head deeper into the valley with a perfectly framed view of the snow-capped Jungfrau mountain ahead.

You’ll pass many traditional Swiss houses dotted along the hillside and witness dozens of paragliders coming in to land in the fields beside you.

This is also a popular location for a helicopter tour, and so you’ll also see the occasional helicopter flying through the valley.

The image shows Trummelbach waterfall.
The image shows Trummelbach waterfall.

The route ever so slightly undulates along the winding road before taking a left turn across a field which meets a bridge.

You’ll cross this bridge and walk beside the road for a short while before arriving at Trummelbach Falls. Unlike Staubach Falls, you’ll need to pay to enter, however, it is much more of an excursion – similar to Aare Gorge which is not too far away. T

he cost is 12 Swiss francs for an adult, and 5 Swiss francs for children 6 and over.

The image shows a girl standing on a rock along the Lauterbrunnen hike.
The image shows the river along the Lauterbrunnen hike.

Once you’ve finished exploring Trummelbach Falls, you’ll retrace your steps back towards the bridge, through the field and down a section of the country road.

You’ll then take a right turn which leads down a path towards the river.

You’ll follow the river for quite some time and find that there is the occasional opportunity to dip your toes in.

The image shows a church and waterfall along the Lauterbrunnen hiking trail.

The image shows a church in Switzerland.
The image shows a house in Switzerland.

After some time you’ll cross a bridge which takes you away from the river and ultimately leads back to the centre of Lauterbrunnen.

Before reaching your final destination, you’ll lead up a ramp which is where the iconic photo of Lauterbrunnen is taken.

The composition of the church, the valley and Staubach Falls fit perfectly together.

Once you’re done re-creating the image, it’s a short but sharp incline back to the village centre.

Lauterbrunnen hike map

The image shows a house in Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Following this trail is fairly straightforward once you’ve read this guide as you’ll hopefully be able to remember the sequence of points: the village, Staubach Falls, Trummelbach Falls and back to the village.

These points are well signposted along the way and you’ll more than likely be following the same route as quite a few people since this is a well-trodden trail.

There aren’t a lot of walks around Lauterbrunnen so it’s unlikely you’ll take a wrong turn.

If you’d prefer to be on the safe side, then Alltrails is my go-to platform.

Popular routes such as this have usually been submitted by another user. If not and I want to write a guide on it, then I tend to submit it myself for others to use.

Route map: Lauterbrunnen, Staubach & Trummelbach Falls hike

Best time to do the Lauterbrunnen hike to the waterfalls

The image shows people hiking in Lauterbrunnen valley.

One of the best things about hiking in Lauterbrunnen Valley is that it’s accessible and safe to hike all year round since it’s not high in the mountains.

Depending on the time of year you’re heading here, you’ll get a slightly different experience.

I personally think the best time to hike through Lauterbrunnen Valley to see the waterfalls is in the summer, but below is what you can expect depending on the time of year:

  • May – September: this is the summer period in Switzerland and you’ll see bright colours and lots of wildflowers

  • October/November: this is when autumn hits and you’ll see fall colours as well as some snow by November

  • December-April: this is predominantly the winter season in Lauterbrunnen and you’ll see snow on the ground. However, if you are staying in Lauterbrunnen on perhaps Interlaken in the winter, there are heaps of excellent activities on offer. It’s also still worthwhile to do this Lauterbrunnen hike in winter, but you’ll certainly need a few extra layers!

Alternative walking routes around Lauterbrunnen Valley

The image shows a church in Lauterbrunnen.
The image shows Staubach Waterfall in Lauterbrunnen.

If you’re looking to include the waterfalls on your hike, then this route really is the only option for you that’s a reasonable distance.

However, below are some other walks around the valley.

Lauterbrunnen hike to Mürren

Lauterbrunnen to Mürren is a point-to-point 6.3-kilometre hike.

It leads past Staubach Falls, however, it does not include Trummelbach Falls. If you’re not that fussed about the less popular Trummelbach Falls and you also have Mürren on your list of places to visit, then this could be a good alternative for you.

You’ll need to bear in mind that there are no cars in Mürren, so you’ll have to either walk, get the bus or train back to Lauterbrunnen.

Route map: Lauterbrunnen to Mürren

Lauterbrunnen – Wengen – Kleine Scheidegg

If you’re up for a big day, then you could always head on this hike through Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg.

Whilst it doesn’t lead directly past any waterfalls, you’ll still get a good view of Staubach Falls from a distance.

This route covers over 1200 meters of elevation in 9 kilometres, so it’s going to be a tough choice, but the views from Kleine Scheidegg are some of the best in the area.

Route map: Lauterbrunnen – Wengen – Kleine Scheidegg

What to wear for hiking to the waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley

The image shows a church in Lauterbrunnen - Switzerland.

Deciding what to wear for this hike is easy as you’ll not be climbing significant elevation where the temperature suddenly drops.

Whatever the weather is when you step outside your front door that day, is the weather you should dress for when heading on this hike.

It’s also worth putting a waterproof jacket in your backpack, just in case it’s particularly windy or the falls are flowing heavily that day.

When we did this hike, it wasn’t necessary, but it’s better to be on the safe side.

Where to stay for a hiking trip to Lauterbrunnen Valley

Lauterbrunnen

The image shows a house in Lauterbrunnen.

The most convenient place to stay if you’re heading on this hike is Lauterbrunnen. It’s one of the most idyllic locations in the Jungfrau Region that – despite its size – is very well connected by train.

There’s an atmospheric high street filled with restaurants, coffee and souvenir shops which is more than enough to keep you for a few days.

Personally, I wouldn’t stay here for any longer than that unless a remote trip is what you’re looking for.

Interlaken

The image shows Interlaken from above.

Interlaken is a large built-up town that’s home to plenty of restaurants, cafes and well-known shops. It’s nestled in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains.

It’s one of the most popular locations to stay in the Jungfrau Region as it’s well-connected to other towns and cities in Switzerland and acts as a great hub for many of the nearby attractions.

This is where we choose to stay when visiting the Jungfrau Region and it’s super convenient.

Grindelwald

The image shows Grindelwald in Switzerland.

Grindelwald is known as the gateway to the Jungfrau Region and is another popular base.

Whilst it’s a village, it’s much larger than Lauterbrunnen and offers incredible views of the Eiger mountain.

Whilst it’s a picturesque location, it’s not a convenient location for those travelling around by public transport.

For those with a car, it’s slightly easier, but you can still expect to travel further to popular attractions than if you were staying in Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen.

Lauterbrunnen hike FAQ

The image shows a churchyard in Lauterbrunnen valley.

Is the Lauterbrunnen hike suitable for dogs/children?

Yes – out of all the hikes in the region, this is one of the most child/dog-friendly routes available.

Can you take a stroller on this Lauterbrunnen hike?

Yes – every section of this walk has a stroller-friendly trail.

Do you have to pay to do this hike in Lauterbrunnen?

No – you never need to pay to go hiking in Switzerland, however, you will need to pay for cable cars and trains which are sometimes required to reach certain hiking areas like Schynige Platte if you do not want to hike to the summit.

This is not necessary for hiking in Lauterbrunnen Valley.

What else is there to do in Lauterbrunnen?

Once you’ve covered seeing the two waterfalls and exploring the village, the only things left to do here are paragliding, a helicopter tour or hiring some e-bikes so that you can explore the valley further.

However, there are many more things to do in the surrounding area.

You’ll find a link to some further resources at the end of this guide.

Check prices: Paragliding
Check prices: Helicopter tour
Check prices: E-bike tour

Explore Switzerland further

The image shows a girl standing on a mountain.

If you’re looking for things to do which are similar to this Lauterbrunnen hike, then below you’ll find some further guides which we’ve put together after spending a month exploring the country.

To start with, why not visit Lake Blausee in Kanderstag, only a short distance from Lauterbrunnen?

Explore the Jungfrau Region further

  • Schynige Platte / one of the most spectacular areas in the Jungfrau Region with more than just hiking trails to explore
  • Harder Kulm hike / an epic hike up and down the mountain to the most popular viewpoint near Interlaken
  • Augstmatthorn hike / one of the most challenging yet highly rewarding trails in Switzerland with unbelievable views
  • Things to do in Interlaken / a full list of some of the best things to do in the area
  • Oeschinensee Hike / a stunning panoramic hike around Lake Oeschinen

Explore the unbelievable Appenzell Region

  • Schäfler ridge hike / an impressive snake-like trail around the rugged mountains in Appenzell
  • Seealpsee hike / a waterfall trail to one of the most accessible lakes in the area

Stay Wild Travels.

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