With easy access to the best of the Bernese Alps, Interlaken is a paradise for hikers. There are too many trails to count, which range from super easy, to challenging multi-day treks through the mountains. And it’s only the former that I’m focusing on in this guide to the best easy hikes in Interlaken!
Note that many of the hikes below have trailheads in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. Both villages are just a quick train ride from Interlaken, and absolutely worth the hassle because of how rewarding they are for very little effort. So, let’s get into all the top easy hikes in Interlaken and its surroundings!
Table of Contents
The Rugen Hike
- Length: 3.1 km
- Time: 1 hour
- Elevation: 137 meters
Kleiner Rugen is a hiking area south of Interlaken’s center, accessible by the Ringweg hiking path. It’s a short circular trail that takes you to a hilltop observation deck, where you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views and rest on a bench.
Yes, ascending a hill sounds challenging, but it’s genuinely not. The total elevation gain is a little more than 135 meters, and it doesn’t take more than 35-40 minutes to climb to Kleiner Rugen. On your way back you’ll follow a different path to take you back to Matten.
The trailhead is at Hubweg, behind the Jungfrau ice skating rink. It’s best to do the hike in a counter-clockwise direction, so turn right when you reach the Ringweg. It’s only about a 15-minute walk from central Interlaken to the trailhead, or just 5 minutes by local bus.
Männlichen Royal Walk
- Length: 2 kilometers
- Time: 40 minutes
- Elevation Gain: 125 meters
Calling the Mannlichen Royal Walk a hike is stretching it, but it’s a walking path in the mountains over unpaved terrain. It’s one of the easiest walks you can do in the region, and it takes only 20 minutes in one direction. For non-hikers and people who don’t have the physical strength to walk around for prolonged periods, this is one of the best hikes.
The trail starts at the top station of the Mannlichen gondola, which is accessible by rides from Wengen. In total, it’s about an hour and 15 minutes from Interlaken to Mannlichen. The hiking trail is from the station to a viewing platform with 360-degree views of the Swiss Alps. And the best part is that anyone, even little children, can be privy to such mesmerizing views.
As this is more of a short walk than a proper hike, it’s often combined with the Mannlichen Panorama Hike.
Männlichen Panorama hike
- Length: 4.5km one-way
- Time: 1hr 20minutes from Männlichen, 2hr from Kleine Scheidegg
- Elevation Change: 161meters
Männlichen Panorama Trail is probably the most popular hike in the Bernese Alps. With sweeping views of tall summits, this downhill trek is one of the most rewarding in the region. From Interlaken, take a train to Lauterbrunnen, then a mountain train to Wengen, and finally a gondola up to Mannlichen.
The trail takes you to Kleine Scheidegg. It’s 4.5 kilometers in one direction, and the entire time you’re slowly descending because Mannlichen is the taller of the two mountains. Although this hike can be completed in either direction, I highly recommend you start at Mannlichen if you want it to be easy. Doing it in the opposite direction means hiking uphill the entire time, which makes the trail much more challenging.
Another reason to do the hike from Mannlichen is that you can enjoy views of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau the entire time you’re walking. At Kleine Scheidegg, you can take a train back to Wengen, or even continue hiking to Eigergletscher, if you have it in you.
Lauterbrunnen Valley Hike
- Length: 5 kilometers
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Elevation Gain: 100 meters
The Lauterbrunnen Valley hike is the best easy hike in the Interlaken region. Jump on the train and you’ll be at the village in half an hour from Interlaken. And you can begin hiking as soon as you get off the train.
This trail is a walking path from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, a village on the other end of the valley. The elevation gain is minimal because the path is mostly flat, with plenty of options for detours along the way. Stop by Trummelbachfalls during this hike and add an extra hour to this adventure.
The views of the waterfalls are the best thing about this hike. Also, buses run on this route, so if you at any point feel like you’re tired and don’t want to continue, you can just jump on the bus and be back in Lauterbrunnen.
On the way back, you can also take the bus, or just hike the same way you came. Another option is to ride the gondola from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and then Murren, to explore even more easy hiking trails in the Interlaken region.
Grutschalp to Mürren
- Length: 5 kilometers
- Time: 1 hour
- Elevation Gain: 180 meters
Grutschalp and Mürren are villages in the mountains above Lauterbrunnen. They’re stops on the way to Schilthorn, and a mountain train connects the two villages. From Interlaken, it takes about 35 minutes to reach Grütschalp; it’s half an hour to Lauterbrunnen, and then another five minutes for the gondola ride up the mountain.
Grutschalp to Mürren is an easy hiking trail that follows the tracks of the mountain train. The train will take you from one village to the other in 25 minutes. Hiking from Grutschalp to Mürren takes about an hour, so it’s only 30 minutes longer than the train and it can save you quite a bit of Francs.
The path is mostly across flat terrain with a gradual elevation gain during the first half of the hike. There’s absolutely nothing technical or challenging about this trail; if you can walk for an hour and change, you can hike from Grutschalp to Mürren and enjoy some fabulous views along the way.
Staubbach Falls Hike
- Length: 600 meters
- Time: 30 minutes
- Elevation Gain: 112 meters
Staubbach Falls is the waterfall Lauterbrunnen is known for around the world. The village is just half an hour from Interlaken by train, and you can begin hiking the moment you arrive at the station.
The hike to Staubbach Falls is short, sweet, and easy enough that anyone can do it. The only challenging thing about this hike is that it’s quite steep, but you’re following stairs for the most part, so there’s nothing too technically challenging about the trail.
The effort pays off once you reach the viewing platform behind the waterfall. With an epic view of the village, it’s easy to forget about the fact that you’re getting wet from the spray of the waterfall.
Because of the spray, the final flights of stairs to the observation platform tend to be quite slippery, so it’s recommended to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes that offer lots of grip and traction. Also, this hike is not accessible for wheelchair users and strollers, because of the many stairs.
Bachalpsee from First
- Length: 6 km
- Time: 2 hours
- Elevation Gain: 188 meters
The hike from First to Bachalpsee is one of the best easy trails in the Swiss Alps. The elevation gain is minimal, the terrain is easy, and the hike is short enough that anyone can manage it. But the views along the way are surreal and will make you stop in your tracks and stare in awe every now and then.
But first, you need to get to First from Interlaken. It takes about an hour and a half in total, including a train ride to Grindelwald, a short walk through the village, and a gondola ride up the mountain.
There are various signposts at the summit to point you in the direction of Bachalpsee. Just follow the marked trail and be mindful of other hikers, which you should expect to meet on this hike.
It takes about 50 minutes to reach the lake from the gondola station. The entire time you’re hiking you can see the summits of the Alps, making this the most scenic hike in the mountains. It’s truly incredible, and once you reach the Alpine lake it only gets better. The still water with the glacial mountains in the backdrop makes the entire place feel serene.
Grindelwald Glacier Canyon
- Length: 1 kilometers
- Time: 1 hour
Multiple walking paths are available in the area of the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon with varying lengths and difficulties. The easiest path of all isn’t even a proper hike; it’s more of a leisurely stroll right through the canyon.
The walk is so easy that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take a full hour to walk through the canyon, but most people stop every now and then to take in the views and to have some fun with the massive spiderweb.
Walking through the canyon means you’re surrounded by cliffs that are more than 300 meters tall. It’s an incredible experience with spectacular views, and it’s perfectly safe for everyone. Children are welcome to join you on the adventure, and those under the age of six can come along for free.
This easy hike near Interlaken has a paid entrance of 19 CHF for adults. The entrance to the Canyon is approximately 50 minutes from Interlaken. Take a train to Grindelwald, and then you can ride the local buy to the Canyon.
Allmendhubel Flower Trail (From Murren)
- Length: 2.9 kilometers
- Time: 1 hour
- Elevation Gain: 289 meters
The Allmendhubel Flower Trail starts at the lovely village of Murren, which is approximately an hour outside Interlaken. It’s possible to combine this hike with the path from Grutsphalp to Murren to save money on train tickets and enjoy a longer hiking adventure.
The trail is very easy and anyone can follow it. It’s signposted so you can easily find your way, and the trailhead is at the Murren train station. The path up to Allmendhubel is somewhat steep; it’s not too challenging, but you are walking uphill the entire time.
To make this hike even easier, you can ride the funicular up the hill, which is seasonally available. And then you can hike from Allmendhubel to Murren; you still get to see all the lovely wildflowers along the way, but instead of climbing up a hill you’re descending one.
Aare Gorge Canyon Walk
- Length: 1.6 km (one-way)
- Time: 1 hour
Aare Gorge is the farthest from Interlaken, in Meiringen. Direct trains are available from Interlaken and will take you to the town in only about 35 minutes. From the main train station, you can take a different train, taxi, or walk to the west entrance to the Aare Gorge.
The walk is easy because you’re following a path carved into the rocks. There’s safety railing, and at times you’re walking through tunnels and you can barely see anything. But it’s generally perfectly safe and child-friendly.
Entrance to the gorge is 10 CHF for adults and 6 CHF for children up to 16, while those younger than six can enter for free. Combo tickets are available for travelers who want to visit both the Aare Gorge and the nearby Riesbach Waterfall during the same outing.
Another thing to note is that only the western half of the walking path is accessible to strollers and wheelchair users. You can get to the halfway point and just turn back because the rest of the path is rougher terrain.
Giessbach Waterfall Hike
- Length: 2.8 kilometers
- Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Elevation Gain: 208 meters
Giessbach Waterfall is a popular natural landmark on the southern shore of Lake Brienz. It’s accessible by multiple walking paths, and there are many iterations of the hike. I’ll cover the easiest one, but you should know that it’s possible to walk to the waterfall all the way from Interlaken. I’m not saying that you should do it because it takes almost 4 hours, but it is possible.
The trailhead for hikes to Giessbach Waterfall is at the top station of the Giessbach funicular, near the hotel. From Interlaken, you can reach it by train, bus, or boat. I highly recommend taking a boat to Giessbach and then the funicular up to the hotel because it’s a fabulous start to this entire adventure.
It takes about half an hour to reach the waterfall. You’re walking uphill the entire time and the path is somewhat steep, but it’s nothing too challenging. Head back following the same path you came, only this time don’t stop at the funicular station. Instead, walk all the way down to the pier, to save some money on funicular tickets and enjoy even more breathtaking views!