Day 1: Schynige Platte to First

A classic Swiss hike from Schynige Platte to the Berggasthaus First (mountain guest house at First) with stunning views of the Eiger and other high peaks of the Berner Oberland.

Hiking Distance



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Hiking Route

I discovered this trail while exploring in Google Earth, looking for areas with unobstructed views of the big peaks of the Bernese Alps, including the North Face of the Eiger. The description in Walking in the Bernese Oberland confirmed that this trail has some of the Alps finest views.

Morning Light on Wilderswil and the Jungfrau from the Alpenrose Hotel

I got up early to pack and catch the first train up the mountain. I had a quick breakfast at the Alpenrose Hotel of cold sliced ham and Swiss cheese, and Müesli with yogurt.

Historic railcar on the Schynige Platte Railway at the station in Wilderswil

I walked a block down the street back to the train station and boarded the scenic Schynige Platte Railway for a ride up the mountain to begin an all-day hike to First (above Grindelwald), where I will stay tonight.

The trail toward the Loucherhorn from Schynige Platte

This route followed a series of ridge-tops with stunning views of Thunersee and Brienzersee (the lakes on either side of Interlaken) to the left, and the big peaks of the Bernese Alps on the right (including the North Face of the Eiger).

Lunch at the Berghütte Männdlenen

I stopped for lunch along the way at the Berghaus Männdlenen where I had a delicious soup, Apfelkuchen (apple pie), and my first Coke Zero (I found no Diet Coke in Switzerland).

The Berghotel Faulhorn

The next stop a couple hours later was at the Berghotel Faulhorn atop the Faulhorn, the highest point on today’s hike, but clouds had moved in by the time I got there which partially obscured views of the peaks.

The Bachalpsee (Bachalp Lake)

I descended from the Faulhorn down to the Bachalpsee, a small lake with dramatic views to the big peaks and glaciers above Grindelwald which were largely hidden in the clouds this afternoon.

The Cliff Walk at First near the upper gondola station

And then down to my destination at the restaurant and hotel at First. Affixed to the side of the mountain is the Cliff Walk, over which I traversed to the hotel and restaurant.

First Cliff Walk

I checked into my room and cleaned up for dinner. There were actually two separate shower rooms, one for each gender, which upon learning I made an embarrassing retreat to the other room (sorry nice european lady who was not offended).

A room with a view at Berggasthaus First

I had a delicious dinner in the nearly empty restaurant with amazing views out to the big peaks, and slept well on a comfortable bed under a duvet.

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