If you’re looking for a short and leisurely hiking trail that still offers incredible views, the trail between Männlichen and Kleine Scheidegg will be the one. This “Panoramaweg”, the panoramic path, definitely lives up to its name. You’ll get to enjoy stunning views of Grindelwald with Wetterhorn and Grosse Scheidegg in the distance, and the three iconic Jungfrau Region peaks – Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – providing a magnificent backdrop.
How to Get There
This trail is one of the most easily accessible trails in the Jungfrau Region, but be prepared to spend a bit of money on trains and gondolas. There are two main access ways – via Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. Both will offer parking options if you’re arriving by car but are also reachable by train.
If you’re arriving through Lauterbrunnen, you’ll first need to catch a train up to the little mountain village of Wengen. After a short walk through the town, you’ll reach the Wengen – Männlichen cable car station. During the summer season, the gondola runs every 20 minutes. It’ll only take you a few minutes to reach the top, but be sure to enjoy the breathtaking views over the Lauterbrunnen valley.
For those looking for an extra special gondola ride, the Wengen – Männlichen cable cars now have an airy rooftop balcony during the summer months. For only CHF 5 extra, you’ll get to enjoy a truly royal ride! Here you can find out more about the prices and the royal ride.
If you’re travelling via Grindelwald, you’ll need to find your way to Grindelwald Terminal (car, train or local buses). From here, you can catch the continuously running gondola up to Männlichen. The gondola ride will take about 20 minutes, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the views down to Grindelwald. Click here for more information on prices and running times.
Looking to avoid the crowds? I’d recommend catching an early gondola. During the hot summer months, this will also help you avoid the scorching hot sun later on.
Männlichen Royal Walk
When talking about the Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg trail, I have to mention the Männlichen Royal Walk, a walk not to miss if you’re here. It’s a short but a bit steep at times walk to the actual Männlichen summit (2345 m). This detour will be well worth your time and effort as it offers even more impressive views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
As you head towards the peak, you’ll see the Grindelwald valley to your right and Lauterbrunnen’s steep rock faces to your left. When you reach the summit, Schynige Platte, Interlaken, Lake Thun and Niederhorn will all come into view. Look back and you’ll see the snow-capped peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. If you’re familiar with the region’s peaks, you’ll be able to locate Breithorn and Schilthorn as well.
The Männlichen Royal Walk is a very well maintained trail and is classified as an easy trail, however, it gets steep at times. Take care at the summit as there are some exposed steep drops. This detour is only about 1.4km long (+111/-111 hm) and will take you about an hour to complete.
Panoramaweg Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg
From both gondola stations up on Männlichen, the trail to Kleine Scheidegg is very well marked and easy to navigate. Just follow the yellow signs towards Kleine Scheidegg (Höhenweg 2100) / Panoramaweg 33.
The hiking trail starts off as a wide gravel path, and will only get slightly narrower at times. Generally, it’s very well maintained and safe and follows a gradual gentle descent as you make your way towards Kleine Scheidegg. There are a few exposed sections, but nothing too extreme. You will need to make sure to move quickly through a couple of rockfall danger areas, though, but those are well marked with signs.
As you set off, you’re very likely to see herds of cows grazing on the alpine pastures. This scene is radically different in winter when the cows are replaced by herds of skiers setting out on the many surrounding slopes. My favourite game in each season is to try and recognise the features of the other as it looks so different, yet still familiar.
Once you’re past Männlichen Plateau and before reaching the eastern slope of Klein Tschuggen, the trail will split in two – stay on the main trail to the right and continue south. The trail will narrow out, and soon after you’ll pass under the Läger chairlift – one of the few indications of the ski resort that takes life here in winter.
The path will get windy as you traverse the eastern flank of Tschuggen, bringing in sight the many rugged layers of the grassy and rocky slopes. The sharp rock formations and huge boulders perched on the hillside are a stark contrast to the multi-coloured alpine flowers dotted around the trail. And up ahead in the distance, you’ll see the white and blue glaciers glistening in the sun below Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
The next point of interest is Honegg, marked with another chairlift and several benches with great panoramic views over the Grindelwald town and valley. This is a popular spot for a mid-hike rest or a picnic, and it offers a little shelter and a Toi Toi toilet.
Further on the previously mostly flat trail starts to gently descend crossing the Wärgischtalbach stream in a short while. The path then traverses under the rocky foothill of Lauberhorn. Even though the trail itself here is mostly flat and well-maintained, there is a risk of falling rocks from the slopes above. Make sure you pass this section quickly without stopping.
Once you’re past the rockfall zone, you’ll reach Rotstöckli and Grindelwaldblick restaurant. From here, it’s only a short 10-minute walk to reach the destination of this hike – Kleine Scheidegg. Here you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Eiger North Face, the bustle of the train station and a refreshing drink on one of the terraces. If you wish, you can continue your hike in several directions, with Eiger Trail all the way down to Alpiglen train station being the hikers’ favourite.
If you’re done with hiking, there are a couple of different ways to get down from Kleine Scheidegg. You can either take the train towards Grindelwald or Wengen / Lauterbrunnen. Alternatively, you can hike up to Eigergletscher station (about a 50 minute hike) and catch the new Eiger Express gondola down to Grindelwald Terminal.
Other Variations of the Hike
- Männlichen – Männlichen summit (Royal Walk) – Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg
- Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg – Alpiglen (Eiger Trail)
- Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg – Wengernalp (- Wengen)
- Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg – Biglenalp – Wengernalp
Preparing For This Hike
This is not a particularly long or difficult hike, therefore treat it as a regular hike. Pack plenty of water (there aren’t any refilling options along this route) and some snacks, and dress for the weather. This hike won’t require perfect weather conditions, but make sure you’re staying safe at all times.
Information & Statistics
Hiking Trail: Männlichen (2222 m) – Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m) (for the above described route, see here on FATMAP)
Distance: 4.5 km total
Duration: 1-2 hrs
Elevation: – 161 hm
Difficulty grade: Easy
When to go: This hike is only doable in summer when the trail is open. Generally between the end of May or mid-June (depending on snow conditions) and mid-October. Please check the status of the hiking trail here or at the local tourism information office before heading out.
If you have any questions at all about this hike, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below – I’ll be happy to help!