If you’re looking for a hike with impressive views of the Jungfrau Region and a bit of a challenge, look no further. Lobhornhütte can be quite a popular destination, especially on weekends, but this trail from Grütschalp is a lesser-taken route and will offer you an escape from the crowds. It’s easy to access, relatively affordable, and the views are guaranteed to take your breath away.
How to Get There
When you talk about Lobhornhütte hike, most people will think of the hiking trail from Sulwald (1528 m). If you have your own car, that is the easiest and fastest way, plus the hike is shorter. You can also access Sulwald by public transport, but it’s a bit of a mission – train to Lauterbrunnen, PostBus to Isenfluh, and finally a little gondola up to Sulwald.
As a Jungfrau Region summer pass holder, I always look for transport options that are covered on my pass, therefore I opt for the trail from Grütschalp (1486 m). But it’s not just about the better deal and access! I love this trail – a lot of which you wouldn’t get to enjoy coming from Sulwald.
So how to get to the starting point?
Whether you’re traveling by car or public transport, you’ll need to make your way to Lauterbrunnen. If you’ll be driving, you can park your car at one of the two big car parks available – either next to the train station or by the church. Alternatively, you can catch a train from Interlaken Ost that will take you all the way to Lauterbrunnen.
From Lauterbrunnen, you’ll need to catch the cable car up to Grütschalp (located right opposite the train station) which is part of the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Mürren (BLM) network. The Grütschalpbahn gondola runs regularly throughout the day and will take you less than five minutes to get to the top. Please check the SBB timetable ahead of your trip.
Lobhörnhütte Hike From Grütschalp
At the Grütschalp station, make your way up the stairs to find the exit to the hiking trails. It’s a small station and everything is sign-posted well, so you won’t get lost. As you exit, turn right and follow the yellow hiking trail signs towards Marchegg/Sousläger and start the hike up the hill.
To avoid any confusion… Yes, there is another trail from Grütschalp that is actually signposted “Lobhornhütte”. Not to worry as both trails will lead you there! I just like to mix things up on longer hikes and choose a different trail on the way out. You will be returning via the other trail.
The initial climb is quite steep but will mellow out gradually. If you’re here in late summer or autumn, make sure to enjoy the blueberries growing on both sides of the trail. And don’t forget to look back and enjoy the views of the ever imposing Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Soon you will be entering the beautiful Marchegg forest (Marcheggwald), and the trail keeps ascending over roots and rocks. All throughout the forest, you won’t see any yellow trail signs, however, there are plenty of trail markings (white-red-white painted on trees and rocks) and it’s pretty straightforward to follow the path.
After a while, the trees and vegetation will become sparser and the scenery will open up. If you know your bearings, you’ll be able to spot Männlichen, Schynige Platte, Hardergrat with Suggiture, Sulwald and even Lobhornhütte itself. Right at your feet, you’ll find endless blueberry bushes that quickly became the main reason why my hike took so long…
When you leave the forest and come out into the sun, you’ll have reached Läger. You are very likely to hear cowbells coming from the surrounding pastures. As you cross the field up the hill, you might struggle to find the path. It is slightly overgrown in places, and the white-red-white trail markings on the rocks and boulders are a bit faded.
Just keep going until you reach the next signpost where you need to continue right across another field. Once you’re on the other side, the path will descend over wooden steps lower down into the valley. You’ll soon reach a signposted intersection with a road (also a hiking trail). Here you need to head right down the road towards Sousläger which you’ll reach after a short walk.
At Sousläger, you’ll arrive at an intersection of multiple trails. Head left down the path signposted towards Lobhornhütte. You’ll pass the farm buildings and a little self-service “cheese shop” in a milk can, and the trail will lead you through the trees down into the Soustal valley.
Visiting this place always feels incredible. Green pastures cover the valley floor with grazing cows dotted as far as the eye can see. But at the end of the valley stands Spaltenhorn in all its glory. Even though you’re not too far from civilization here, it somehow feels remote.
This is a good spot for a little break – you’ll have a bench to sit down and have a snack, and a couple of water points for refills (before and after crossing the Sousbach stream). Here is also where I pull out my hiking poles to assist with the steep ascent that’s about to come.
The next bit of the trail gets steep very quickly as it snakes through the trees and is probably the most challenging section of the hike. The trail is in a good condition generally but might be difficult to tackle in wet and muddy conditions.
After about 15 minutes of an uphill battle, the gradient will even out and you’ll start a long traverse towards Brüch and Brüchewald. On your right, you’ll soon be able to see Wengen and Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau until the trail leads into a forest past cliffs and rock faces.
After a while, you’ll be able to see Sulwald on your right, perched on a luscious green hillside. This is where the traditional Lobhornhütte hiking trail begins. Moments later, the Sulsbach stream will come into view with a hiking trail along the other side of it. Here is where it usually gets busier with people.
This is one of my favourite sections of the trail – it’s a sunny valley and Sulsbach always provides refreshment on a hot summer day, and the views are just getting better. If you look back, you can spot Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn behind the Männlichen massif. Plus, here I always know that it’s not long left till I reach the hut itself.
As you cross the stream, the trail will continue uphill, straight along the Sulsbach until you’ll reach Alp Suls at 1900 m and its dispersed farm buildings. Here is another opportunity for you to refill your water bottles (which you can also do on the way down).
From here, follow the yellow signs towards Lobhornhütte – the path takes you right up a little steep incline and into a green gully. Once you’re out of the gully, keep right and soon you will be rewarded by the iconic Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau views. Just a bit further up the trail, you’ll reach the hut itself.
Here you can either grab a meal or a drink at the hut or find a picnic spot nearby for your own snacks. When you’re done and ready to return, I suggest doing a little detour to lake Suls which is only five minutes away – just follow the signs.
Once you’re on your way back, just retrace your steps all the way to Sousläger.
Once at Sousläger, follow the signs to Grütschalp and the trail will take you left into a forest. The rest of the way is pretty straightforward as there is only one main trail leading back to Grütschalp. It’s mostly covered by dense trees giving you a respite from a hot summer’s day.
Other Variations of the Hike
- Sulwald – Chüebodmi – Lobhornhütte
- Isenfluh – Sulwald – Chüebodmi – Lobhornhütte
- Grütschalp – Lobhornhütte – Bälehöchst – Saxeten/Wilderswil
- Grütschalp – Lobhornhütte – Sulwald
Preparing for This Hike
Ideally, you’d plan this hike on a good weather day so you can enjoy the stunning views, but I have done it through the fog and light rain and it was absolutely fine. The specific route isn’t very technical, but rather physically demanding due to its length and some steep ascents and descents. If you’re heading out when there’s rain or even snow, it’ll become a bit more dangerous to navigate.
Even if you’ve made sure it’s a good weather day, I would still advise packing waterproofs, especially a waterproof jacket. The weather in the mountains can change so quickly, and even the most accurate weather forecast might not predict that odd rain cloud. It’ll be a long hike, and you wouldn’t want to be caught out unprepared.
This hike has quite a few steep ascents and descents, therefore hiking poles are recommended. Using them or not is your own personal choice and preference, of course, but it could be a great help in saving your energy and giving you more stability, especially on the long way back.
The same goes for footwear – it’s your personal choice, but the sturdier are your shoes and the more ankle support you have, the better off you’ll be. If you’re an experienced hiker, the trail is manageable with trail runners.
Bring enough water to last you a couple of hours. There are a few refill options along the way (at Sousläger and Alp Suls), though, so you don’t need to carry all of it. If you’re not planning on lunch at the mountain hut, pack some snacks or sandwiches.
One thing I never go on a hike without anymore is a small bin bag for the waste created on the trail (energy bar wrappers, banana peels, tissues etc.). Leave no trace, right?
Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen! A big portion of the route will go through forests, however, you’ll spend quite some time exposed to the sun.
Information & Statistics
Hiking Trail: Grütschalp (1486 m) – Marcheggwald – Sousläger (1703 m) – Alp Suls (1900 m) – Lobhornhütte (1954 m) and back; for the above-described route, see here on FATMAP
Distance: 12.9 km total
Duration: 4-5 hrs
Elevation: + 789 hm / – 789 hm
Difficulty grade: Medium to difficult (it’s not crazy technical, but physically demanding)
When to go: Generally between late June and October. Please check the status of the hiking trail at the local tourism information office before heading out. The hut itself is guarded from June to mid-October.
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!