The Eiger Trail is the soul of alpine hiking. The journey leads you through some of the most awe inspiring vistas on earth, locations critical to mountaineering history, and multiple alpine villages turned world class destinations. Parsing through the core of the Swiss Alps, between the villages of Gstaad and Grindelwald, the Eiger Trail is a testament to how epic hiking can be. Here are four reasons we think it’s the most epic hike on earth.
Mürren is one of the principle villages of the Lauterbrunnen. Remarkably, it is impossible to reach the precariously perched town by public road. Instead visitors must either approach by cable car, cog rail, or good old-fashioned hiking. A town truly on the edge of a precipice, Mürren has many charming sights, such as a tennis court comically close to the edge of the cliffs, multiple comfortable family run hotels, and the cable car used in the shooting of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Although it is no less beautiful, Mürren remains a less popular destination than its sister village Wengen, which helps the village retain a sense of peace and mystery. Of course, the village also offers views of a stunning panorama of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Mürren has also taken its place in skiing history. After the First World War the town was used to house wounded soldiers and in the following years the soldiers would develop much of winter sports and alpine skiing as we practice them today!
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is the beating heart of the Eiger Trail and in many ways the Swiss Alps themselves. Named after the roaring rivers that enter the valley through countless free- falling waterfalls, the Lauterbrunnen is visually stunning. Massive cliffs rise thousands of feet away from the valley floor with the villages of Mürren and Wengen perched precariously above. The glaciated face of the Jungfrau looms over the valley as one of the most iconic and impressive summits in the alps. The indescribable beauty of the valley has captured the imaginations of countless tourists, alpinists, and thrill seekers, with everyone from climbers, to base jumpers enjoying the wonder of the Lauterbrunnen every day.
The Kleine Scheidegg Pass, while much lower in elevation than the Hohtürli, is no less grand. The pass offers some of the most personal views of the northern face of the Eiger, as well as the more infamous white spider, a section of the face notorious for challenging even the most dedicated of alpinists. Also, at the pass is the train station that starts the Jungfraujoch railway, a feat of Swiss engineering that tunnels through the north face of the Eiger to approach the Jungfraujoch saddle, which sits just below the summit of the Jungfrau. From the Jungfraujoch visitors are able to stand amongst some of the most massive peaks in the alps.
The Hohtürli Pass sits between the town Kandersteg and the forgotten village of Griesalp. The hike over the Hohtürli is a serious contender for the short list of greatest hikes of all time. The truly epic journey over the pass brings you past a stunning glacial lake, through multiple different high alpine biomes, above glaciers, and deep into the heart of the mountains. At the summit of the pass sits the Blümlisalphütte, an alpine hut which serves weary hikers lunch and provides a launching point for mountaineers approaching the Wildi Frau and Blümlisalp summits. While the hike can be stiff, completing it is considered a mark of pride among hikers, as the pass remains one of the great passes of the alps.