The Grindelwald Glacier Gorge shows very impressively the retreat of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier. As part of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site, the glacier once completely covered the gorge with ice.
8 Highlights of the Grindelwald Glacier Gorge
- The glacier gorge with its 300 m high rock walls only became visible with the retreat of the glacier.
- The gorge shows a rocky landscape uniquely formed round by the ice
- a walkable spider net is stretched 7 meters high above the gorge.
- Special light conditions provide rare impressions
- Waterfalls of the white Lütschine fall thunderously downwards
- At the popular Canyon Swing adrenaline junkies jump 50 m deep into the gorge
- The canyon is about 1 km long and leads through several tunnels
- The climbing garden of the glacier gorge is also suitable for beginners
What awaits you in the Glacier Gorge Grindelwald
The Great Aletsch Glacier with more than 22 km length, the Aletsch Forest and the surrounding regions were named UNESCO World Heritage Site "Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch" in December 2001. This also includes the Grindelwald Glacier Gorge.
The glacier gorge itself only became visible due to the gradual retreat of the glacier. The centuries-long movements of the ice shaped the gorge. They created a unique landscape with very steep yet rounded rock faces. At the very bottom of the gorge flows the Lütschine, carrying melted glacier water. The river flows very fast and roaring, depending on the amount of glacial melt. There is always a light wind blowing in the glacier gorge. The unique light conditions make a visit an impressive experience.
The wildly romantic character of the glacier gorge is enhanced by waterfalls of the white Lütschine, which thunders down between the high rock walls
Season for the Glacier Gorge Grindelwald
The Glacier Gorge Grindelwald is open daily from May to mid-November and can be visited even in bad weather.
Buy your ticket for Gletscherschlucht Grindelwald here.
Activities in the Glacier Gorge Grindelwald
Besides a short hike with sightseeing of the gorge landscape, other activities are possible. For example, you can climb over the rocks and over the spider web. For adrenaline junkies there is the exciting Canyon Swing.
Activities in the glacier canyon include:
- Canyon Swing
Visiting the Glacier Gorge
The Glacier Gorge is accessible via rock galleries, walkways and tunnels. The individual sections of the approximately 1 km long gorge have been divided into different theme worlds. A total of six areas provide interesting information about the history and formation of the gorge. The geology, the glacier as well as the developing water and its power are explained in detail. Stories about the myths supplement the information vividly on large panels.
The path leads along the rocks and the bottom of the gorge on wooden paths. It leads through several tunnels and always the view goes to the up to 300 m high and steep rock faces on both sides. The glacier gorge is one of the most impressive hiking destinations in Switzerland.
The length of the accessible gorge is about 1 km. It is also well suited for children under supervision, but not for baby strollers and wheelchairs. All paths are very well secured by metal railings and accessible in all weather conditions. However, you should wear sturdy shoes and warm jackets even in summer, as temperatures in the gorge are around 10 degrees Celsius.
Dogs are allowed here, they do not need a separate ticket. However, please note that some dogs are a bit anxious here. On the one hand, this is due to the footbridges if they are not used to them. On the other hand, the noise from the glacier stream may also be irritating.
A huge spider web has been installed in the Grindelwald Glacier Gorge. The web concentration spans an area of 170 square meters. The blue coarse-meshed net "Spiderweb" was mounted about 7 meters above the often roaring Lütschine. You can safely walk or scramble on the net and test your balance. The net is especially impressive due to several spots that illuminate it in different colors.
Climbing on individual rocks in the gorge is also popular. A climbing garden is available for this purpose. On gray slabs it goes up mostly over smooth round holds. All tours are well secured and suitable for excursions with the whole family. Colored plate rows show you the way
For beginners it is possible to practice rope handling and to dare to do a multi-pitch tour. Climbing in alpine terrain always requires good physical condition and serious preparation, as well as good technical knowledge of this alpine sport. Guided adventure offers are therefore a very good and safe introduction, especially for beginners and families.
The jump-off point for the Canyon Swing in Grindelwald is located on a platform about 90 m above the glacier gorge. The drop is about 50 m. Since the rope is attached to your body, you don't jump upside down like in bungee jumping. You jump with your legs in front. During the jump and the subsequent swing you reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. The rope slows down the free fall. The rope then brakes the free fall just above the river. You swing through the gorge several times in a pendulum motion
This activity is run by local operators with professional guides. The Canyon Swing can be practiced from the age of 14 and a maximum weight of 120 kg.
Glacier Gorge Inn Grindelwald
Glacier Gorge Inn Grindelwald is located right next to the entrance to the Gletscherschlucht. The restaurant is open Wednesdays to Mondays from 09:30 - 19:00. It offers local specialties. These include cheese fondue, rösti and similar dishes. The inn offers double and family rooms for overnight stay.
Location and approach
The Glacier Gorge Grindelwald is located very close to Grindelwald. You can reach it from the village in about 30 min by foot.
Arrival by car
From Interlaken you drive by car via Matten to the Gsteigstrasse. From here the journey continues via Wilderswil, Gündlischwand and on the Stegmatte via the Lütschental to Burglauenen. Leave the Grindelwaldstrasse at the traffic circle via the first exit. Via Grundstrasse you reach D'Linia, which leads directly to the glacier gorge. A large parking lot is located on the right side. The driving time from Interlaken is about half an hour. The address is Gletscherschlucht 1, 3818 Grindelwald, if you want to be guided by your navi.
Arrival by public transport
From Interlaken Ost, the Bernese Oberland Railways take a good half hour to Grindelwald Bahnhof. From here the Grindelwald bus line 122 takes about a quarter of an hour. By public transport you need about an hour from Interlaken to the Glacier Gorge.
Origin of the Grindelwald Glacier Gorge
The Grindelwald Glacier Gorge was formed by the Lower Grindelwald Glacier. This glacier was one of the largest in Switzerland. It flowed over the glacier gorge into the valley of Grindelwald with the Little Ice Age around 1500. Around 1600 even a part of the village had to be moved because it was covered by the glacier
It was not until the middle of the 18th century that the glacier retreated again over the Schopffelsen. Towards the end of the 18th century the glacier advanced again and reached the valley floor at the place of the present hotel "Gletscherschlucht". The ice was mined and used as a coolant until the First World War. The end of the glacier consisted of spectacular ice towers, which attracted tourists to the glacier as early as 1900
Since that time, the glacier retreated, but skiing was still done on it around 1950. Today there is no more ice in the glacier gorge.