6 Highlights of the Grimselwelt
- There are two spectacular suspension rope bridges:
- 170 m long Trift bridge
- 70 m long Handeck drop bridge
- Grimselwelt is located on the Susten and Grimsel alpine passes
- Eight turquoise dams/reservoirs are managed by Kraftwerke Oberhasli (KWO)
- Lake of the Dead
- Kilometer-long footbridges into the underground crystal crevasses with crystals of different species up to 20 m in size
- Four glaciers you can reach in the Grimselwelt:
- Trift Glacier
- Rhone glacier
- Unteraar glacier
- nine adventurous mountain railroads, among them the Gelmerbahn
Places of interest and excursions within Grimselwelt
Starting from Meiringen and Innertkirchen in the Haslital, Grimselwelt includes parts of the Haslital, the Gadmertal, the Triftgletscher, the Winterberg, the Rhonegletscher up to the Aargrat, the Unteraargletscher, the Gauligletscher and the Urbachtal. Grimselwelt is managed by Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG (KWO)
The entire Grimselwelt is characterized by the power plants and many underground tunnels. The reservoirs are interconnected to generate electricity.
What makes Grimselwelt so special is the way you can explore the Alps here. Here, everything revolves around water, the phenomenal Swiss mountains with their natural treasures and technical masterpieces
For the surrounding area, please also see Meiringen.Hasliberg.
Suspension rope bridges in the Grimsel world
The spectacular hanging rope bridges take you over dramatic gorges. You'll look down on beautiful waterfalls. However, it takes a bit of courage to walk these bridges. In particular, the Handeckfall suspension bridge in Guttannen is not for the faint of heart. It is located directly at the valley station of the Gelmersee cable car in the direction of the Grimsel Pass. The bridge is 170 m long and crosses the big pass road, the Aare river and several waterfalls. The bridge is the direct connection between the Gelmerbahn and the Hotel Handeck.
A hike from the Triftbahn mountain station leads you to the Triftbrücke. With a length of 70 m it is shorter, but also spectacular. For the hike there and back you need: 2:40 hrs, 5.7 km, 500 hm ascent and descent. Built in Nepalese style, it requires little material, but also often sways a lot. The view from here goes to the Triftbach and the Trift glacier up to the Triftsee. With increasing melting, the glacier becomes smaller and the Triftsee larger. The Trift hut above is reached via the Trift bridge.
Crystal cleft Gerstenegg in Grimselwelt
Grimselwelt is very rich in crystal crevasses. However, the underground crystal crevasses, which have grown over millions of years, are only accessible in one place. The crystal cleft Gerstenegg lies about 1.5 km inside the Grimsel massif It is protected here from the destructive forces of erosion. You walk over kilometer-long footbridges to admire the seductively glittering crystals. Some of them have grown as tall as 20 meters
Nine mountain railroads open up the world of the Grimsel
The adventurous mountain railroads take you to unimagined heights.They include:
- Meiringen-Innertkirchen Railway
The Gelmerbahn - one of the steepest open funicular railroads (106 degrees) in Europe - provides plenty of thrills and spectacular photos. This marvel of technology takes you from Handegg to the Gelmer lake at 1850 m above sea level.
You won't soon forget a ride on the Triftbahn over the Trift Gorge and into the ice world of the Trift Glacier. It runs along the Sustenpass road from the Käppeli valley station (1022 m above sea level) to the Trift mountain station (1390 m above sea level).
Those who come to the Grimsel world for climbing use the Tälli cable car, which takes visitors within 10 min to an altitude of 1700 m.a.s.l., where the famous Tälli via ferrata begins. It was the first via ferrata to be opened up in Switzerland.
The Meiringen-Innertkirchen railroad is a 5 km long narrow-gauge railroad. It brings a connection between Meiringen, Innertkirchen and the Aare Gorge.
A faithfully recreated nostalgic railroad is the Reichenbachfallbahn. The narrow-gauge funicular runs from Schattenhalb (Meiringen) along the waterfall of the same name.
The Sidelhornbahn takes you to the fantastic Oberaar region. It goes from Hotel Grimsel Hospiz up to the foot of the Sidelhorn. Thereby it crosses the Grimselsee.
Guided tours through the Grimsel World
The KWO's huge hydroelectric power plants are open to visitors in summer and winter. On tours, you will see oversized tunnels with pumps, turbines and generators of unimaginable dimensions. You can also get to know the inner workings of a dam wall.
In the visitor center at the Historic Alpine Hotel Grimsel Hospiz, the permanent exhibition of the Grimsel World shows everything worth knowing about the generation of electricity through hydropower. Lake Grimsel, Lake Oberaar and Lake Gelmer are used by the KWO for power generation
Guided tours all year round:
- Haudeck: Hydropower pioneers
- from Innertkirchen with guided tour of the Handeck 1, 2, 2E power plants
- Visit to crystal exhibition
- Soup with sausage (winter)
- 3 hours duration winter /1.5 hours summer
- Hospice: Grimsel Underground
- from Innertkirchen with guided tour of Grimsel 2 power station
- visit crystal exhibition
- 4 hours duration winter / 2 hours summer
Guided tours in summer:
- Hospice: guided tour of construction site Spitallamm
- Day tour from the glacier to the stream Guided tours in winter:
- Innertkirchen with school classes
- Experience hydropower
Only one of the reservoirs, Lake Engstlen, is a natural lake that serves as a reservoir due to an underground lake intake; all the others were created artificially. The highest reservoir in the Grimsel world is the Trübtensee at 2365 meters above sea level.
In 2010, the operators of Grimselwelt were awarded the most important Swiss tourism prize, the Milestone
Swiss Activities Tips for Grimselwelt
For your visit to Grimselwelt we have found some special tips for you:
Great photos with Grimselbahn The Grimselbahn is not only an extraordinary mountain railroad, you can also take extraordinary photos on the ride. No annoying (and usually dirty) glass separates you and your camera from the photo objects.
Group activity If you are traveling with friends, you might be looking for a shared experience: abseiling from the 92 m high Räterichsboden dam on the Grimsel Pass is well suited for groups. Organization and supervision is provided by the Rosenlaui mountaineering school.
Ski tour with beautiful descent A ski tour in the Grimsel world is offered at the Alplistock, which lies at 2758 m above sea level. It is moderately difficult and offers particularly beautiful descents in places.
Climbing tip If you like climbing, you should take the two-hour trail from the Räterichsboden dam to the Bächlitalhütte of the SAC. Already the way is an experience. Once at the top, you'll find a climbing garden and a pretty mountain lake next to the hut. After spending the night (for SAC members) at the hut you go back. You can reach the dam Räterichsboden by post bus (stop Guttannen, Gerstenegg).
Activities in the Grimsel World
The activities include primarily easy and difficult mountain hikes, climbing tours and playgrounds.
Hiking in the Grimselwelt
Some of the most beautiful hikes through Grimselwelt are presented here:
- Round hike Gelmersee: arrival with the Gelmerbahn, 4.7 km round hike, 2 hrs, 170 hm up and down. The circular trail goes over huge rock slabs and original creeks, surefootedness and a head for heights are important.
- Sämis Säumerpfad: Innertkirchen, 4.3 km, 1:20 hrs, 165 hm up and down. At 20 stations you will learn interesting facts about the muleteers or answer questions. Barbecue sites are available.
- Tälli-Gadmen high-altitude hike: 6 km, 2 hrs, 141 hm up, 691 hm down. Arrival with the Tälli cable car to Berghaus Tälli. The high-altitude hike goes via Alp Raflue to Gadmen. The path runs below the mighty Gadmerfluh. Via the forest road you come back to the Tällibahn.
- SBrinz Route Handeck-Grimsel Hospiz: 7.2 km, 2:45 hrs, 701 hm ascent, 149 hm descent. The trail leads along a particularly beautiful part of an old mule track.
- Hike to Grosse Scheidegg: 12 km, 4:30 hrs, 1187 hm ascent, 71 hm descent. The first part of the trail can be shortened with the Reichenbachfall cable car from Meiringen.
- Alpine hike (T2) from the dam Räterichsboden to the Bächlitalhütte of the SAC ( 2328 m a.s.l.): 2:15 hrs, 4.3 km, 620 hm ascent, 60 hm descent.The hut trail leads upwards over well-built steps. On this path you cross the large imposing sandy plain of the Bächli valley. This is a nationally significant alluvial landscape.
Tälli via ferrata
The Tälli via ferrata is about 600 m long and thus one of the longest via ferrata routes in Switzerland. The Tälli cable car takes you to the top and at the end of the via ferrata you walk via Sätteli over the back of the Gadmerfluh back to Berghaus Tälli or down to Engstlenalp.
- July to October passable
- 78 m ladders
- secured fixed ropes
- 550 concreted pins
Climbing gardens in Grimselwelt
Smaller and larger climbing gardens provide variety in Grimselwelt. For children there is a beautiful climbing garden at the Hotel Handeck. At the Bächlitalhütte of the SAC you will also find a climbing garden. Several climbing routes have also been opened up for experienced climbers on the Grimsel Pass. At the Räterichsbodensee, the climbing routes of the lake slabs above the dam wall are popular with professionals. As an amateur climber you should definitely get support from a guide at the Rosenlaui mountaineering school. They also offer basic courses and climbing tours in the area.
Abseiling from the Räterichsboden dam wall
The dam wall is 92 m deep and is ideal for practicing abseiling. The organizer is the Rosenlaui mountaineering school, which also takes care of safety. You can reach the dam wall by post bus (bus stop Guttannen, Gerstenegg).
The Grimsel world is well suited for ski tours
Alplistock 2758 m above sea level
The tour takes about 5 hours, of which about 3 hours should be planned for the ascent. The terrain is not too steep. The moderately difficult ski tour offers some nice descents.
Gerstenlücke 3078 m above sea level
This difficult tour takes a total of about 7 hours. Of this, you should plan up to 5 hours for the ascent. Partly very steep ascents are included.
Hotels in the Grimselwelt
In Grimselwelt there are hotels and mountain huts where you can stay overnight. These include:
- Hotel Handeck 3 stars, 39 rooms
- Grimsel Ruheoase Hospiz Winter, 28 rooms
- Grimsel Hospice Summer, 28 rooms
- Berghaus Oberaar, 6 rooms, 2 mattress dormitories (8 and 10 persons respectively)
- Alpine hut Bäregg, 1 room, 2 mattress dormitories (10 resp. 20 persons)
- Bächlitalhütte of the SAC, 75 sleeping places for SAC members (mid March to mid May and mid June to mid October)
Restaurants in the Grimselwelt
As a rule, the restaurants belong to the hotels of Grimselwelt.
A selection of restaurants in this area:
- Restaurant Oberaar with a view of the Oberaar lake and glacier
- Restaurant Hospiz with original furniture dating back to the 1930s
- Restaurant Handeck with chef Roman Crkon, who has repeatedly been awarded 15 Gault Millau points
- Alpine hut Bäregg
Directions to Grimselwelt
Coming by car from Basel, Zurich or Lucerne you can easily reach Grimselwelt via the Brünig Pass. Alternatively you drive via Bern - Interlaken to Innertkirchen. In summer you can also reach Innertkirchen via the alpine passes Grimsel and Susten. However, they are only open from the beginning of June to the end of October.
By public transport you have a direct train connection from Lucerne and Interlaken via Meiringen. The Meiringen-Innertkirchen Bahn (MIB) is a narrow gauge railroad with 5 km length. From Innertkirchen you can reach villages and excursion destinations by post bus.