Grimselwelt Triftbrücke (Photo: Grimselwelt by Michael Mensburger)

Grimselwelt

Grimselwelt covers an extensive area of the Bernese Alps. Eight reservoirs, two passes, four glaciers, three valleys and gorges are included in Grimselwelt. Spectacular suspension rope bridges reach lengths of 70 and 170 meters. A 16 million year old crystal fissure with crystals up to 20 meters high can be visited underground. (Foto: Grimselwelt by Michael Mensburger)

Find out more about Grimsel World

6 Highlights of the Grimsel World

  • 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)
    • Gellmer
    • Handeck
    • Mattenalp
    • Oberaar
    • Räterichsboden
    • Seeuferegg
    • Spitallamm
    • 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 Grimsel world:
    • Trift Glacier
    • Rhone glacier
    • Unteraar glacier
    • Gauliglacier
  • nine adventurous mountain railroads, among them the Gelmerbahn
Oberaarbahn Oberaarsee Oberaargletscher (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Oberaarbahn Oberaarsee Oberaargletscher (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Grimselsee and Oberaarbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Grimselsee and Oberaarbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)

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 our travel guide for 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

Join our newsletter!

Sign up now for travel tips, ideas for inspiration and latest travel guides straight to your inbox.

By signing up, you agree to receive promotional emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Trift bridge (Photo: Grimselwelt by Michael Mensburger)Trift bridge (Photo: Grimselwelt by Michael Mensburger)
Kristallkluft (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Kristallkluft (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)

Nine mountain railroads open up the world of the Grimsel

The adventurous mountain railroads take you to unimagined heights.They include:

  • Gelmerbahn
  • Triftbahn
  • Tallibahn
  • Sidelhornbahn
  • Gersteneggbahn
  • Hospizbahn
  • Oberaarbahn
  • Reichenbachfallbahn
  • 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.

Gelmerbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Gelmerbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Oberaarbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Oberaarbahn (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)

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

 Grimsel power station (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri) Grimsel power station (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Adit (Photo: Grimselwelt by Paedi Luchs)Adit (Photo: Grimselwelt by Paedi Luchs)

Swiss Activities Tips for Grimselwelt

For your visit to Grimselwelt we have found some special tips for you

Tip 1 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.

**Tip 2 If you are traveling with friends, you may be looking for a joint 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.

**Tip 3 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.

**Tip 4 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)

Aktivitäten in der Grimselwelt

Die Aktivitäten umfassen in erster Linie einfache und schwierige Bergwanderungen, Klettertouren und Spielplätze.

Wandern in der Grimselwelt

Einige der schönsten Wanderungen durch die Grimselwelt stellen wir dir hier vor:

  • Rundwanderung Gelmersee: Anreise mit der Gelmerbahn, 4.7 km Rundweg, 2 Std., 170 hm auf und ab. Der Rundweg geht über riesige Felsplatten und ursprüngliche Bachläufe, Trittsicherheit und Schwindelfreiheit sind wichtig.
  • Sämis Säumerpfad: Innertkirchen, 4.3 km, 1:20 Std., 165 hm auf und ab. Auf 20 Stationen erfährst du Wissenswertes über die Säumer oder beantwortest Fragen. Grillstellen sind vorhanden.
  • Tälli-Gadmen Höhenwanderung: 6 km, 2 Std., 141 hm aufwärts, 691 hm abwärts. Anreise mit der Tällibahn zum Berghaus Tälli. Die Höhenwanderung geht via Alp Raflue nach Gadmen. Der Weg verläuft dabei unterhalb der mächtigen Gadmerfluh. Über die Forststrasse kommst du zurück zur Tällibahn.
  • SBrinz Route Handeck-Grimsel Hospiz: 7.2 km, 2:45 Std., 701 hm Aufstieg, 149 hm Abstieg. Der Weg führt einen besonders schönen Teil eines alten Säumerpfades.
  • Wanderung zur Grossen Scheidegg: 12 km, 4:30 Std., 1187 hm Aufstieg, 71 hm Abstieg. Der erste Wegteil kann mit der Reichenbachfallbahn ab Meiringen abgekürzt werden.
  • Alpine Wanderung (T2) von der Staumauer Räterichsboden zur Bächlitalhütte des SAC ( 2328 m ü. M.): 2:15 Std., 4.3 km, 620 hm Aufwärts, 60 hm abwärts.Der Hüttenweg verläuft über gut ausgebaute Treppenstufen nach oben. Auf diesem Weg überquerst du die grosse imposante Sandebene des Bächlitals. Dies ist eine national bedeutsame Schwemmlandschaft.
Gelmersee (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Gelmersee (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Oberaar hiking trail (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Oberaar hiking trail (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)

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)

Canyoning Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Canyoning Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)
Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)

Ski tours

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.

Skiing (Photo: Jungfrau Region Haslital Tourism)Skiing (Photo: Jungfrau Region Haslital Tourism)
HAS Grimsel Hospice Winter (Photo: Jungfrau Region Haslital Tourism)HAS Grimsel Hospice Winter (Photo: Jungfrau Region Haslital Tourism)

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)
Hotel Grimsel Hospiz (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Hotel Grimsel Hospiz (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Oberaar Berghaus (Photo: Grimselwelt by Rolf Neeser)Oberaar Berghaus (Photo: Grimselwelt by Rolf Neeser)

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
Food (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)Food (Photo: Grimselwelt by David Birri)
Restaurant Terrace Hotel Handeck (Photo: Grimselwelt)Restaurant Terrace Hotel Handeck (Photo: Grimselwelt)

Directions to Grimselwelt

By car you can easily reach Grimselwelt from Basel, Zurich or Lucerne via the Brünig Pass. Alternatively you can drive via Bern - Interlaken to Innertkirchen. In summer you can also reach Innertkirchen easily 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