Category Archives: Hikes

Augstmatthorn, a part of the Hardergrat trail.

Not very long ago I wrote a post about an amazing hike at the Hardergrat. We gave it a try but realised quickly that it was not possible with our toddler sitting in a backpack on her dad’s back. You will understand why if you click Here.

But then I found out that we could do a small part of the Hardergrat trail and walk down from Augstmatthorn. After studying the map and reading blogs we decided that this could be done.

The very next morning we took the first funicular at 8.10am up to Harder kulm from Harder railway Valley station, at Interlaken Ost. It takes about 10 minutes up!

There is a restaurant and a fun balcony with a great view of the surrounding.
The trail starts by the restaurant. Just follow the yellow road sign to Augstmatthorn.

I will divide this hike in 4 parts.

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture

2. The climb to Suggiture

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

4. Austmatthorn and way back

 

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture.

This part of the trail is mostly in the forest. The “boring” part as you will be walking up about 400m elevation with no view. It took us around 80 minutes to reach to “the feet” of Suggiture.

At the “feet” of Suggiture was a good picnic spot for us as there were spaces for Mirabelle to run around and shade to sit under.

Eating Miang Kham, a thai speciality!




2. The climb to Suggiture

When you get out of the forest you will se the Suggiture and you will feel very scared just by looking at it. Don’t worry, it looks scarier than it really is!

The trail is steep and very rocky, but very short. It took us about 30 min to take us all up to Suggiture. Now enjoy the view and have a break!

 

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

This part is what I was looking forward to the most; walking on the ridge of the mountain!

But I have to tell you that I got quite disappointed as the ridge between Suggiture and Augstmatthorn is not as narrow as I thought and the distance between those summit is very short. So we have been walking more in the forest than on the top of the mountain.

That said, it was still beautiful! And if you can and want you can walk all the way to Rothorn where the trail suppose to be very “thin”.

 

4. Augstmatthorn and way back

From here on you either walk back the same way you came or you can walk down to Habkern and take the bus to Interlaken. We decided to take the steep path down to Habkern.

We stop by for a drink and cake. And a play pause for Mirabelle.

But once we came down to a restaurant Jägerstübli at Lombach on the base of the mountain we realised it was better to hitchhike. And I am glad we did it because not only it was another 1 1/2 hours to Habkern and Mirabelle started to be impatience. Beside that, the couple drove us all the way to Interlaken!

 

Another option of how to get to Augstmatthorn

Knowing about this restaurant now afterwards it could have been easier to park the car here and walk up to Augstmatthorn. There are two ways up. The same way we walk down. Not recommended as it’s boring! I suggest to take the path up to the “feet” of Suggiture and from there up to Suggiture and then Augstmatthorn.

We parked our car at indoor parking by the Interlaken Ost railway station. As it was on a sunday it cost only 1chf/hour instead of 3chf. And from there we walked about 5 min to the funicular station.

The funicular timetable.
I am still dreaming of doing the Hardergrat trail all the way to Rothorn. One day!

Engstligen falls, the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

People who lives in Switzerland or has been to Switzerland knows that this country has atleast thousand of waterfalls. It’s hard to tell which of them is the most special as each waterfalls has it’s own charm.

 

But today, we hiked to the coolest waterfall in Switzerland! Engstligen falls in Adelboden, the second highest waterfalls in Switzerland. 600 meter high with two gorgeous drops.

We found this waterfalls so cool because of the easy access to the waterfalls. From the car park and the cable car station, there is an easy ten minutes walk to the base of the waterfalls. From there you either hike or take the cable car up to Engstligenalp and walk down. Or you could just stay down here…but you would miss the best parts.

As the cable car station was still close for the season we hike up and down. It took around 90min up and 1hour down with about 600 meter elevation each way.

There were still snow on some part of the path. Don’t panic, there is always a way!

We were already very impressed when we saw the lower falls and didn’t expected anything more. But as we walked up to Engstligenalp we came to what seems to be the upper falls, that we didn’t know existed. All three of us were like:

WOW, WOW, woow!

We could have stay there all day…but with a toddler with ants in the pants it’s impossible even with this view!

To get to this point you will need to walk. Walking down about 20 min from Engstligenalp or walking up from the base of  waterfalls about 90 min. Dont miss it as I belive this is the best part!! 


Another cool thing about Engstligen falls is the amount of water pourring down! Please remember that the water flow depends of the season your visit. We were there late spring, at the end of mai when the snow melts.

Another VERY cool thing about this particular waterfalls is that you can get very close to the falls. I hate seeing a waterfalls faraway where you can’t feel the waterdrops, the wind and hear the thunder of the falls.

And again more cool thing about this place are the different levels of the falls you get to see. The streams from Engstligenalp to the upper falls and then splash down to the lower falls and last into the Engstligen river.

An extra cool thing is that beside the awesome watefalls itself you have a beautiful view of the valley.

AND Engstligenalp is very extraordinary aswell! This is where all the water comes from.

Momstotzurich has great information of this place in her post. Please click Here.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about My ten favorite waterfalls. I should add Engstligen falls on that list!

What do you guys say, is this the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

A sea of Narcissus in Les Pléiades, Switzerland

Everybody loves a field full of wildflowers. Imagine a field full of wild white Narcissus, thousands of them spread all over on green hills with mountains behind as decor. You think that I am dreaming. If I am dreaming please don’t wake me up!

 

Ever since I have discover the Narcissus hikes around Montreaux, Blonay and Vevey area by the lake Leman I was waiting with patience for the wild Narcissus season to begin. They are in fully bloom between mid-may and last until mid-june. The Narcissus flowering is dependent on height and sunshine as well as the weather conditions. Click here where you can get all the information of all the six Narcissus hikes and you can enter your planned date to be informed if the Narcissus are in bloom or not for that particular hike you want to do.

A few weeks ago as the Narcissus were in fully bloom at the Les Avants I was so excited to take our first hike on mountain slopes covered with white flowers. All I can say is that I was heartbroken as it was not as dense and beautiful as I have imagined. I didn’t want to give up on laying on a bed of thousands of Narcissus so when the Narcissis forecast for Les Pléiades (and the weather ) looked good we decided to head there.

And I am so happy for our decision as the place was so beautiful! So dense and so much more white flowers on places all along the hike.

It’s not a stroller friendly hike but it is very short, 4km with not much to climb. You can take the train either from Vevey or Blonay to Les Pléiades. We parked our car at the parking Motalles in Lally and then walk up 20 min to the Les Pléiades. It’s a loop hike so you will end up at the parking lot.

Parking aux Mortalles, Lally.

Walk direction Les Pléiade.

Take right where the couple are standing and then about 10 meters on the right again. 



You can pick the flowers but only a handfull without the leaf and the root.


 

So what do you think, has you seen anything as beautiful and unique in Switzerland ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking at The Zion Narrows, one of our favorite hike!

To be honest the hike at the Narrows isn’t our favorite hike at the Zion national park, the Angels landing is but I can assure you that the Narrows is aswell very awesome!

The day before our hike we went to the visitor center to make sure that there was not a Flash Flood Warning. People have died in the narrows beacause of a flash flood caused by a storms kilometers far away! It might not be raining where you are but it might somewhere else.

Once we got the green light, this is optional, we rented each a pair of canyoneering shoes (18$/pair) to help preventing an ankle injury and Neoprene socks (7$/pair) to keep our feet warm. Inspite of the price I was very happy to be walking in the shoes as there was no way you could see what was on the bottom of the river. I remember a few times my feet got stuck between rocks and I was so grateful to have my funny looking shoes on.

Our “walking on the moon” shoes.

Map here: Zion Guru

We started our 16km (ten miles) round trip hike at the Temple of Sinawalast stop of the free Zion canyon shuttleand turned back when we reached the Big falls, the campsite. We were there in late september (2014) and it was crowded but the further you get into the narrows less people it will be because most of them will turn around by the Wall street

As you can see at the map above there are several hikes and you can even go further and for some of them you will need a permit.


It was harder than I expected walking upstream some parts knee to waist hight water, on loose rocks and slippery boulders. Sometime there are potholes but ofcourse you don’t see them until you plunge into one. At some stretch it was a challenge to choose the “right” way to pass. One tips is to look of the people who are walking infront of you…some will fall into a pothole or slip..well then you will know where not to walk.  Another tips is to use a stick! I am still laughing thinking of this guy who put his stuff on his head and walked straight forward and then suddently we saw only his head.


This hike was pure fun and not just an ordinary walk on the mountain that we are so familiar with. And ofcourse the big reason why this slot canyon walk is very popular is the beauty of this place! Everyone should try to hike as far as you can even if it’s not very far because behind every corner you will have a wow-moment!  Just remember that none of my photography makes the Narrows any justice! 

When to go:

The Narrows is normally closed between mid March-late May depending of the level of the water and runoff. The best season to go is between summer and autumn, june-november. If you dare you can do it during winter season, but if you doing it you problably already know about the freezing water.

More great information about hiking the Narrows click Here and Here
So what are you waiting for? Go do this hike!

Hierve el agua, Mexico

Hierve el agua was high high up on my long list “to see in Mexico”! So ofcourse when we got the chance we went to see it in 2014.

To get there, I know that you can take a day tour with travel companies or you can hire a private driver. As usually David and I wanted to do it the cheapest way! So we started our day from Oaxaca city around 70km away from Hierve el agua. We took a local bus that dropped us off in the middle of nowhere. Then we jumped into a shared taxi that took us to a small town where we took another local bus to Mitla. From there we then took a “chicken bus” to Hierve el agua but the bus would not leave before it got full so we had to wait one hour. ( Luckly on the way back we took a shared taxi from Mitla all the way back to Oaxaca.)

Hierve el agua in spanish means “water boils” but when we got there the water was ofcourse not boiling but it was bubbling!

I don’t know how to describe this place but I think Lonely planet did a very good job so here is how they describe it : “Hierve El Agua, 14km southeast of Mitla, bubbling mineral springs run into natural infinity pools right on a cliff’s edge with spectacular panoramas. Water dribbling over the cliff edge for millennia has created mineral formations that look like huge frozen waterfalls. “

That description makes everybody wants to go there right?

When David and I were there it was quite crowded but we still managed to capture some photos of this beautiful place without someone else head or arms in them! But to get those pictures David and I got into an argument because every 5 minutes I would be throwing him the camera and be shouting “Now there is no one! Hurry hurry!”.

If you want to avoid the crowds I have heard that you can stay there over the night so you would have the whole place for yourself the late afternoon and the early morning.

The natural infinity pool

There are guided tour for a very short hike to see the stalagmite waterfalls. It’s not really necessary to use a guide but I think it’s good for the local people to earn some money.



I really enjoyed this place and if I get the chance to visit it again I would!

Read more about Hierve el agua here.

Fiery Furnace ranger hike, Arches NP

In 2014 when we were in Arches national park we meet a couple who recommended us to do a guided hike with a ranger at the Fiery Furnace, an area where there are red rocks formation looking like burning flames.

Normally we don’t like guided hikes as we like to walk in our own pace but when we saw these rocks formation we were convinced and decided to reserve at the Arches visitor center two spot for the next morning. As we thought, the tour was fully booked but our names were put on the top of the waiting list if someone would cancel at the last minute.

The next morning we drove to the visitor center and got the good news that two person have cancelled the morning tour! How lucky! Usually people need to book months in advance to get a spot on the tour.

At the meeting point we were around fifteen people plus the lady ranger. Some were looking fit and some didn’t. We had three kids in the group aswell. We introduce breifly to each other and the ranger explained to us the safety procedures. And then off we go.

Our ranger guided us through the flames made by rocks. Beautiful! 

I liked our ranger instantly because she was so lovely. She was aswell very informative and explained things in a way that capture my attention. I could feel that she really loves her job. We learned alot about the plants and the creatures in the park.

Our cute ranger sitting under “the hidden arch” explaning how fragile the nature is. I would like to be a ranger when I grow up!

One of the interesting thing we learned was about these prehistoric brine shrimp living in the potholes. The eggs can survive under extreme heat or cold temperature condition. Now I make it sound so boring but our ranger was so passionted about it and made it so interesting! Haha

Can you see the shrimp?

The beauty of this place really took our breath away ! We have heard that this place is even more magical by the sunset as if the flames really would come into life. I can imagine !

We are experienced hikers so this three hours long hike was not difficult for us so we were just having fun and enjoying the surrounding. For some people this hike might be difficult as you have to climb and jump sometimes but we were helping each other and nobody was ever left behind. Even the kids managed fine with some help. 

Don’t miss this out while out here at the Arches NP.

For more detailed information about the tour please click here and here

Five beautiful and child friendly hikes around mountain lakes in Switzerland

Before my husband and I got our baby girl we loved to go hiking for hours on the mountains. Now when we got our baby our passion for the hiking hasn’t decreased, on the contrary! Now we love to go hiking even more because we think introducing the mountains and the nature to our daughter is one of the best gift we can give as parents. But it’s not always easy to find beautiful mountain hikes suitable for children. We have done a couples of hikes this summer that are easy but most of all very beautiful and fun for both the kids and the parents!

 

1.Oenschinensee, Kandersteg

         

Oeschinensee is on the top of our list. It has everything to make your familyday very fun! We go back to Oenshinensee every year! Our favorite hike is the blue line, nr 7. It’s the most beautiful hike because you get the first glimpse of the lake from above! Magic! But I don’t recommend this hike for young kids under 10 years old because it’s quite steep and the path on some places is very slippery because of the waterfalls. The easiest, safest and fastest way to the lake is the pink line, nr 1. And you can use a strolley! Another option is to take a shutterbus that brings you all the way to the lake. I think it’s 8chf each.

For more information: http://www.oeschinensee.ch/english-neu/

Another great tip is to pass by the small but beautiful crystal clear lake Blausee just before you arrive to Kandersteg!

Information about Blausee: http://www.blausee.ch/en/

2. First to Bachalpsee, Grindewald

    

For some reason this is not our favorite hike, perhaps of the crowds when we were there last time…but it’s still a beautiful and an easy hike! It’s quite flat and not much climbing to reach the lake but some kids might find this hike a bit long. Even thought the road seems to be in good condition I still think that this hike is not suitable for a stroller!

Something extra about this hike is once you reach First by the cable by the restaurant there is a Cliff walk made by Tissot.  Not bad!

More information here: http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/destinations/grindelwald-first/hiking-trails/walking/Report/showWalkingDetail/first-bachalpsee-first/

3. The two lakes. Hinterstockensee and Oberstockensee , Erlenbach.

    

This hike is all about going down! (A bit of going up from the lake) You just need to take the cable car from Erlenbach in Simmental up to Stockhorn and from there you will have to walk down to Oberstockensee. From Oberstockensee you will need to walk down some more to reach Hinterstockensee and the cable car.

More information here: https://www.stockhorn.ch/experiences/summer/hiking-and-walking

4. The three lakes. Lago di Ritom, di Cadagno and di Tom, Airolo

   

Absolut favorite thanks to the lake Tom (next last and last picture). There are so many hike around here so my husband and I wish to do some without our baby…but the one we did with her is also very nice! You can reach Lake Ritom via the funicular from Piotta. The ride is very spectacular as it is one of the steepest in Europe with a maximum inclination of about 89%. If you wish you can aswell drive your car all the way up to Lake Ritom or even to the lake Cadagno and start your hike from one of these lakes.

More information: http://www.lagoritom.ch/index.php?lang=en

5. Arnensee, Gsteig/Feutersoey


This must be the easiest hike of all the five if you chose to walk around the lake. We thought it was to easy so we did another hike above the lake. It was not much harder so it’s worth hiking up. There are huge fishes in that lake and most of people who were there were fishing. Perhaps something new to try with your kids!

More information here: http://www.huettenzauber.ch/en/huus-am-arnensee/welcome