Kleine Scheidegg in Switzerland – A Gem in the Swiss Alps
Nestled in the heart of Switzerland, Kleine Scheidegg is a mesmerizing destination that never ceases to amaze me and neither other visitors. Located en route to the well-renowned Jungfraujoch, this scenic spot is a year-round delight for visitors, offering a blend of captivating sights and thrilling activities.
Switzerland is known for its pristine alpine landscapes, gorgeous crystal-clear lakes, and stunning mountain views. While there are many famous ski resorts and mountain peaks in Switzerland, the Kleine Scheidegg is a breathtakingly beautiful mountain pass that offers stunning views, and a wide range of outdoor activities.
This post is dedicated to unraveling the charm of Kleine Scheidegg – an exploration of its intriguing facts, a guide on reaching this quaint place, and a sneak peek into some of the enthralling activities that await here.
In this blog post, I will explore some of the things you can do in Kleine Scheidegg and why it should be on your Swiss travel itinerary.
WHAT IS THE KLEINE SCHEIDEGG?
The Kleine Scheidegg is the mountain pass (2061 meters – 6761 feet – above sea level) between Eiger (3967 meters – 13015 feet – above sea level) and Lauberhorn (2472 meters – 8110 feet – above sea level) in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.
The Kleine Scheidegg is located directly at the base of the famous Eiger North Face mountain. The north face of the Eiger drops vertically over 1600 meters, which has always attracted the best climbers in the world.
It is also the watershed between the two Lütschinen valleys – the black Lütschine River that flows through Grindelwald Valley and the White Lütschine River that flows through Lauterbrunnen Valley.
The Kleine Scheidegg is most famous as a stop on your way up to Jungfraujoch – one of the most popular Swiss landmarks.
But there is actually quite a lot to do and see which you will find out about later in this post.
Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission if you buy a product or service via my link (at no extra cost).
HOW TO GET TO KLEINE SCHEIDEGG
FROM INTERLAKEN OST TRAIN STATION
First, you get to Grindelwald Grund Station OR Lauterbrunnen from Interlaken Ost train station. Either by car or train.
It takes about 22 minutes to get from Interlaken Ost station to Lauterbrunnen Bahnhof (train station) by train and about 20 minutes
From Interlaken Ost station to Grindelwald Grund Station it takes about 35 minutes by car or train.
A Swiss Travel Pass is a flexible all-in-one ticket offering unlimited travel on Switzerland’s public transportation network, including trains, buses, boats, and some cable cars and cogwheel trains. Designed primarily for tourists, this pass provides access to over 500 museums and numerous tourist attractions at reduced or no additional cost. It’s available in consecutive durations ranging from 3 to 15 days.
The pass simplifies travel, eliminating the need for separate tickets, and offers spontaneous mobility across the country. In addition to transportation, the Swiss Travel Pass grants holders discounts on mountain excursions and free access to many attractions, ensuring a comprehensive Swiss experience.
The Jungfrau Pass is a regional travel pass in Switzerland, offering unlimited travel on the transportation network within the Jungfrau region. It covers trains, cable cars, and gondolas, granting easy access to famous destinations like Kleine Scheidegg, Schynige Platte, and Grindelwald First. Available for durations of 3 to 8 consecutive days, the pass is ideal for tourists wanting to explore the scenic beauty of the Swiss Alps in the Jungfrau area without purchasing individual tickets. There might be an extra charge to get to the very top at Jungfraujoch.
TIP 1: The train in Interlaken Ost train station runs to both villages about twice an hour. It is one train which separates later. So make sure, you sit in the correct compartment of the train.
FROM LAUTERBRUNNEN TO KLEINE SCHEIDEGG
Whether you get to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, you have to either hike up or take a train. It is not possible to continue your journey by car.
In Lauterbrunnen, take the train up to Kleine Scheidegg. The train takes about 40 minutes and it is a direct connection – so no more train changing for you. The window views are stunning and you will love that train ride! The train will stop several times, but you can stay on the train until you reach the Kleine Scheidegg Train Station.
TIP 2: With a Swiss Travel Pass you can ride the train(s) for free until the village of Wengen. From Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg you have to pay 21.80 CHF with a Swiss Travel Pass – one way.
The ride up to Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen is included in the Jungfrau Pass.
Without a Swiss Travel Pass/Jungfrau Pass, you pay 35.80 CHF from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg – one way.
Parking houses in Lauterbrunnen are available, one day of parking is 18 CHF. Hight limitation if you travel in a van/camper.
FROM GRINDELWALD GRUND TO KLEINE SCHEIDEGG
If you stay in Grindelwald Village you need to get to Grindelwald Grund Station. From there, you take the train to Kleine Scheidegg. This ride takes about 24 minutes.
TIP 3: With a Swiss Travel Pass you can ride the train(s) for free from Interlaken Ost Station to Grindelwald Station or Grindelwald Grund. From Grindelwald Grund to Kleine Scheidegg you have to pay 24 CHF with a Swiss Travel Pass – one way.
Without a Swiss Travel Pass, you pay 32 CHF from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg – one way.
The ride up to Kleine Scheidegg from Grindelwald is included in the Jungfrau Pass.
Parking houses in Grindelwald Terminal Station are available, one day of parking is 12 CHF. Hight limitation if you travel in a van/camper.
There are restaurants, souvenir shops, hotels, and also free public toilets. Actually, at the station, next to the toilets, you also have a water fountain, providing you with fresh drinking water.
THINGS TO DO AT KLEINE SCHEIDEGG
Given its perfect location, there are many things to do at Kleine Scheidegg, and here is a list of its top attractions.
One of the highlights for me was visiting the breathtaking Fallbodensee (Lake Fallboden). Situated at an altitude of approximately 21,00 meters (6,889 feet) above sea level on the Fallboden hill, this lake is nestled between the ski lifts connecting the Kleine Scheidegg and Eigergletscher stations.
Positioned perfectly beneath the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks, Fallbodensee acts as a reflective surface, mirroring these twin peaks. On clear days, the vistas are truly mesmerizing.
While winter cloaks it entirely in snow, making the lake invisible, the warmer months provide an opportunity for a rewarding uphill trek (15-25 minutes from the Kleine Scheidegg train station).
I’d recommend taking a break there. Additionally, the chapel-like structure on the lake’s edge now serves as a memorial hall, showcasing the renowned Eiger ascent route.
TIP: Near the lake/chapel is a little pond where you will find 3 benches. You can take off your shoes, get into the water, and enjoy some amazing views from one of the benches.
And if you are wondering why the benches are positioned in this certain way, let me tell you: The Jungfrau Region has probably one of the most detail-loving, perfectionist marketing teams in the world: Each of the benches is positioned towards one of the mountain peaks – Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau (in that order).
And if you are not sure which mountain peak is which, just have a look at the sign on the bench that tells you which mountain you are looking at. Marketing at its best.
Kleine Scheidegg is well-known for its hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau are some of the most famous mountain peaks in Switzerland (also known as the Swiss Skyline) and you can see them from the hiking trails.
The trails vary in difficulty, and there is something for everyone, from casual hikers to experienced mountaineers. Some of the popular hiking trails in Kleine Scheidegg include the Northface Trail, the Eiger Trail, and the Panoramaweg Trail.
Experience breathtaking panoramic treks around the Eiger North Face when you visit Kleine Scheidegg. The Eiger Trail offers a unique chance to get close to the world-renowned Eiger North Face – even if you do not climb it.
This scenic mountain trail, offering unmatched views of the Lauberhorn, Kleine Scheidegg, and the Grindelwald Valley, skirts the base of the majestic Eiger North Face.
Non-climbers can embark on a scenic and leisurely hike starting from the Eigergletscher station. As you begin, look to the upper right to spot metal ladders aiding climbers heading to the Via Ferrata Eiger-Rotstock. This trail meanders along the base of the Eiger North Face for about an hour, providing breathtaking views of the Wetterhorn and the Grosse Scheidegg.
Certain areas on the path, especially the more exposed sections, are fortified with ropes for safety. If you’re equipped with binoculars, it’s a treat to observe climbers scaling the wall.
For enthusiasts, postcards detailing all climbing routes on the wall can be procured at the train station. As the journey concludes, a winding zigzag route descends to the Alpiglen station.
TIP: You can start from Eigergletscher train station, a station between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch.
The trail is about 2-3 hours one way.
And for those keen to trace the path of the longest alpine ski racing downhill course, the Lauberhorn Trail in summer offers a leisurely walk, allowing ample opportunities to soak in the splendid panoramas of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Starting at Kleine Scheidegg, cross the railway line and follow the clearly marked, well-tended trail as it slopes downward, leading you past the Hundschopf and towards Wengernalp and Allmend.
Then continue your descent to Wengen, where the initial buildings of the town become visible from afar. The latter part of the trail winds through the town of Wengen, guiding you past quaint chalets until you arrive at the heart of Wengen and its train station.
Perched high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at 1,274 m, the delightful town of Wengen is predominantly car-free.
From here, the Wengernalp Railway conveniently transports you back to the Lauterbunnen Valley below.
This scenic – mostly downhill – hike takes about 2-3 hours,
MÄNNLICHEN MOUNTAIN TO KLEINE SCHEIDEGG
The trail from Männlichen Mountain (at 2,343 meters/7,687 feet above sea level) to Kleine Scheidegg ranks among the top hikes in the Jungfrau region and might be another great activity at Kleine Scheidegg.
This gentle descent provides unparalleled views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley as well as the majestic peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Ideal for all skill levels and ages (about 90-120 minutes, 5 km (3 miles), this hike is especially recommended for families, time-constrained travelers seeking a brief yet unforgettable trek, and anyone looking to enjoy stunning vistas with minimal exertion.
Well, the Kleine Scheidegg is also famous for the train journey that takes you through the mountains, offering spectacular views of the Alpine scenery. The Jungfrau Railway takes you from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen (or Grindelwald) and then to Kleine Scheidegg.
The views are so impressive, you will be disappointed the journey ends so quickly. I have done that train trip a couple of times, and never fail to be amazed! And the best: You can do that year-round.
And if you want, you can then get up all the way to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. Jungfraujoch, often referred to as the “Top of Europe,” is a prominent saddle in the Swiss Alps, connecting the two four-thousander peaks Jungfrau and Mönch.
At an elevation of 3,466 meters (11,371 feet) above sea level, it’s home to Europe’s highest railway station.
You are treated to spectacular views (including the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps) and can access a complex of tunnels and buildings, including an Ice Palace and research station. Its remarkable altitude and unique alpine attractions make Jungfraujoch a must-visit destination for travelers exploring Switzerland.
For those with a taste for adventure, paragliding in Kleine Scheidegg offers a thrilling experience. Soaring above the Alps and soaking in the breathtaking panoramas is truly an ethereal feeling.
Beginners can opt for lessons with certified instructors, while those less experienced can indulge in a tandem flight alongside a seasoned pilot. The launch point for this exhilarating journey is Eigergletscher, nestled at the base of the Eiger Northface.
It’s essential to note that flights are only conducted under stable and tranquil wind conditions, owing to the downwind from the glacier.
SKI AND SNOWBOARDING IN THE WINTER
Kleine Scheidegg is also a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. The area boasts of over 200 km of ski runs, with something for every level of skier. The slopes are well-maintained, and the snow is of exceptional quality.
You can rent ski equipment in the nearby villages and take a ski lift to reach the ski runs. Additionally, Kleine Scheidegg is the starting point for the famous Lauberhorn ski race that takes place every year in mid-January.
The Swiss Ski & Snowboard Kleine Scheidegg is the highest official Swiss Ski & Snowboard School in Switzerland set against the unparalleled mountainous backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
This area is also amazing in the winter for non-winter sports lovers – I enjoyed some beautiful winter walks along the well-maintained paths as I do not ski/snowboard. There was not even a need for snowshoes, just proper hiking boots that are waterproof should be fine!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING KLEINE SCHEIDEGG IN JUNGFRAU REGION
Kleine Scheidegg is truly a gem in the Swiss Alps that you must visit if you get the chance. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful retreat in the mountains, Kleine Scheidegg has something for everyone.
The stunning views, the fresh air, and the charming villages will make your trip to Kleine Scheidegg an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, hike the trails, ski the slopes, glide over the mountains, and enjoy the natural beauty of Kleine Scheidegg.