Happy New Year! Hope you had relaxing holidays. May you and your family have a wonderful, adventurous, and healthy year.

As I’m trying to catch up on writing about our Switzerland trip, hiking in the Alps is probably on top of the activities I want to write about most. There are many wonderful things about hiking in Switzerland—the mountains, the lakes, the air, the cows, the sound of cow bells. The best is probably the opportunity to bypass gruesome ascent and descent with the help of mountain trains or gondolas.

Our friend, Susan, suggested a day hike in the Lake Lucerne area started at Urmiberg and ended at Hinterbergen. Although the weather forecast said it was supposed to be a mostly sunny day, it was still cloudy down at the lake that morning. To get to Urmiberg, we took a bus from Weggis to Brunnen. The bus ride took about thirty minutes. From the gondola station, a quick ride (6 minutes or so) took us up to Urmiberg. Just as we reached Urmiberg, we came out above the cloud in the nick of time. After paying for the ride, we began our hike.

A map of our hike. We rode a gondola from Brunnen to Urmiberg, then hiked to Hinterbergen, where we took another gondola down to Vitznau.
Waiting for a bus in Weggis. Buses in Switzerland run on a precise schedule. Susan knew which bus we planned to catch, so she would hop on the same bus when it got to her house. It worked quite amazingly!
A gondola station at Urmiberg. We were just above the cloud. Phew!
First part of the hike was probably the most strenuous, climbing about 180 meters (600 ft) immediately. Fortunately, it didn’t last long and it’s a cool day.
More ambitious hikers could skip the gondola and hike up the mountain all the way, like this group of hikers.
Pasture above the cloud
The cows were quite friendly.
After refreshing ourselves at a coffee shop, we were ready to continue.
The view was gorgeous everywhere we looked.
Since we were in no hurry, We took any available opportunity to stop to enjoy the view.
Hiking in the Alps has been my dream for a long time. It finally happened and was as magical as I had hoped.
Isn’t this the best place to be a cow?
Thin cloud hanging over the lake made this place so mystical.
Still smiling at the end of the hike
Getting ready to ride a gondola down to the lake
From a station in Hinterbergen, the gondola took us down to Vitznau, where we had a few glasses of wine with our friend, Esther, before taking a bus back to Weggis.

After the initial climb, this hike, as I remember, is pretty much gradually up and down with a long stretch of a not-too-steep descent at the end. Hiking poles are recommended.

  • Date hiked: September 14, 2019
  • Hiking time: 4h 50m with lots of breaks for photographing
  • Distance: Approx. 5.5 mi one-way from Urmiberg to Hinterbergen
  • Elevation change: Approx. 1600 ft ascent and 1900 ft descent

10 thoughts

  1. Thank you for taking us along with you and David and Susan on this magical Alps hike, Keng. Fantastic photos and descriptions. I espec. liked hearing about the buses being so precise that Susan could hop on the same one you had already boarded. And yes, I think this must be the very best place to be a cow. Refreshingly beautiful post.


    1. Thank you, Jet, for stopping by and for the comment. David and I currently back in the States. We will stay put in Southern California for the time being. I hope you and Athena are in a good place to be safe from the COVID-19. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

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