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The Best Beginner Hiking Spots in Switzerland

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Whether you are gearing up to climb the Matterhorn, or just want to find a fun family-friendly trail to hike: these ten trails will get you started. Unique, beautiful, and accessible for all skill levels, these hiking spots are our top picks for Swiss scenery. Don’t forget to bring your hiking poles, comfortable shoes, and a Swiss Half Fare Card to get up to 50% discounts on public transportation, trains, buses, boats, and cable cars to get to the base of these trails. 

Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail

If you are traveling with small children but still want to explore the scenic nature of the Swiss mountainside, this is the trail for you. Enjoy the panoramic views, and learn from the educational signboards posted along the trail. Once you are finished exploring, take the Hohfluh chair lift back down to give those little legs a much-deserved rest. 

Distance: 2km loop

Difficulty: Easy 

Trail Conditions: narrow, rocky, dirt path

Rhine Gorge River Hike

Known as the “Swiss Grand Canyon” this trail is an easy stroll through the forest and fields filled with wildflowers. Look out over the immense Rhine Gorge from the lookout point, it makes a great backdrop for family photos! Although the walk is a little long for small children, the path is obstacle-free and suitable for strollers. Otherwise, you can always take a break at the delicious restaurant in the middle of the trail, stop off at one of the fire pits, or detour past the gorgeous lake Caumasee for a swim.  

Distance:3.5km each way (with the option to hike on for almost 20km)

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Conditions: dirt road, strollers ok

Lauterbrunnental Glacial Valley

Be sure to stop in Lauterbrunnen to gather picnic supplies for this magical trail walk through the glacial Lauterbrunnental valley. This beginner-friendly hike takes you past 72 of Switzerland’s best waterfalls. Start the hike at the Staubbachfall Wasserfall, next to the visitor’s area where you can grab a coffee from the coffee stall. Take the slight detour trail up the hill to get a view of the valley from behind the waterfall. Then continue along the main trail to see the river, wildflowers, and waterfalls. 

Distance:4km

Difficulty: Easy 

Trail Conditions: stroller/wheelchair accessible

Mount Rigi Panorama Trail

Mount Rigi is a great spot for family-friendly hiking. The trail passes along from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Scheidegg, where you can take a cable car back down to Goldau in the valley. We highly recommend stopping in Rigi First to enjoy a delicious Swiss lunch at the cute chalet. From there, take the short cliff-walk detour for spectacular views of the valley before rejoining the main trail.

Distance: 8.2km one way, shorter options available

Difficulty: Easy 

Trail conditions: dirt path, obstacle-free

The Aa Gorge Trail

If you’re looking to escape the heat, the beautiful forest walk along the Aa Gorge trail between Lutersee and Engelberg is perfect for summer days. Walk along the river in the shade of the forest past boulders and over bridges. Bring your lunch along because there are many barbeque spots and picnic areas along the trail where you can stop to relax and recharge.

Distance: 9km

Difficulty: Easy 

Trail Conditions: narrow but well-maintained path, numerous bridges

 5 Lake Hike

 In the Zermatt mountains, this nearly ten-kilometer trail leads you past the five beautiful lakes: Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee. This loop is appropriate for children (age 6+) who will love the playground at Lake Leisee, and swimming in Lake Grünsee. Keep your eyes peeled to see the Matterhorn reflected in three of the beautiful lakes – we’re not telling you which ones, you’ll just have to find out for yourself!

Distance: 9.8km loop

Difficulty: Medium

Trail Conditions: dirt trails

 Oeschinensee Panorama Hike

The mountain lake Oeschinensee can be accessed from the village Kandersteg by riding the cable car up the mountain. The picturesque lake offers a hike with panoramic views along the neighboring mountainside. The trail is narrow and rocky but still hikable for children as long as they are responsible and experienced hikers. Work up a sweat as you hike along the trail, then grab a bite to eat at the restaurant overlooking the lake, and cool off with a splash in its azure water. 

Distance: 8.5 km loop

Difficulty: Medium (child friendly)

Trail Conditions: narrow, rocky, dirt path 

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