8 Aare Route
8 Aare Route
8 Aare Route
8 Aare Route
8 Aare Route
8 Aare Route

Cycling in Switzerland

etappe-0911

Aare Route

Stage 1, Oberwald (Gletsch)–Meiringen

Route report
36 photos

VL_008_01_P1060992_R_F_M.jpg
etappe-0911

Aare Route

The Grimselpass, a remote Alpine landscape of contrasts: reservoir lakes and power stations ringed by icy, green-grey granite mountains - an optical balancing act. Steep descent to the Aareschlucht (gorge), where the young river enters puberty.
Limitless freedom reigns above the clouds, as the saying goes. Early in the morning, Furka and Grimsel seem to be peacefully lying in each other’s arms. The birds are serenading while the legs are still feeling heavy during the first pedal strokes. Motorcyclists also seem to feel limitless freedom when thundering across Alpine passes on sunny weekends. Better not to choose a holiday then… Crossing over the Grimsel Pass was celebrated already in Roman times. From the south, rice, wine and Murano glass were hauled to the north. Cheese, leather, hardware, young horses and cattle travelled the other way. Today, the summit on the border between the cantons of Valais and Berne is commonly reached by motorized vehicle and only occasionally on foot or by bicycle. You may be tired but not dead when you reach the pristine Totensee (“Lake of the Dead“) a bit further on. It didn’t receive its name because the water was stagnant, but rather because of the soldiers of Duke Berchtold of Zähringen who were allegedly driven into the lake by the people of Valais some 800 years ago.

Whizzing down from the summit towards Grimsel Lake, you will pass the legendary “Grimsel Hospiz”, one of the most comfortable mountain hotels in the Alpine region. Or you may marvel at the complex hydroelectric systems of Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG. Since the company’s inception in 1925, no fewer than nine power stations have been built in several stages. More fun and excitement await you at Handegg, which still sits at 1,400 metres above sea level. Those who wish to soar even higher can ride on the legendary Gelmerbahn up to Gelmersee lake. With a gradient of up to 106%, it is Europe’s steepest open funicular railway.

The cycling route, which is not quite as steep, continues past the Schwarzbrunnenbrücke (black fountain’s bridge) – built with blocks of granite in 1892/1893 – to Guttannen (Crystal Museum) and onwards to Innertkirchen. At the Haslital traffic junction, trails and roads lead up to the Susten and Brünig Passes, across Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald and, of course, also to Rome… After a short ascent, you reach the Aare Gorge. It is fascinating to see how the river over thousands of years cut a 1,400-metre-long and up to 200-metre-deep gorge through the Kirchet rock formation (accessible April to October). The thrilling stage finally ends at Meiringen. However, the Aare River – sometimes gentle, sometimes raging – continues its course to Aaregg and into turquoise Lake Brienz.
The Grimselpass, a remote Alpine landscape of contrasts: reservoir lakes and power stations ringed by icy, green-grey granite mountains - an optical balancing act. Steep descent to the Aareschlucht (gorge), where the young river enters puberty.
Limitless freedom reigns above the clouds, as the saying goes. Early in the morning, Furka and Grimsel seem to be peacefully lying in each other’s arms. The birds are serenading while the legs are still feeling heavy during the first pedal strokes. Motorcyclists also seem to feel limitless freedom when thundering across Alpine passes on sunny weekends. Better not to choose a holiday then… Crossing over the Grimsel Pass was celebrated already in Roman times. From the south, rice, wine and Murano glass were hauled to the north. Cheese, leather, hardware, young horses and cattle travelled the other way. Today, the summit on the border between the cantons of Valais and Berne is commonly reached by motorized vehicle and only occasionally on foot or by bicycle. You may be tired but not dead when you reach the pristine Totensee (“Lake of the Dead“) a bit further on. It didn’t receive its name because the water was stagnant, but rather because of the soldiers of Duke Berchtold of Zähringen who were allegedly driven into the lake by the people of Valais some 800 years ago.

Whizzing down from the summit towards Grimsel Lake, you will pass the legendary “Grimsel Hospiz”, one of the most comfortable mountain hotels in the Alpine region. Or you may marvel at the complex hydroelectric systems of Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG. Since the company’s inception in 1925, no fewer than nine power stations have been built in several stages. More fun and excitement await you at Handegg, which still sits at 1,400 metres above sea level. Those who wish to soar even higher can ride on the legendary Gelmerbahn up to Gelmersee lake. With a gradient of up to 106%, it is Europe’s steepest open funicular railway.

The cycling route, which is not quite as steep, continues past the Schwarzbrunnenbrücke (black fountain’s bridge) – built with blocks of granite in 1892/1893 – to Guttannen (Crystal Museum) and onwards to Innertkirchen. At the Haslital traffic junction, trails and roads lead up to the Susten and Brünig Passes, across Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald and, of course, also to Rome… After a short ascent, you reach the Aare Gorge. It is fascinating to see how the river over thousands of years cut a 1,400-metre-long and up to 200-metre-deep gorge through the Kirchet rock formation (accessible April to October). The thrilling stage finally ends at Meiringen. However, the Aare River – sometimes gentle, sometimes raging – continues its course to Aaregg and into turquoise Lake Brienz.
39 km
Asphalted: 39 km
Natural surface: 0 km
520 m | 1700 m
medium

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Oberwald
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map
Arrival / return travel Grimsel Passhöhe
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

More …

Season
Please note: pass open from approx. May to October. Info Tel 163.
Ascent Grimsel Pass
66
Ascent Grimsel Pass
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Oberwald, Bahnhof–Grimsel, Passhöhe
or
Meiringen, Bahnhof–Grimsel, Passhöhe
Reason: metres in height saved Oberwald–Grimsel-Pass head 800m, Meiringen–Grimsel-Pass head 1650m
Cycle transport: limited space, reservation required tel. 058 448 20 08.
SBB Timetable
Traffic volume
Beware: busy main road Innertkirchen–Meiringen (Geissholz crossing).
Transport Aareschlucht
65
Transport Aareschlucht
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Meiringen–Innertkirchen MIB
or
Innertkirchen MIB–Meiringen
Reason: busy road; metres in height saved Meiringen–Innertkirchen MIB 110m, Innertkirchen MIB–Meiringen 90m.
SBB Timetable

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Meiringen
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

Hotel Furka
Hotel Furka
Oberwald
Sport u.- Holiday-Camp
Sport u.- Holiday-Camp
Oberwald
Bächlitalhütte SAC
Bächlitalhütte SAC
Grimsel Passhöhe
Gelmerhütte SAC
Gelmerhütte SAC
Handegg
Hotel-Restaurant Alpina
Hotel-Restaurant Alpina
Innertkirchen
Hotel Rebstock
Hotel Rebstock
Meiringen
bett und zmorge
bett und zmorge
Meiringen
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Places

Oberwald
Oberwald
Grimselpass
Grimselpass
Guttannen
Guttannen
Innertkirchen
Innertkirchen
Meiringen
Meiringen
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Places of interest

Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway
Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway
Rhone Glacier and Ice Grotto
Rhone Glacier and Ice Grotto
Gelmerbahn
Gelmerbahn
Grimsel Pass trade route
Grimsel Pass trade route
Technology and nature on Lake Grimsel
Technology and nature on Lake Grimsel
Chaltenbrunnen
Chaltenbrunnen
Aareschlucht
Aareschlucht
Meiringen–Reuti
Meiringen–Reuti
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