Sledging in Grindelwald - Winter Adventures in the Jungfrau Region
The Jungfrau Region of Switzerland is located in the Bernese Oberland and named after the famous mountain. It is home to well known gems like Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, in addition to some lesser known spots like Wengen and Murren. It makes for a beautiful destination year round, which I feel confident saying now that I have been in both winter and summer, and is full of never ending adventures.
Before I get started, I want to preface this with one thing in case you’re thinking “sledging? really?!” Of all the completely epic winter adventures I went on with Switzerland Tourism — dog sledding, hot air balloon ride, cliff walking, fondue hiking, glacier walking, tobogganing, ice skating, etc. — I have to say that this afternoon of sledging was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved them all, but there was something so unbelievably fun about this sledging journey that set it apart from the others.
So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know to recreate this magical Swiss fairytale!
Two quick side notes: (1) any photo that is of me on this post was taken by my Swiss adventure partner, Kristen, and (2) yes, "sledging" is the same as sledding for my fellow Americans :)
HOW TO GET THERE
The Jungfrau Region is located above Interlaken, where you will need to get to first if you are not already in the area. The easiest way would be to use the Swiss Travel System; I recommend the Swiss Travel Pass which is all-in-one ticket to travel by train, bus and boat throughout the whole of Switzerland. Take a train to Interlaken-Ost where you will then transfer to the Bernese Oberland Railway.
Where you go from here will depend on which sledging trail you want to experience. The Jungfrau Region site lists 18 different options here, including the longest sledge run in the world, Grindelwald-First to Faulhorn! We personally did what was a long variation of the Eiger Run.
HERE IS WHAT I RECOMMEND: take the train all the way to Jungfraujoch first thing in the morning. The journey from Interlaken takes around 2 hours. Once there you’ll want to explore a bit (there are some lookout points, an indoor ice palace, etc.) and possibly grab lunch. When you are finished, take the train back down to Kleine Schiedegg. From here you will start your ~2 hour sledging journey!
ABOUT THE EIGER SLEDGE RUN TO GRINDELWALD
The Eiger Sledge Run takes you from Kleine Schiedegg to Alpiglen to Brandegg and finally to Grindelwald Grund. The course is 8.5 km (a little over 5 miles) and takes as little as 1.5 hours, or more realistically 2-3 depending on how often you stop for photos and Gluhwein. At the beginning of the trail there is a big arch that says Eiger Run - that’s where you want to go.
Some of the trail, especially at the beginning, is a bit flat so you will have to do some walking with your sled. I found this to be quite enjoyable, especially because the scenery is so beautiful. You can usually see the town of Grindelwald ahead in the distance, some ski runs and lifts, and the famous north face of Eiger. It’s also a nice slow start for those that maybe have not gone sledding since they were children. Speaking of children - you can do this run with or without them. We were child-free and likely had more fun than anyone else there!
We hopped on our sleds, did some walking, took a bunch of photos, and got our bearings a bit until eventually we were self-proclaimed experts. There is no steering on the sledge, nor are there breaks, so you have to teach yourself how to maneuver a bit but I promise it is easy. We lucked out and did it on a beautifully sunny day so it was especially enjoyable, I think!
A little more than halfway down we stumbled upon Berghaus Alpiglen where we stopped for beers and Gluhwein. The view out the window is gorgeous and it looks like once the weather warms up they offer outdoor seating as well! They also serve food in case you find yourself here during meal time.
From this point on the trail is really fun and runs for a long time without stops! We decided to put our cameras away completely and just enjoy the journey. Kristen and I raced to the bottom which was especially fun after a bit of liquid courage ;) It truly made me feel like a kid again and was such a magical experience.
Once at the bottom in Grindelwald Grund, we simply returned our sledges at the station ticket desk. If you don’t want to do the entire route, you can also do this at the Brandegg station instead. From here, we headed to our hotel in Grindelwald for the night. Depending on your plan after, you can easily hop on the train to anywhere you need to!