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Towering 13,025 feet (3,970 meters) above the town of Grindelwald, Eiger (German for ogre) is one of Switzerland’s most recognizable and fearsome mountains. Scaling the near-vertical north face is a notoriously challenging feat, one that has claimed a number of lives since the first successful ascent in 1938.
Eiger is part of the Bernese Alps. Though Eiger’s infamous north face is reserved for the most skilled climbers, less experienced mountaineers can enjoy a number of other hiking and climbing trails on the mountain. The most famous is the Eiger Trail, which runs along the foot of the north face. If you want to see the mountain’s dramatic landscapes without the exertion, you can also take a scenic train ride to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest train station and observation deck.
You can see the region on a day trip from Lucerne, Zurich, or Interlaken. Tours often include a trip through the Jungfraujoch mountain pass and a cogwheel train ride up the Kleine Scheidegg pass with stellar views of Eiger’s north face.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Some guided treks cater to beginners.
- Remember to bring proper clothing and gear—and binoculars if you want to spot the climbers heading up the north face’s sheer cliffs.
- Tours may include round-trip hotel transfers; check with individual tours for details.
How to Get There
Eiger is a part of the Bernese Alps and is located about 2–3 hours from Lucerne and Zurich by train. The best way to reach Eiger is from Interlaken, where you can board a train to Kleine Scheidegg that will take you through Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. To reach the starting point of the 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) Eiger Trail, take the train to Eigergletscher.
When to Get There
The best time of year to hike Eiger is in the summer, from July through September. The weather on the mountain is typically clearest in the mornings, with clouds rolling in during the afternoons. Be sure to make any hiking excursion as early in the day as possible, as the weather can change quickly.
The Eiger Trail
For the best combination of physical activity and jaw-dropping high-alpine beauty, take the Eiger Trail. For the first hour, the route winds along the foot of Eiger’s north face, offering spectacular views of the Wetterhorn mountain peak and the Grosse Scheidegg pass. More difficult sections are secured with ropes, and towards the end of the hike (which takes about 2 hours total, depending on your speed) the trail zigzags down to the Alpiglen train station.
Address: Eiger, Grindelwald 3818, Switzerland
0 Tours and Activities to Experience Eiger
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