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Faulhorn Summit: Hiking From First & Bachalpsee


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Katti Moody



Welcome to the magnificent Swiss Alps, where breathtaking mountain landscapes and stunning hiking trails await. Switzerland is known for its unparalleled natural beauty, and one iconic hike that showcases this beauty is the trail from First to the Faulhorn Summit, with a stop at the enchanting Bachalpsee.


This hiking adventure is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who crave an immersive experience in nature. From the tranquil shores of Bachalpsee to the panoramic views from the Faulhorn Summit, this hike offers a perfect blend of serenity and exhilaration.


Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking for a rewarding challenge, this trail caters to all levels of expertise. The beauty of Switzerland’s landscape is on full display throughout the journey, making it an unforgettable experience for every nature lover.


Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Swiss Alps as we embark on this incredible hiking adventure from First to the Faulhorn Summit, with a refreshing stop at the crystal-clear Bachalpsee along the way.


Overview of the Hike:

The hike from First to the Faulhorn Summit is one of the most picturesque and rewarding trails in the Swiss Alps. This approximately 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) hike takes you through pristine alpine meadows, dense forests, and rocky terrain, offering stunning panoramic views along the way.


Starting from the mountain village of First, located at an elevation of 2,168 meters (7,113 feet), the hike begins with a gentle ascent through lush meadows and fragrant pine forests. The well-marked trail leads you to the sparkling Bachalpsee, a glacial lake renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and reflection of the surrounding snow-capped peaks.


After marveling at the beauty of Bachalpsee, the hike continues uphill towards the Faulhorn Summit, which stands at an impressive altitude of 2,681 meters (8,796 feet). The trail becomes steeper, offering a more challenging but immensely rewarding trek to the summit.


As you ascend, the magnificent Swiss Alps unfold before you, with panoramic views of iconic peaks such as the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. On a clear day, you can even catch sight of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps.


Reaching the Faulhorn Summit is a truly memorable experience. At the summit, you’ll find the historic Faulhorn Hotel, one of the oldest mountain hotels in Switzerland. Take a well-deserved break and indulge in some delicious Swiss cuisine while relishing the stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and lakes.


After soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas from the summit, it’s time to begin your descent. The descent follows a different route, taking you through the scenic landscape of Gassenboden and Waldspitz before eventually leading you back to the starting point at First.


The entire hike usually takes around 6 to 7 hours to complete, depending on your pace and the time spent at various viewpoints. It is recommended to start early in the morning to make the most of the daylight and ensure a more enjoyable and relaxed hiking experience.


Prepare yourself with sturdy hiking boots, comfortable attire, and sufficient supplies such as water, snacks, and sun protection. Also, be sure to check the weather forecast and trail conditions before setting out on this unforgettable adventure.


Starting Point: First

The hiking adventure from First to the Faulhorn Summit begins at the charming mountain village of First. Situated at an elevation of 2,168 meters (7,113 feet), First is easily accessible via cable car from Grindelwald. The cable car ride itself is an exhilarating experience, offering stunning views of the surrounding peaks.


Upon reaching First, you’ll find yourself in a picturesque alpine setting surrounded by majestic mountains. Take a moment to soak in the fresh mountain air and admire the stunning scenery before embarking on your hike.


The trail to Bachalpsee and Faulhorn Summit starts near the First Cliff Walk, a thrilling suspended walkway that provides a unique vantage point over the mountain landscape. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the Grindelwald Valley below.


The starting section of the hike is relatively gentle, easing you into the journey. The well-marked trail winds its way through lush alpine meadows adorned with colorful wildflowers in the summer months. Be sure to take your time and embrace the tranquility of the surroundings as you make your way towards Bachalpsee.


As you continue hiking, you’ll come across an array of wooden chalets dotting the landscape, adding to the idyllic charm of the area. These traditional Swiss mountain houses are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Along the trail, you’ll also encounter friendly grazing cows, their melodious cowbells creating a symphony that blends harmoniously with the natural symphony of the mountains. The encounter with these gentle creatures adds an authentic touch to your hiking experience.


The hike from First to Bachalpsee takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your pace and the time spent enjoying the views and taking photographs. Be sure to stay hydrated and maintain a steady pace as you steadily ascend to the pristine glacial lake that awaits.


From First, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of the Swiss Alps at every turn. Soak in the awe-inspiring scenery as you hike towards Bachalpsee, and prepare to be amazed at what lies ahead on this incredible journey.


Exploring Bachalpsee

Located along the trail from First to the Faulhorn Summit, Bachalpsee is a natural gem that enchants hikers with its stunning beauty. This glacial lake, nestled at an elevation of approximately 2,265 meters (7,431 feet), is a must-visit destination on your hiking adventure.


As you approach Bachalpsee, the lush alpine meadows give way to a breathtaking vista of the sparkling turquoise waters. The lake is famous for its mirror-like surface, reflecting the surrounding peaks and creating a mesmerizing visual spectacle.


Take a moment to pause and soak in the tranquility of Bachalpsee. Its peaceful atmosphere, combined with the backdrop of majestic mountains, invites you to immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of nature.


There are several vantage points around Bachalpsee where you can capture stunning photographs or simply sit and contemplate the serene surroundings. Allow yourself to be captivated by the ever-changing colors of the lake, from deep blue to emerald green, depending on the angle of the sunlight.


The surrounding area features wooden benches strategically placed to provide a perfect spot for a picnic or to simply sit and appreciate the natural wonders around you. Enjoy a snack or pack a picnic lunch to replenish your energy as you take in the awe-inspiring scenery.


Bachalpsee also offers a chance to observe the local wildlife. Keep an eye out for marmots, a type of burrowing rodent found in the alpine regions of the Swiss Alps. These adorable creatures can often be spotted scurrying about their daily activities, adding an extra touch of charm to your visit.


During the summer months, the shores of Bachalpsee come alive with vibrant alpine flowers in full bloom. The colors and fragrances create a captivating display, further enhancing the beauty of the lake and its surroundings.


As you explore the area around Bachalpsee, be sure to follow the designated paths and respect the natural environment. This helps preserve the pristine beauty of the lake for future hikers to enjoy.


After taking the time to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of Bachalpsee, it’s time to continue the hike to the Faulhorn Summit. But don’t worry, the memories of this enchanting glacial lake will stay with you, making your journey to the summit even more memorable.


Continuing the Hike to the Faulhorn Summit

Leaving behind the mesmerizing beauty of Bachalpsee, the next part of the hike takes you on a thrilling ascent towards the renowned Faulhorn Summit. This section of the trail offers a more challenging terrain as you ascend to an elevation of 2,681 meters (8,796 feet).


The trail from Bachalpsee to the Faulhorn Summit is marked by steep uphill sections, rocky terrain, and some switchbacks. However, the effort is well worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views at the summit.


As you continue your ascent, the landscape transforms and becomes more rugged. Scenic alpine meadows give way to exposed rocky pathways, surrounded by the grandeur of towering mountain peaks. Take the time to appreciate the wild beauty of this alpine environment as you make your way towards the summit.


Throughout the hike, you’ll be surrounded by a vast expanse of nature. The tranquility and silence of the mountains provide a sense of serenity and a chance for introspection. Embrace the solitude and allow the mountains to inspire and rejuvenate you.


As you approach the final stretch to the Faulhorn Summit, the panoramic views become even more awe-inspiring. Glance back for a last look at Bachalpsee, nestled in the valley below, and look ahead to catch glimpses of the surrounding peaks piercing the sky.


Reaching the Faulhorn Summit, you’ll be greeted by the distinguished Faulhorn Hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1830. This historic mountain hotel adds a touch of nostalgia and offers a cozy place to relax and refuel before taking in the incredible vistas.


From the summit, you’ll be treated to a 360-degree panoramic view that stretches as far as the eye can see. On a clear day, you can admire the iconic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, creating a magical backdrop for your adventure.


As you stand on the Faulhorn Summit, let the immensity of the landscape sink in. Marvel at the vastness of the glaciers, the depth of the valleys, and the beauty of the surrounding lakes. It is a moment that will leave you feeling small in the grandeur of nature.


Take your time to explore the summit, find a comfortable spot to sit, and simply appreciate the breathtaking views. Capture the memories with your camera or simply let the beauty of the scenery etch itself into your mind.


After appreciating the view and perhaps indulging in a delicious meal at the Faulhorn Hotel, it’s time to prepare for the descent. But don’t worry, the memories and the beauty of the Faulhorn Summit will remain with you long after the hike is over.


Enjoying the View from Faulhorn Summit

Standing atop the Faulhorn Summit at an elevation of 2,681 meters (8,796 feet), you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring 360-degree view that will take your breath away. The panoramic vista from this vantage point offers a visual feast for the eyes, with majestic mountain peaks, expansive valleys, and shimmering lakes stretching as far as the eye can see.


Find a comfortable spot to sit or stroll around the summit to fully immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply someone seeking solace in the beauty of the Swiss Alps, the view from Faulhorn Summit is nothing short of extraordinary.


On a clear day, you’ll be able to admire the iconic trio of mountains: the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. These legendary peaks form an impressive backdrop and are among the most famous in the Swiss Alps. Their majestic presence adds to the grandeur of the panoramic view, making it an unforgettable sight.


As you gaze out from the summit, you’ll also be treated to views of the picturesque alpine valleys below. The lush greenery and charming Swiss chalets dotting the landscape create a postcard-worthy scene that epitomizes the beauty of Switzerland.


Adding to the splendor of the view, you may catch a glimpse of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. This frozen marvel stretches over 23 kilometers (14 miles) and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its icy expanse is a testament to the power and majesty of nature.


While taking in the breathtaking scenery, don’t forget to capture the moment with your camera. The Faulhorn Summit provides endless opportunities for photography, from capturing the sweeping landscapes to zooming in on the intricate details of the mountains and valleys.


But don’t let the desire to document the view distract you from fully experiencing it. Take the time to truly appreciate the sights and sounds around you. Close your eyes and let the mountain breeze whisper in your ears, carrying with it the indescribable sense of peace and wonder that only the mountains can provide.


After indulging in the view and allowing the beauty to seep into your soul, take a moment to reflect on the magnificence of the natural world. The Faulhorn Summit offers a humbling reminder of our place in the vast expanse of the universe, reminding us of the enduring power and beauty of nature.


As you begin your descent, know that the memories of the view from Faulhorn Summit will stay with you and serve as a reminder of the incredible beauty that awaits in the Swiss Alps.


Descending from Faulhorn Summit

After soaking in the unforgettable views from the Faulhorn Summit, it’s time to begin the descent back to the starting point. The descent follows a different route, allowing you to explore new scenery and enjoy a fresh perspective on the Swiss Alps.


The trail from Faulhorn Summit gradually leads you downhill, offering a different hiking experience compared to the ascent. As you descend, you’ll traverse through picturesque landscapes, enchanted forests, and serene meadows, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the region.


One of the highlights of the descent is passing through Gassenboden, a scenic area known for its alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers. During the summer months, the meadows come alive with a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a dreamlike setting that will leave you in awe.


As you continue your descent, you’ll encounter the peaceful Waldspitz, a tranquil forested area showcasing the lush greenery of the Swiss Alps. Walking through the shade of the trees provides a refreshing break from the sun and allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level.


Along the trail, you may even come across more wildlife, including graceful ibexes or elusive chamois. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready to capture these magical encounters with the local fauna.


The descent from Faulhorn Summit allows you to reflect on the adventure you’ve just experienced. As you make your way back to the starting point, take the time to appreciate the journey you’ve completed, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the memories you’ve created.


As with any descent, it’s important to watch your step and maintain caution on the trail. Some sections may be steep or rocky, so ensure you have proper footwear and take your time to navigate the terrain safely.


The trail will eventually lead you back to First, where you started your hike. As you arrive back at the mountain village, take a moment to reflect on the incredible day you’ve had and the beauty you’ve witnessed. Celebrate your achievement and embrace the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing this unforgettable hiking adventure.


From here, you may choose to relax and unwind, sharing stories of your journey with fellow hikers or savoring a well-deserved meal at one of the local restaurants. Let the memories of the hike from First to the Faulhorn Summit stay with you as you savor the tranquility of the mountain village before bidding farewell to this unforgettable part of Switzerland.



The hike from First to the Faulhorn Summit is a truly remarkable adventure that allows you to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of the Swiss Alps. From the gentle ascent through alpine meadows, the enchanting Bachalpsee, to the exhilarating climb to the Faulhorn Summit, this hike offers a perfect balance of serenity and exhilaration.


The panoramic views from the Faulhorn Summit, with its sweeping vistas of iconic peaks, vast valleys, and shimmering lakes, will leave an indelible mark on your soul. The beauty of nature at such heights serves as a powerful reminder of the grandeur and magnificence of the world around us.


Throughout the journey, the Swiss Alps unveil their hidden treasures, captivating you with their wildflowers, grazing cows, and occasional glimpses of wildlife. Every step you take is an opportunity to connect with nature and find solace in its ever-changing landscapes.


Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner seeking a transformative adventure, the hike from First to the Faulhorn Summit offers an experience like no other. The trail allows you to challenge yourself physically, while also providing ample opportunities for reflection, inspiration, and pure enjoyment of the natural wonders.


As you descend from the Faulhorn Summit, take a moment to reflect on the memories and experiences you’ve gained. The beauty of Bachalpsee, the awe-inspiring views from the summit, and the serenity of the surrounding landscapes will forever be etched in your heart.


Switzerland, with its breathtaking scenery and well-maintained hiking trails, offers endless possibilities for explorations in the Swiss Alps. The hike from First to the Faulhorn Summit is just one example of the wonders that await those who venture into this alpine paradise.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on this unforgettable journey from First to the Faulhorn Summit. Allow Switzerland’s natural beauty to ignite your spirit, rejuvenate your soul, and create memories that will last a lifetime.