The landscape of Switzerland is dotted with glaciers, canyons, lakes, and more. One of the beautiful places worth checking out is Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht in German).
Known for its limestone formations, Aare Gorge is a large piece of bedrock. It stretches 1,400 meters long and 200 meters deep between Innertkirchen and Meiringen. With a system of safe paths and tunnels, you can walk through the gorgeous gorge to experience nature in a very unique way.
We will explore Aare Gorge and what to expect if you walk in the canyon.
Overview: Aare Gorge
You can find Aare Gorge in Haslital, a valley in Central Switzerland located between Grimsel Pass and Lake Brienz. This rock formation separates Lower Haslital, where it is mostly flat, from Upper Haslital. Kirchet is the name given to this rock formation.
During millions of years, the Swiss Alps formed. Glaciers once covered most of Switzerland during the ice ages, but they have since disappeared. It wouldn’t take long for limestone to form within the gorge as the earth changed. Melting waters flow from the craters these days, and you can see them flowing abundantly within Aare Gorge.
Access to Aare Gorge has been possible for more than a century. It has been open to the public since 1888. In its first year of operation, the Aare Gorge welcomed 12,000 visitors as a gallery and pedestrian route. A tram line connected Meiringen – Reichenbach – Aare Gorge in 1912. This tram ceased operation in 1957.
Restaurants, a winter-covered terrace, and a playground have expanded the tourist appeal over the years. Throughout the years, they have also made continuous efforts to make the gallery safer.
What to Expect: Aare Gorge Canyon Walk
Aare Gorge has stunning scenery, especially if you’ve never seen a gorge before. While not as wide as the Rhine Gorge, the Aare Gorge is generally wider than Rosenlaui and Via Mala. Except for a small section in the middle of the gorge, its waters were fairly calm. The average water speed is approximately 2 meters per second. The glacier mills near the western entrance and in the middle of the path were quite interesting.
In Aare Gorge, you can expect a 1.4-kilometer-long narrow wooden footpath suspended over rocky faces. In its narrowest part (kleinen Enge), the gorge measures just 1 meter wide, while its largest part (Grossen Runs) measures approximately 40 meters wide. Glacial potholes can also be seen along the way. The highest cliff wall measures 189 meters.
The paths are anchored into the cliff faces. While walking, you can see the gorge on one side and the cliff face on the other. The gorge takes approximately 45 minutes to explore.
Since there are rails everywhere, this is a safe and simple walk. You don’t need to worry about anything, everything is safe and stable. It’s also quite easy to walk. From the West entrance, two-thirds of Aare Gorge is wheelchair-accessible.
You can enter Aare Gorge from the east or west; it doesn’t matter. Either start east or west depending on where you want to go. Or you can choose one entrance and come back to it, especially if you come by car. A small map or guide is available at the entrance. The interesting points inside the Aare Gorge are translated into German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch.
Aare Gorge: East and West
Aare Gorge has two entrances – one from the east (Aareschlucht Ost) and one from the west (Aareschlucht West). Direct trains run from Meiringen to Aare Gorge East and Aare Gorge West. You can traverse the canyon from one end to the other as long as both entrances are open.
The western train stop is a normal train stop, whereas the eastern one is located inside a tunnel. When you arrive at the Aareschlucht Ost train station, you must exit the tunnel right away because the driver must close the tunnel door before leaving.
Both entrances have parking lots, though the parking lot at the western entrance is larger than the one at the east. You can park for free in the parking lot.
The Aare Gorge Restaurant is located near the West Entrance, offering refreshments and a terrace overlooking the garden. A playground for children is also located near the West Entrance. There is a snack bar located at the East Entrance. However, there is no children’s playground at the East Entrance.
How to Get to Aare Gorge
Aare Gorge is open from the beginning of April until the 1st of November. The hours of operation are extended in July and August to include evenings. Aare Gorge is easily accessible from Meiringen and Interlaken.
|By Train||Aareschlucht Ost (Eastern Entrance)|
Aareschlucht West (Western Entrance)
|By Bus||Aareschlucht, Ost (Eastern Entrance)|
Schattenhalb, Schulhaus (Western Entrance)
Final Thoughts: Aare Gorge Canyon Walk
An excursion to Aare Gorge is a fun and enjoyable experience you can do again and again. Besides being easy and safe, it is also beautiful and peaceful. The location is also very convenient for those who are staying in Meiringen or Interlaken.
Go ahead and experience the natural beauty of Aare Gorge if you get the chance. Discover this natural attraction within the Swiss Alps and marvel at this dramatic landscape. It is an enjoyable and tourist-friendly activity that must be experienced in person.
- Aare Gorge – https://aareschlucht.ch/
- Zuber, Anita. Die Aareschlucht (The Aare Gorge). Helvetia: magazine of the Swiss Society of New Zealand. August / September 2019.
- How Do I Get From Interlaken to Aare Gorge?
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.