Hardergrat

Run Switzerland's iconic knife-edged ridge.

Trail Running Severe

Distance
34 km
Ascent
3.1 km
Descent
2.6 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
569 m
High Point
2.3 km
Gradient
20˚
Hardergrat Map

Made famous after ALPSinsight’s epic photo of a runner atop the knife’s-edge ridge, this airy trail is a Swiss icon.

Description

Not for the faint of heart, the Hardergrat leaves breathless anyone brave enough to run the narrow trail between sheer double sided drop-offs. If you can handle the exposure, this run is going to be etched into your memory for a long time to come.

Start at the Interlaken Ost train station and climb gently through the forest, up past the tourist hotspot of Harder Kulm (1340m). Three hundred and sixty degree views of the Berner Oberland surround you, taking in the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau panorama.

The trail unravels itself before you as it undulates on the very top of the ridge, overlooking the turquoise lake Brienz, 1500 meters below. The number of tourists and the width of the trail appear to decrease in parallel as the trail continues. The singletrack becomes little more than a foot wide, with cables in place at the gnarlier sections. Add poles to your packing list along with plenty of water as there's no refills along the 18km stretch of stunning ridge, completely exposed to the sun.

An early start is advised to beat the relentless sunshine and it’s wise to keep an eye on Meteo Swiss for weather updates. On a good day, this trail is undoubtedly a must-do. However, if the weather conditions are less than perfect, a slip could be fatal.

There are a number of early descents making it easy to drop down and catch a train from one of the villages between Interlaken and Brienz or continue all the way to the Brünigpass for the full experience.

Completing the entire trail is bucket-list worthy. Enjoy.

Nearest station: Interlaken Ost Travel time from Zurich HB: approx 2hr https://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/at-the-station/railway-stations/further-stations/station.7492.interlaken-ost.html

Difficulty

Severe

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Guidebooks in this area