Best Winter Hiking In Switzerland: 16 Epic Winter Trails

Finding the best winter hiking in Switzerland is a big task, as there are so many amazing trails and destinations to explore. 
Switzerland is a winter hikers paradise. From the snowy Alps to the frozen lakes and car-free villages, this country is full of winter hiking opportunities for all levels of hikers. 
If you're interested in snow hiking in Switzerland, then you're spoiled for choice with all of the amazing destinations.
To help you choose the right places to visit, we at Skyhook Adventure have created this guide which explores the best winter hiking trails Switzerland has to offer.

What You Need to Know About Winter Hiking in Switzerland

Winter hiking in Switzerland offers a unique and breathtaking experience. The country's stunning alpine landscapes and well-maintained trails make it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. 
However, winter hiking in Switzerland can also be dangerous, as weather conditions can get quite extreme. Here are some important things to know before embarking on a winter hiking adventure in Switzerland.

Consider Guided Hiking

If you’re new to Switzerland hiking, then a guided hike is always a good idea. This is especially true if you’re new to winter hiking, as the snowy season brings a whole new range of challenges. 
For example, you could take a guided snowshoe experience in Switzerland to help you learn how to navigate snowy trails. Guided hikes also ensure you stay safe and are equipped with the right winter gear. 
Whether you’re after a multi day hikes in Switzerland or want to experience a short day hike, opting for a guide is always a good idea in the winter.

Check Weather Conditions

Switzerland's winter weather can be unpredictable. Before heading out, always check the weather forecast and avalanche warnings so you know when the best time to hike in Switzerland is. Sudden changes in weather can be dangerous, so it's crucial to be prepared.

Proper Gear

If you want to know what to wear hiking in Switzerland at this time of year, then dressing in layers is essential for winter hiking. Wear moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer. 
Don't forget a warm hat, gloves, and insulated boots with good traction. Gaiters can also be helpful to keep snow out of your boots.
Investing in hiking poles is also a good idea for navigating the winter hiking trails in Switzerland. They provide stability and help reduce the strain on your knees when navigating snowy and icy terrain.

Avalanche Awareness

If you plan on hiking in areas prone to avalanches, take an avalanche safety course and carry the necessary safety equipment, including a beacon, probe, and shovel. 
Being aware of the avalanche risk and having the right knowledge and tools can save lives.
snow hiking in switzerland
Snow hiking in Switzerland requires plenty of caution.

Trail Maps and GPS

Make sure you have a detailed trail map or GPS device to navigate through the winter landscape. Visibility can be limited, so knowing your way is crucial.
Even the best hikes in Switzerland winter can have the trail easily snowed over, so knowing where you’re going is essential.  

Shorter Days

In the winter, daylight hours are shorter. Plan your hike accordingly to ensure you have enough time to complete your journey before darkness falls. It's advisable to start early in the morning. 
You should also always bring a torch with you, as the early sunsets can surprise you while hiking.

Hiking Permits

Some hiking trails may require permits or fees, so check in advance. SwitzerlandMobility provides useful information on trails and permits.
Pay attention to local regulations, as some trails may be closed during the winter for preservation reasons or due to avalanche risk.

Hydration and Nutrition

Staying hydrated and well-nourished is just as important in the cold as in the heat. 
Carry a thermos with hot drinks and high-energy snacks. Drinking water can be a challenge in the winter, as sources may be frozen.

Respect Wildlife

Winter is a challenging time for wildlife in Switzerland. Stay on marked trails and avoid disturbing animals. Be mindful of your surroundings and follow Leave No Trace principles.

Emergency Preparedness

Have a plan for emergencies. Inform someone about your hiking plans, and carry a fully charged phone, but be aware that reception may be spotty in remote areas. It's also wise to carry a basic first aid kit.
snowy hiking trails in switzerland
Snowy hiking trails in Switzerland.

Best Winter Hiking Switzerland: 9 Trails and Destinations

Switzerland's winter hiking trails are a true wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of experiences in the midst of snow-covered landscapes. 
If you’re struggling to decide on the right hikes for you, here’s an overview of the best winter hiking Switzerland has to offer.

1. Engadin Valley - Frozen Lakes and Alpine Charm

The Engadin Valley, nestled in the canton of Graubünden, is a winter paradise. One standout trail takes you around Lake Sils and Lake St. Moritz. 
The frozen lakes provide a unique opportunity to venture across their icy surfaces, surrounded by snow-draped forests and the stunning Engadin landscape.
Along the way, you'll encounter charming villages, and if you time it right, you might even witness a horse-drawn carriage crossing the frozen lakes. 
This area is also known for its cross-country skiing trails and offers a range of difficulty levels, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers.

2. Zermatt - Majestic Matterhorn Views

Zermatt, dominated by the Matterhorn in Switzerland, is another iconic Swiss gem for winter hiking.
Zermatt is widely regarded as the best place to stay for hiking in Switzerland, so of course it also offers some of the best winter hiking in Switzerland.
The Gorner Gorge trail showcases the Matterhorn's grandeur as you wander through snow-covered forests and rocky landscapes. For a more leisurely experience, the Five Lakes Walk presents awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn and its reflection in alpine lakes.
At Skyhook, we offer a guided Matterhorn Highlights hike package that lets you experience the best of this amazing area over four days.
The crisp mountain air and the towering peaks create a surreal atmosphere, making every step a picturesque memory on your Matterhorn Switzerland hike.
matterhorn in the distance
Matterhorn in the distance.

3. Jungfrau Region - Frozen Waterfalls and Alpine Villages

The Jungfrau region, with its stunning Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys, is an enchanting destination for winter hikers. 
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is a wonderland of frozen waterfalls that seem to hang like icy curtains from the cliffs. As you hike through this winter wonderland, you'll be surrounded by snow-covered alpine meadows and charming villages. 
The hike from Lauterbrunnen to the car-free village of Mürren is a classic favourite, offering jaw-dropping views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. This is absolutely some of the best winter hiking Switzerland has to offer.

4. Gruyères - Medieval Charm and Alpine Views

For a different flavour of Swiss winter hiking, head to Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. The Gruyères region is known for its medieval castle, Gruyères Castle, and the picturesque rolling hills of the Pre-Alps. 
Wander through snow-covered meadows and charming villages, soaking in the medieval atmosphere. The town of Gruyères itself is a visual treat, and you can enjoy warm Swiss fondue to recharge after your winter hike.
snowy mountain hikes in switzerland
Snowy mountain hikes in Switzerland.

5. Jura Mountains - Lower Altitudes and Tranquil Forests

The Jura Mountains in western Switzerland offer a unique winter hiking experience at lower altitudes. If you’d like to experience amazing mountain hiking without an Alps hike in Switzerland, then this is a great destination.
Here, the trails wind through tranquil forests, providing a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The Jura Mountains are known for their gentle rolling hills and pristine landscapes. 
You can explore cross-country skiing trails, take in panoramic vistas, and enjoy the quiet beauty of this less-visited region.

6. Ebenalp and Seealpsee - Alpine Lakes and Iconic Alps

The Ebenalp and Seealpsee hike near the town of Appenzell takes you on a journey to the tranquil Seealpsee lake. The trail is surrounded by snow-draped forests and offers stunning views of the iconic Appenzell Alps. 
The crystal-clear lake, frozen in the winter, provides a magical backdrop for a leisurely hike. This is one of the best hikes in Switzerland for beginners.
Make sure to stop by the Aescher-Wildkirchli Guesthouse, a unique cliff-side inn, during your journey.

7. Val Poschiavo - Alpine Beauty in Graubünden

Nestled in the canton of Graubünden, Val Poschiavo is known for its captivating winter landscapes. 
Wander along the frozen lakes and through picturesque villages like Poschiavo and Brusio. The region boasts a tranquil and serene environment with snow-covered fields and rolling hills. 
It's a perfect destination for those seeking a more remote and unspoiled winter hiking experience.

8. Bernese Oberland - Lakes, Meadows, and Mighty Alps

The Bernese Oberland region offers a plethora of winter hiking trails with views of pristine lakes and the towering Bernese Alps. 
The hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is particularly popular. You'll traverse snow-covered meadows, enjoying views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. 
The gentle terrain, combined with the breathtaking scenery, makes it a memorable winter hike.

9. Davos - Winter Sports Hub with Hiking Trails

Davos, known for its winter sports, also offers excellent winter hiking options. The Sertig Valley is a highlight, with its forested paths and the charming village of Sertig Dörfli. 
The Monstein Loop is another favourite, winding through snow-clad landscapes and offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
snowy peaks in switzerland
Switzerland’s snowy mountains are beautiful in the winter.

Easy Winter Hikes Switzerland

The best winter hiking in Switzerland can be quite intimidating if you’re not used to snowy alpine conditions.
If you're looking for easy winter hikes in Switzerland, there are plenty of picturesque and accessible trails to choose from. 
These hikes are suitable for all levels of hikers and provide a delightful opportunity to soak in Switzerland's winter wonderland. Here are some easy winter hikes to consider.

Lauterbrunnen Valley, Bernese Oberland

This enchanting valley is dotted with frozen waterfalls, creating a fairytale-like setting. The trail along the valley floor is relatively flat and easy, offering excellent views of the cliffs and falls. 
You can hike from the town of Lauterbrunnen to the nearby village of Stechelberg, and the path is well-maintained and family friendly.

Oeschinensee, Bernese Oberland

Oeschinensee, a pristine mountain lake near Kandersteg, is surrounded by snow-covered forests and stunning alpine scenery. 
The hike around the lake is gentle and provides breathtaking views of the frozen lake and surrounding peaks. It's a relaxed walk suitable for hikers of all levels.

Jura Mountain Trails, Western Switzerland

The Jura Mountains offer a network of well-marked and easy winter hiking trails. These trails wind through tranquil forests and rolling hills, making them perfect for those seeking a peaceful and less challenging hiking experience.
snowy summit in switzerland
A snowy summit in Switzerland.

La Vue des Alpes, Neuchâtel

This easy winter hike in the Jura Mountains offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Swiss Plateau and the Alps in the distance. 
The trail starts near the La Vue des Alpes pass and is a pleasant and relatively short walk.

Lac de Joux, Vaud

Lac de Joux, a frozen lake located in the Jura Mountains, is a serene place to enjoy an easy winter hike. The trail around the lake is flat and offers beautiful views of the snow-covered shores and the nearby forested slopes.

The Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen

The Rhine Falls, Europe's largest waterfall, is an impressive sight in the winter when the surrounding landscape is covered in snow. 
While the hike around the falls is short and straightforward, it provides a unique perspective on this natural wonder.

Lugano, Ticino

In the southern canton of Ticino, the city of Lugano offers a milder winter climate compared to the Alps. The city has numerous well-maintained walking paths along the lakeshore, providing a pleasant and easy winter hiking experience.
snowy swiss landscape
Enjoying the Swiss winter landscapes.


Winter hiking in Switzerland is a rewarding experience for those who are well-prepared.
The key is to be aware of the unique challenges that the winter season brings and to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure amidst the country's stunning snowy landscapes.
The trails and destinations above offer some of the best winter hikes in Switzerland. Whether you’re an experienced alpine hiker, or just want to experience a gentle snowy trail, there are hiking routes that are perfectly suited to your needs.

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