Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge: Dive into the Surreal Beauty of Switzerland (2024 Guide)

Written by Kali Todd

Budget Travel Guides & Tips

November 30, 2023

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Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, also known as Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui, is a hidden gem that seamlessly combines the beauty of ice and rock. Carved by the Rosenlaui Glacier, the gorge features towering cliffs, narrow passages, and shimmering shades of glacial water. The walkways wind through the gorge, showcasing the fascinating forces of powerful glacier water and the resilience of the rock formations. The beauty of this site makes it no surprise that it’s part of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui

Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui is one of the most picturesque areas I’ve been to. The entire drive from Meiringen is a postcard-perfect view everywhere you look! 

My first surprise on the drive to Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge was one of my top bucket list items for Switzerland, called Alpabzug – a Swiss tradition celebrating the return of cows and livestock from the Alpine pastures to the valley for the winter. As we drove to the glacier, we were stopped by a farmer in his truck and asked to pull over and wait while the cows paraded down.

One of the several cows in the Alpabzug parade, View of Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui

Cows are paraded through the villages wearing flower crowns, ornate bells, and embroidered pieces. This tradition began in the Bronze Age, roughly 3000 BC and this day, a farmer and his family continued the annual tradition of hiking the cows from the area of Schattenhalb, where the glacier gorge is, down to the valley of Meiringen. It truly was a sight to see! 

When arriving at Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, a trail leads to some beautiful vantage points of the waterfall which is located just in front of the gorge. The powerful glacial water carving its way through the gorge is supplying the roaring waterfall. 

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge stands as a testament to the geological changes that have occurred, even attracting geologists and scientists studying the effects of glaciation landscapes. The gorge was formed during the last ice age, a period known as the Pleistocene when glaciers carved deep valleys through the Alps. It is because Rosenlaui Glacier receded that we are able to view the gorge today.

The gorge is over 1/3 of a mile (573 meters) long and rises over 500 feet (155 meters) as the path takes visitors through several tunnels, grottos, and wild rock formations.

 

Gorge Pathway
Gorge Pathway

Getting There

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is located in the municipality of Meiringen, within the Bernese Oberland region, and is a 50-minute drive from Interlaken. Expect the drive to take longer, though, because you’ll want to stop entirely too often for photos of the jaw-dropping landscape!

Gorge Address
Rosenlaui, Gletscherschlucht, 3860 Schattenhalb, Switzerland

Arriving By Public Transporation
Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge can be visited using public transportation, from either Meiringen or Grindelwald. From Meiringen Bahnhof, a bus will take approximately 32 minutes, dropping you off at the Rosenlaui, Gletscherschlucht stop. From Grindelwald Bahnhof, a bus will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, dropping you off at the same Rosenlaui, Gletscherschlucht stop. The entrance to the gorge is only a 1-minute walk away from the bus stop.

Timetables for the bus are available here.

Ticket Prices

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge offers individual entry or guided tour tickets. Parking at the gorge is free and entry tickets are only purchased in person. Cash, card, and mobile payment are all accepted.

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge Individual Ticket

Ticket TypePrice
AdultCHF 10
Children 6 – 15CHF 5
Children Under 6Free

Groups of 10+ people and tourist cardholders for Jungfrau, Brienz, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Lake Brienz, and Lake Thun receive a 20% discount.

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge Guided Tour Ticket

Ticket TypePrice
1-3 ParticipantsCHF 100 Total
4+ ParticipantsCHF 30 Per Person

Guided tours last approximately 2 hours and include entry to the gorge. If there is bad weather, a 1-hour tour will be available and costs CHF 70 for 1-3 participants and CHF 20 per person for 4+ participants.

To reserve a guided tour, email info@rosenlauischlucht.ch.

Opening Times

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is open from May 9, 2024 – October 21, 2024.

Hours of Operation

May 9 – May 17, 202410 AM – 5 PM
May 18 – September 30, 20249 AM – 6 PM
October 1 – October 21, 20249 AM – 5 PM

Hours may change in instances of severe weather. To verify if there are any changes to hours due to weather, visit https://en.rosenlauischlucht.ch/.

How long should I spend at Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge?
Plan on spending 1 to 1.5 hours here if going self-paced and 2+ hours if you reserved a tour. The pathway is a loop trail, about 0.75 miles (1.2 km) long with more than 200 stair steps. I arrived here at about 11:30 AM on a Thursday and there were only a few other people.

Accessibility

The gorge pathway is not wheelchair or stroller-friendly. Visitors must be able to walk 3/4 of a mile as well as climb over 200 stair steps.

Is Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge kid friendly?
Yes, Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is kid friendly with supervision.

Hiking Trails

The first hike listed below is the pathway for Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge that . The second, however, is an option for visitors that would like to venture into the charming town of Meiringen, a beautiful and picturesque area. 

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge

📍 0.75 Miles, 1.2 Kilometers
🕒 40+ Minutes
📈 416 Foot, 127 Meter Elevation Gain
🥾 Loop Trail
🔗 AllTrails

Engelhornhütte via Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui

📍 5.0 Miles, 10.9 Kilometers
🕒 3.5+ Hours
📈 2,080 Foot, 634 Meter Elevation Gain
🥾 Loop Trail
🔗 AllTrails

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge - Schwarzwaldalp via Meringen

📍 8.3 Miles, 13.4 Kilometers
🕒 40+ Minutes
📈 3,684 Foot, 1,123 Meter Elevation Gain
🥾 Point to Point
🔗 AllTrails

Restaurants

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge does have a small cafe at the entrance, serving drinks and snacks. Right nearby the gorge entrance is also Hotel Rosenlaui that offers hot meals.

If venturing east through Meiringen, I do recommend driving to “Terrasse” Nessental for a great meal option with the friendliest owner! More about this below.
 

Where to Stay

I loved my stay at “Terrasse” Nessental in Gadmen, Switzerland, a 30-minute drive from the Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge and about 15 minutes from Reichenbachfall and Aare Gorge!

The host, Peter, was incredibly nice and I enjoyed a fantastic dinner and breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. Pro-tip – the Rösti aka Swiss hashbrowns in the restaurant is incredible! My one-night stay cost CHF 108 ($122) for two people and included breakfast.

Nearby attractions include Reichenbach Falls, Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, and the famous hike Triftbrücke.

 

Final Thoughts

Stones Stacked Along Pathway

Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is a captivating destination in the heart of Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. The harmonious blend of ice and rock sculpted by forces of nature creates an unforgettable adventure past towering cliffs, roaring waterfalls, and through narrow passages. The scenic route to Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge only adds to the grandeur of this magnificent place. This area of Switzerland is one of my favorites. The views are absolutely mesmerizing with the perks of less crowds compared to the big tourist spots of Interlaken and Grindelwald. Don’t miss the chance to step into this postcard worthy destination. 

Interested in seeing Alpabzug? This event occurs throughout Switzerland in September and early October every year.

 

2 Comments

  1. Christine Foley

    What a breathtakingly beautiful place! you are so lucky to have visited it!

    Reply
  2. Grace + Moxie

    Wow! Absolutely gorgeous!

    Reply

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