The Männlichen ridge can be reached by gondola from Grindelwald or cable car from Wengen. Both the Grindelwald and Wengen lifts have renovations in the works. For Grindelwald, it’s a new 10-person gondola that will shave about 20 minutes off the trip, and will also connect with a separate gondola from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher. For Wengen, they are an open air deck on top of their cable car, sure the add an edgy element to what is already a thrilling ride. But even before these improvements, this is a viewpoint that is worth your time. It’s an absolutely gorgeous location, with straight-on views of the Eiger North Face and surrounding mountains, and deep, deep views down to Grindelwald and into the glacially-carved Lauterbrunnen valley.
At the top, there is a bustling mountain restaurant (and lodge, if you want to stay the night), with both indoor and extensive outdoor seating, plus a large children’s play area.
This is also the start of one of the great easy walks in the area. The Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail leads you along a wide flat trail leading from the gondola and cable car station at Mannlichen to the train station at Kleine Scheidegg. It’s a 1½ hour walk of epic proportions, with unmissable views, slightly downhill, and appropriate for even casual walkers. Kleine Scheidegg itself is a busy hub, with a few restaurants, a couple hotels, and trains (and trails) leading down to both Grinelwald and Wengen. If you’re just going to spend one day in the region, a good argument can be made for riding up to Mannlichen, walking to Kleine Scheidegg, and taking the train back down.
The lifts are open in summer from late May through mid October. Prices from Grindelwald are CHF 30 round-trip, and CHF 46 from Wengen. You’ll get half-price with a Swiss half-price card. If you think you might walk to Kleine Scheidegg, be sure to just buy one-way tickets, so you can get the appropriate return ticket when you are there. You can also buy this return ticket in advance if you know that’s what you’re going to do.
Strong hikers coming from Grindewald should consider the Eigergletscher to Alpiglen trail, the “Eiger trail” that passes directly underneath the Eiger’s massive North wall. It’s not for early season (too much lingering snow), but is typically snow free by July (ask if you’re not sure). Or from Wengen, a long but beautiful walk from Kleine Scheidegg leads down via Biglenalp for a great full day on the trail.
See the Mannlichen website for more info.
Or check out the live cam to see what it looks like right now.
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Local Village Bases
Grindelwald has long been known as the ‘glacier village’ thanks to the nearby glaciers that extend almost into the town. The glaciers may be receding, but the views are still out of this world.
My absolute favorite area in the Alps is the Bernese Oberland, and my favorite stop is Mürren, a car-free cliff-side village surrounded by fabulous scenery. The mountains simply don’t get any better!