Meiringen – Grindelwald 40km
Quite possibly the best ride in the Swiss Alps is between Meiringen and Grindelwald. It is a very demanding ride along steep deserted roads and can be accomplished on either road bike or mountain bike
From Meiringen the ride follows quiet country lanes up, up and up into real Heidi country. Early on in the ascent you pass the Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes & Moriarty fell to their deaths.
The incline is tough, relentless and takes 2-3hrs of hard grind to get to the top. A cafe at the saddle of the Grosse Scheidegg marks the peak of the 1,545m vertical climb. The 1,000m descent to Grindelwald is fast and fun. Buses are about the only vehicles on this upper road.
Planning Your Trip
There is excellent planning information on the Swiss Mobility website covering access to and from the ride by public transport, accommodation and places of interest. For further details refer to Section 11 of Alpine Bike route 1, the route is also covered in Bernese Oberland ride 61.
The ride is well signed and map is not essential. The Berner Oberland cycling map is 1:60 000 and covers the route,
We set off from Meiringen and slogged our way up through the forest and heat to the relatively flat alpine pastures. The heat and humidity was relentless but the views were awesome. There was virtually no traffic along the route making a pleasant change from the Furka and Grimsel passes.
Our bikes aren’t geared for steep climbs and we struggled to stay in the saddle for much of the ride. The cool breeze up above the tree line was a massive relief. Arriving at the summit was a highlight however the solitude was spoilt by the realisation people had caught a bus up from the Grindelwald side.
The exhilarating 1,000m descent to Grindelwald was over in a few minutes. Our wheel rims were scorching hot and starting to melt the brakes so we stopped to spray them with water on the way down. The route passed near the Eiger and Jungfrau and the views to the overhanging were amazing. Undoubtedly the best scenic day ride of the trip.