Explore old army bunkers | Navigate razor-sharp rocks
Medium loop hike (T2) | Ski resort nearby
The Schrattenfluh is a big hump of granite riddled with caves — which is appropriate given its location in the highlands of Emmental, after which the holey Swiss cheese is named. The rock surface is also carved by erosion, often into knife-like formations.
The hike described here traverses the Schrattenfluh massive and returns along its base. The trail includes a section through old Swiss army tunnels — the kids loved a cavern with rusted bunk beds and climbing up ladders through solid rock.
You can easily make the hike shorter; see the trail description for info.
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Getting there & away
The Schrattenfluh forms part of the Swiss Alps, and is easily reached as a day hike from Interlaken, Bern and Luzern.
The walk starts and ends at the Alpwirtschaft Schlund restaurant in Flühli, near the ski resort of Sörenberg in the canton of Luzern/Lucerne. You can park just down the road from the restaurant.
There is no public transport to the trail head. The nearest bus stop is Sörenberg-Südelhöchi, 5.3 km away. Alternatively you could get off at Hirsegg then walk 4.7 km to Bodenhütten and do the loop from there.
What to bring
You don’t need any special equipment to do this walk in summer or early autumn. You may need snowshoes or skis in winter and early spring. Whatever the season, be prepared for sudden changes in weather, take enough to eat and drink, and don’t forget sun protection.
The Alpwirtschaft Schlund at the trail head is the only restaurant along the route. You can shelter or sleep in the small Heftihütte at the northern end of the Schrattenfluh; this mountain hut does not have a warden and you should reserve a bed. It may be possible to sleep or shelter at the Bodenhütten at the base of the Schrattenfluh, but I couldn’t find any details for this. You could also shelter in the army caves if need be.
Dangers & annoyances
The trail is not dangerous in good weather, but guard against:
- Heat stroke/dehydration
Note that the rocks are very sharp in places — so you need to watch your step and any hand holds. Also be aware that you enter the old army installations at your own risk.
Trail descriptions & maps: Schrattenfluh
The trail is well marked and good. The walk is not particularly steep, except for the first climb up to the ridge and a ladder through an army tunnel. The ridge is exposed, but not too dangerous. There could be snow on the trail well into summer.
You can make the walk shorter by cutting down to the valley at several points. You can also avoid the ladder section Schibegütsch and/or the ridge by taking other trails. Zoom into the map to see these alternatives.
Medium loop hike – Schrattenfluh
Alpwirtschaft Schlund – Schibegütsch – Türbstehäuptli – Hängst – Heftihütte – Bodenhütten – Alpwirtschaft Schlund
Highest point: 2,093 m (Hängst)
Height gain: 1,230 m
Trail level: T2
Technical details: Not technical, although there is a ladder through a cave
Distance: 13.5 km
The trail starts along a forest road just below the Alpwirtschaft Schlund restaurant. We saw a lot of salamanders here. Very cool! After leaving the forest, the trail climbs steeply through a meadow to an old army cavern at Schibegütsch.
From here the trail continues up ladders through the rock, to the main Schrattenfluh ridge. It then follows along the ridge, going over the highest point, Hängst, but otherwise staying below the rocky peaks. Once off the rocks, it is a straightforward and relatively flat walk back to the Alpwirtschaft Schlund.
Nearby mountain fun
Eating & sleeping
You’ll find more eating and sleeping options in and around the nearby town of Sörenberg.
Other hiking options
For other trails in the area, see SwissMobility.
Three trails of note are:
- The local long-distance “527 Emmenuferweg” trail running through Sörenberg
- The national long-distance “2 Trans Swiss Trail” which also passes through Sörenberg
- The regional “65 Grenzpfad Napfbergland” trail passing around the southern end of the Schrattenfluh
A medium-sized ski resort operates from Sörenberg.