Brienzer Rothorn may not fit into a mountaineering website, since there are two means of transportation that leads 100 m below the top. There is good reason for this: there is hardly any mountain in central Switzerland with a more fascinating view. 1800 m below is the green lake of Brienz, behind the scenery of the Bernese 4000ers. Looking to the north are the green meadows of Lucerne and Emmental. Back in 1892 a cogwheel railroad from Brienz (566 m) was opened and is still running with engines that press nostalgic smoke into the pure alpine air. On the north side, a modern cable car from Sörenberg (1230 m) transports tourists and skiers. I love this mountain for wonderful hiking: I climb it several times each year and am happy that I do not have to walk down and can take good care of my old joints. There are plenty of different ascents so you will always find something you had never enjoyed before.
Brienzer Rothorn is the highest mountain of the canton of Lucerne.
Brienz, Brünig and Lungern are on the way between Lucerne and Interlaken (train).
Sörenberg is in a valley between Lucerne and Berne (train and bus).
Literature and Maps
Clubführer Berner Voralpen
Map Nr. 254 Interlaken 1:50'000
Map Nr. 1189 Sörenberg 1:25'000
Map Nr. 1209 Brienz 1:25'000
Time table for train and bus
See the Swisstopo Map
with many interesting features. Upload is in a seperate window.
Getting To The Top
Excellent orientation by yellow signs and red-white paints.
From north (Sörenberg)
1. Parking lot at cable car station (bus) or Sörenberg village to the valley between Nesslenstock and Brätterstock to the saddle 2244 m, then to the top. Hiking trail in summer, very steep ski route for advanced skiers in spring. This ski route reminds me of Doldenhorn.
2. Parking lot of cable car station (bus) to Stafel 1467 - Stäfeli 1676 - along the Eisee (lake) to Eiseesattel 2025 and in 40 minutes to the summit. Normal ski descent.
3. Sörenberg village (1162) to Steinetli - saddle 1637 - Chrüteren Boden 1988 - left to the ridge.
From east (Lungern and Brünig)
4. Most people take the cable car from Lungern - Turren - Schönbüel (2011) and reach the top via Höch Gumme 2205 - Arnihaaggen 2207 - Eiseesattel 2025 m. Very popular and suited for families.
5. From pass Brünig (train, free parking at 988 ). Start at the little saddle between 988 and Wacht. From 988 the path is no more, just use the meadow. Path to Totzweg, Obem Wald. Follow the road to a little saddle, then leave the road turn right and go up. Reach the hike level between 1600 and 1800 m. Follow the exposed path below the Wilerhorn to Chäseren (1766 m, water). Continue to 1853 where path 8 from Egg joins. Via Eiseesattel 2025 m to the summit. Long hike and exposed along the Wilerhorn. Not suited for unexperienced families. 4 hours.
From south (Brienz)
6. From Brienz along the creek and rail to Oberwang - Egg - Planalp 1341 (middle station) - Ober Stafel 1819 - summit (normal route, not recommended)
7. Start from west of Brienz, climb along the Mülibach creek, Einewang 1480 - Läger 1711 - Wannen 2071 - Brieferhorn 2165. Then follow the long and sometimes exposed ridge, called Briefergrat, to Brienzer Rothorn. Long hike, excellent scenery, recommended. Not well known.
8. Start from Oberschwanden (714m, hourly bus from Brienz, free parking). Hike in a wonderful forest via 932 to Irtschelen 1515 m. Take to path leading up left to Egg 1713, center of the ibex hunters (September) and last source of water, continue to 1893 where path 5 from Brünig joins. Via Eiseesattel 2025 to the summit. Wonderful hike, on a sunny day it is nice to remain in the forest up to 1515 m. Very recommended, my favourite climb. 3-4 hours, I usually park in Oberschwanden in the morning between 8 and 9, climb the summit, take the train at 13.00 to get the bus in Brienz for Oberschwanden at 14.12 to go back to my car.
Parking space in Brienz is rare. All other starting places are free of charge.
When To Climb
All year round, depending on route. Cogwheel railroad only in summer. Certain exposed paths are dangerous when wet or icy. In winter plenty of avalanches, except route 2. I did route 6 on a New Years day, when we had practically no snow.
For books, maps, webcams, trains, buses, weather, avalanches, rescue
see my list Swiss Links
in a new window.
Camping on all starting points, none on the top of the mountain.