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Hiking in Switzerland

Updated on November 15, 2023

Switzerland has the longest, densest, most varied and best way marked network of hiking trails. In so many ways a record breaker. In total in Switzerland there are 65’000 kilometers of way marked trails at all levels of difficulties. We have gathered the most important information for hiking in Switzerland.

Planning and Safety

Plan your route and duration carefully. Try not to overestimate yourself as mountain hiking can be very demanding. Always consider the requirements, route conditions and the weather. In the mountains the weather can be harsh and can change quickly. Always bring a raincoat and sunscreen.
For your own safety, you have to wear sturdy hiking shoes with a treaded sole.
If you hike alone, inform someone else about your trip. But best would be, if you try to find a hiking buddy or hike with family or friends. In any case do not forget to bring a map or to have your smartphone fully charged.

And last but not least, don’t hike if you did not have enough sleep. Drink, eat and rest regularly to remain fit and focused.

Signs

In Switzerland, we differ 4 kinds of hiking trails. It’s important to never leave these marked trails:

  • Hiking Trails: Often wide but can be narrow and uneven. There are no special requirements for users, besides the normal need for care and attention. Appropriate clothing and slip resistant shoes are recommended. When hiking on normal hiking trails, look out for yellow signs – in diamond or arrow shapes.
  • Mountain hiking trails: They are mostly steep, narrow, and sometimes exposed. Particularly difficult sections are secured with ropes or chains. As a user you must be sure-footed, do not have a fear of heights and be in good physical conditions. The mountain hiking trails are marked with yellow signposts with white-red-white pointers or blazes.
  • Alpine Hiking Trails may cross snow fields, glaciers and may require short rock climbs. It could be that you do not have a clear visible pathway and precautionary measures may not be present. Hikers must be sure-footed, have a good head for heights and be in very good physical condition. In addition to the normal mountain hiking equipment, users need a compass, a rope, icepick, and crampons. Follow the path marked with blue signposts with white-blue-white pointers and blazes.
  • Winter hiking trails are only signposted during winter. Users must be aware of the risk of slipping in the snow and have appropriate shoes and clothing. Follow the pink signposts and poles to have a great winter hiking experience.

Here you can find more information about hiking in Switzerland:

Schweizer Wanderwege | Wandern in der Schweiz - Wanderungen (schweizer-wanderwege.ch)

Willkommen bei SchweizMobil, dem Netzwerk für den Langsamverkehr. Wanderland. Veloland. Mountainbikeland. Skatingland. Kanuland.

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Evgeniy Timoshenko

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