Switzerland: Hike to Augstmatthorn with a dog (from Lombachalp)
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It is considered one of the most scenic hikes in Switzerland: the hike to the Augstmatthorn. Unfortunately, I can't confirm this, although we did the hike to the Augstmatthorn with our dog. The reason: fog. But although we were denied the spectacular view of Lake Brienz, the hike was beautiful. Just completely different than expected. And since you will definitely have more luck with the weather than we did, I will now give you all the information you need for the hike to the Augstmatthorn. Here we go.
Where can I find Augstmatthorn?
The Augstmatthorn, whose summit is 2136 meters high, can be found in Switzerland, very close to Interlaken in the Emmental Alps, a subgroup of the Bernese Pre-Alps. What makes it special is its location, with the ridge rising directly above Lake Brienz. This is part of the 25 km long Brienzergrat, which stretches from the Harder Kulm near Interlaken via the Augstmatthorn and Brienzer Rothorn to the Brünig Pass.
So you can easily combine the hike to the Augstmatthorn with a visit to the Bernese Oberland. Interlaken, Brienz and Thun are particularly good starting points.
Where does the hike to Augstmatthorn start?
The most popular starting point is Alp Lombach/Lombachalp. This is where the short hike to the Augstmatthorn begins. You have to drive up a rather narrow, winding road and use the paid parking lot. Attention, during the day it gets full and there is no alternative. Alternatively, you can either start the hike in Habkern (plus four kilometers of distance on the hike), or get on the alpine bus and be driven directly to Alp Lombach. A difficult hiking route (T5) runs alternatively over the Rothorn.
Is the hike to Augstmatthorn dangerous?
Anyone who has seen pictures of the ridge must have guessed that the hike to the Augstmatthorn is at least not entirely harmless. The hike leads over a long ridge that drops steeply on both sides. So you should be free from giddiness for this hike, even if the path is so wide that there is no danger of falling. In addition, the hike from Harder Kulm/Lombachalp can be completed without any climbing passages. Depending on the weather, the only hurdles are patches of mud and slippery subsoil (which can make the steep ascent and descent quite tricky). Those who tackle the hike over the Brienzer Rothorn, on the other hand, can expect passages with a difficulty level of T5, which means something like a demanding alpine hike with climbing sections.
Can you go up to Augstmatthorn with a dog?
We did the hike with the dog and had no problems. On the contrary, Frieda coped with the muddy ground and steep slopes much better than we did. Nevertheless, the hike should only be done with sporty dogs due to the distance and altitude difference. In addition to steep passages, there is also the risk that the dog will be distracted by wild animals such as ibexes and cows. Leashes are compulsory on the Alm.
Our experience: The short hike to the Augstmatthorn with Suggiture from Lombachalp
- Start/End: Alp Lombach car park
- Distance: 7 kilometers
- Altitude difference: 570
- Walking time: around four hours
- Trail type: circular hike
Our day started in Interlaken, where we had a pretty hotel with a fantastic view of Lake Brienz. From there we made our way to Lombachalp by car in the early morning. The path winds steeply uphill, parts of which are so narrow that one has to hope to reach one's destination without oncoming traffic. However, we looked a little suspiciously not only at the road conditions, but also at the weather, as more and more clouds came up. After all, the parking lot was still free when we finally arrived at the alp. Quickly pay the parking fee, lace up your hiking boots and off you go. The first part of the hike runs over a wide pasture. The ground was very soft in places, so we were grateful to have good, waterproof hiking shoes. Incidentally, the hike begins quite steeply, but becomes even steeper over time. As a result, the view over the mountain landscape is particularly beautiful. However, you will only see Lake Brienz from the summit if you hike up from the back.
You should know that you will mostly walk on beaten paths and meadows. After the moors at the beginning, more wet and muddy passages follow. Shortly before the summit it was really, really slippery, although the path is serpentine. Hiking poles would have been very helpful here (although we didn't have them).
After almost 600 meters of altitude you've done it and you step onto the spectacular ridge. We already suspected it, but now the certainty came: the view of the lake is blocked by clouds and fog. But there were two compensations. For one thing, the fog settled so mystically over the ridge that the view became absolutely magical. On the other hand, we saw countless ibexes, some only a few meters away.
We now followed the path to the left to get to the official summit of the Augstmatthorn. There we took a little break. Back it goes in the opposite direction to the secondary summit Siggiture. The way there leads consistently over the spectacular ridge. Unfortunately, there is still no visibility. Incidentally, we found the way back more pleasant than the way there, it now goes down a rocky slope via paved and well-secured paths. Again and again we encountered ibexes, but also one or the other herd of cows grazed on the slopes. Exhausted but in a good mood, we finally arrived back at the alp. This was not how we had imagined the hike to be. It was nice anyway.
Also read: Hike to Lake Oeschinensee
Very close to the Augstmatthorn you will find the Lake Oeschinensee. All tips for hiking around Oeschinensee in the Bernese Oberland, how to get there, the best route with the most beautiful view and more can be found in this article.