Planalp Brienzer Rothorn

Berghaus Planalp – Three different ideas for a two-day tour on the Brienzer Rothorn

“Where do you always find these great accommodations?” someone recently asked me on Instagram. Unfortunately, I couldn’t just pull out the link to THE ultimate website in answer to this question. Rather, I write down everything I discover online, in magazines or anywhere else on a list of ideas. Among them are tips that I receive from you. One such reader’s tip inspired me to make a relatively spontaneous detour to the flanks of the Brienzer Rothorn. There is an accommodation there that sounded quite promising: The Berghaus Planalp.

Hideaway Berghaus Planalp

At this point, a thousand thanks to the two people who put the flea in my ear. I can agree with you both 100% – the Berghaus Planalp on the Brienzer Rothorn is definitely worth a detour. Everything I appreciate about mountain inns comes together here: a wonderful view, down-to-earth fine cuisine, a cozy room with a creaky plank floor and a wonderful night’s sleep. The Planalp is located above Brienz at 1,340 metres above sea level and has no electricity. In terms of style and comfort, it reminded me of the candle hotel Obersteinberg in the Lauterbrunnen valley. The Planalp is run by a young, innovative women’s team and accordingly exudes a somewhat fresher wind.

Berghaus Planalp

On the Planalp there are double rooms as well as multi-bed rooms and family rooms. As in SAC huts, guests are encouraged to bring or use a hut sleeping bag. The toilets and sinks have been recently renewed and are very comfortable. Another “luxury” is the possibility of a warm shower.

Room 202 Planalp
View Planalp

For dinner, the Planalp team serves a fine 3-course menu, which is included in the price of accommodation. And the breakfast, which is included in the room price, does not disappoint either. Simone Mathyer and Larissa Schiesser attach great importance to local and fresh products.

Berghaus Planalp Abendessen

Hiking tip 1: for bad weather days

In contrast to the Kerzenhotel Obersteinberg, the Berghaus Planalp is accessible to almost everyone. The Berghaus is located just a few metres from the “Planalp” middle station of the Brienzer Rothorn cable car. Ideal for all those who – for whatever reason – are not so good on foot. Or even practical in case of inconsistent weather forecasts. We also said to ourselves: “If, contrary to expectations, it rains in torrents, we’ll just take the train”. Planalp overnight guests also benefit from a 20% discount on the ticket of the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn (10% discount with GA/Half-Fare travelcard).

Hiking tip 2: for the start of the season

The Berghaus Planalp starts the season at the beginning of May. This is too early for exposed ridge walks on the Brienzer Rothorn, as snowfields can usually still be found here until the end of June – especially on the northern flanks. The Brienzer Rothorn Bahn also does not run until the beginning of June as far as the Brienzer Rothorn (in May, only the Brienz – Planalp line is served). We therefore opted for a shorter and easier hike at the beginning of the season. On the first day we climbed from Brienz via Sitschenen to Planalp and on the second day we hiked back to Brienz on the opposite side of the Milibach.

The ascent runs along a yellow-marked hiking trail (difficulty T2). One or two places are a bit more sloping or exposed. The descent is along a red marked mountain path (difficulty T3). The path here is very narrow and sloping, especially in the upper third. There are also warning signs that the path should not be walked on or closed in case of heavy rainfall. It took us less than the signposted 2.5 hours for the ascent – how much time you should plan for it depends a bit on how fit you feel when hiking uphill.

Day 1 – from Brienz via Sitschenen to Planalp

Starting point Brienz railway station (565 m above sea level)
Length 5.2 kilometres
Elevation gain ↗ 850 m 75 m ↘
Duration 2:30 p.m.
Destination Berghaus Planalp (1,341 m above sea level)
Wanderung Brienz Planalp
Brienz Brienzersee
Simmeler Brienz
Haslital Panorama

Day 2 – from Berghaus Planalp via Mettli back to Brienz

Starting point Berghaus Planalp (1,341 m above sea level)
Length 6.6 kilometres
Elevation gain ↗ 85 m 865 m ↘
Duration 2:00 p.m.
Destination Brienz railway station (565 m above sea level)

If we hadn’t been greeted by thick fog in front of our room window in the morning, we would have completed the tour variant presented in the third hiking tip for the second day of hiking. With light drizzle and poor visibility, however, the direct way back to Brienz seemed to make more sense to us.

Planalp Brienz Wanderweg
Wandern am Brienzer Rothorn

Hiking tip 3: for ambitious hikers

If you are considering a detour to the Planalp in the period from the end of June, you can also combine an overnight stay in the Berghaus with a more extended two-day hike. I had also briefly flirted with this tour variant. After a phone call with the Planalp team (who are happy to advise you on hiking questions) followed by a phone call with the Lungern-Turren railway, I discarded the idea for reasons of reason. The ridge hiking trail on the Brienzer Rothorn is only officially open from the end of June and the maintenance of the path is only guaranteed from the time when the cable car runs up to the top.

So if the timing is right, the weather is good and you feel fit enough for a mountain hike with over a thousand meters of altitude uphill, then maybe this tour variant is something for you. The hike starts at the mountain station of the Lungern-Turren-Bahn and leads from there via Schönbüel to the Brienzer Rothorn. The altitude difference from the Brienzer Rothorn to the Planalp can be overcome on foot or by train, depending on your mood. On the second day, you continue on a panoramic high-altitude trail from the Planalp to Bitschi. There the steep descent to Oberried on Lake Brienz begins.

Day 1 – from Turren via the Brienzer Rothorn to Planalp

Starting point Turren mountain station (1,500 m above sea level)
Length 15.5 kilometers
Elevation gain ↗ 1,160 m 1,340 m ↘
Duration 6:00 a.m.
Destination Berghaus Planalp (1,341 m above sea level)

Day 2 – via Bitschi to Oberried on Lake Brienz

Starting point Berghaus Planalp (1,341 m above sea level)
Length 10.3 kilometres
Elevation gain ↗ 513 m 1,276 m ↘
Duration 4:00 p.m.
Destination Oberried on Lake Brienz (570 m above sea level)

By the way, you can also do the second day of hiking (from Planalp to Oberried) instead of the “direttissima” presented in hiking tip 2 back to Brienz. Due to the route along the southern flank of the Brienzergrat, snow is usually no longer a problem here from the end of May.

Practical tips for hikes on the Brienzer Rothorn

  • The season of the Berghaus Planalp lasts from the beginning of May to the end of October.
  • The accommodation rates are 100 CHF per person in a double room including dinner and breakfast. In a shared and family room, an overnight stay for adults costs 95 CHF. Toilets and sinks are located on the floors. Further information can be found here: Room prices
  • The phenomenal view shown in the article is available in room 202.
  • Note that there is no electricity in the rooms (tip: pack a headlamp).
  • In the pre-season, the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn operates the Brienz – Planalp route with a reduced timetable. From the beginning of June to the end of October, the steam train runs up to the Brienzer Rothorn. The exact timetable and information about ticket prices can be found on the website of the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn.
  • The hiking options on the Brienzer Rothorn are incredibly diverse. In addition to the variations presented here, you can, for example, also hike from the Planalp up to the Brienzer Rothorn or hike via the Chrutere Pass to the Kemmeribodenbad (attention: steep, sloping descent).

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