Spectacular Triftbrücke (longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Alps)
If you are not afraid of heights an are looking for a not-too-strenuous hike in the Alps, this one will not disappoint.
Last year Alexis found a photo of a suspension bridge on the Alps that looked amazing and we have been wanting to do it since. Taking advantage of the nice weather that we had in Zürich this weekend, we rented a car and drove to Gadmen, Switzerland where the hike awaited.
Built in 2004 and with a length of 170 meters (557 feet), the Triftbrücke (Trift Bridge) is the longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps. It can be accessed via cable car. There is the option to hike up (4 hours and is a strenuous hike). Until recently, the mountaineering hut at the top of the glacier could be reached by foot, but due to global warming, the glacier started to melt and a bridge was necessary. Now this bridge is the only way to access the hut.
I won’t lie. This bridge will make you squirm. It is considered as one of the most dangerous suspension bridge of the world. The reason being that under windy conditions the bridge swings a lot. Stabilizing cables were installed in 2009 to make it more stable and prevent it from swinging violently in wind. This is not a place where you want to wonder carelessly on your own, looking for that best selfie can be deadly. So don’t be silly and abide by the rules. If you do, you will enjoy postcard-like views of the glacier and the Alps.
When to go?
How to get there:
From Zürich is a 2 hour drive. It is also accessible by train, but the ride takes 3-3.5 hours from the Zürich main train station (HB). Parking is available, free of cost at the Nessenthal Triftbahn station.
2.8km (each way)
90 minutes (each way) or 4 hours if decided to not use the cable car.
Good to know:
Plan in advance and buy your tickets online. Same-day tickets are usually sold out. The tickets are for an allocated time. If you are not there 15 minutes before the specified time, they will give your tickets away (it happened to us and we had to wait to see if other people didn’t show up. We were lucky and were able to get on the following cable car, but if we weren’t able to do that, we had to hike down 4 hours.
Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated
Respect the wildlife and do not leave trash behind
If you have time, you can take the more challenging but more spectacular route on the Ketteliweg. This one is more challenging because it requires you to hold from chains attached to the stones in order to climb up. If you are not up for this, then make sure to follow the signs that read Familienweg which is much easier path.