Brienz Rothorn
Brienz Rothorn

Brienzer Rothorn - with the old steam locomotive or with gondola and chairlift up to the Kulm

Travel Guide

Brienz Rothorn

The Kulm of the Brienzer Rothorn mountain is located 2,350 meters above sea level and offers a 360-degree view of up to 390 mountain peaks and Lake Brienz. It is reached from Sörenberg by cable car and from Brienz by steam locomotive



The highest elevation in Lucerne is popular for its 360-degree views of Lake Brienz and a vast mountain-top landscape.

  • A Dampfwürstlibummler is a summer attraction with the rack railroad on the way to the top of the Brienzer Rothorn.
  • Visitors can ride the aerial cable car to meet the sunrise and enjoy it over breakfast at the summit restaurant on the Rothorn.
  • In summer, shorter and longer hikes are the focus of activities on the Brienzer Rothorn, and in winter, skiing.

Brienzer Rothorn: location and approach

The Brienzer Rothorn belongs to the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. It is accessible from Sörenberg by cable car and from Brienz by rack railroad

Arrival by public transport

If you take the SBB train, you get off at Schüpfheim station. From there the Postbus line 241 goes via Flühli to Sörenberg. Brienz is easily reached by the Zentralbahn from Interlaken or Meiringen

Arrival by car

From Lucerne, take the main road 10 in the direction of Schüpfheim. From Schlüpfheim you continue to Flühli Sörenberg.

From Bern take the main road 10 via Langnau im Emmental in the direction of Schüpfheim and from there to Flühli Sörenberg. From Basel or Zurich you can reach us via the A1 and A2 freeways, exit Dagmersellen via Willisau, Wolhusen, Entlebuch, Schüpfheim to Flühli Sörenberg. From Giswil via the Panoramastrasse / Glaubenbielenpass to Sörenberg. ATTENTION: The Panoramastrasse is closed in winter!

To get to the valley station of the cogwheel railroad it takes 1:45 hours from Zurich via Lucerne. The fastest way is via the A4, A14, A2 and A8 freeways, then Brünigstrasse/Route 4 to the destination in Brienz .

Getting to the Brienzer Rothorn by cogwheel railroad

Even the journey from Brienz on the steam locomotive rack railroad is an experience. Additional experiences with first class culinary delights on the one-hour way up or a stop along the way with steaming bratwursts and rack bread increase the tourist value of the trip

The railroad line was deliberately not electrified, but still runs with steam locomotives. Since 1992, more economical oil-fired steam locomotives have been in operation for normal service. The railroad was first opened in 1892, but lay idle from 1914 to 1931. Seat guarantees can be purchased for the mountain trips.

Brienz is located at 566 meters above sea level. On the way up, the railroad passes four stations:

  • 2.1 km Geldried (1,019 m)
  • 3.6 km Planalp (1,341 m)
  • 5.7 km Oberstaffel (1,819 m)
  • 7.6 km Rothorn Kulm (2,244 m)

On the way, the rack railroad overcomes a total of 1,678 meters in altitude with a maximum gradient of 25 percent. A bridge and six tunnels are passed along the way, which takes about an hour at a maximum of nine kilometers per hour.

Arrival by cable car to the Brienzer Rothorn

From Sörenberg, take the gondola lift to Eisee and from there a four-seater chairlift to Kulm. The Brienzer Rothorn aerial cableway operates from Sörenberg in summer from mid-June to the end of September and in winter from mid-December to the beginning of April.

The valley station can be reached directly by public transport and parking spaces are available for cars. From Lucerne, take the SBB train to Schüpfheim and change there to the post bus to Sörenberg. The cable car takes ten minutes from Sörenberg to the Rothorn Kulm.

A quad chairlift runs between Eisee (1,900 meters above sea level) and the summit of Rothorn. It was put into operation in December 2017 and climbs almost 300 meters in altitude over a distance of about one kilometer. With a travel speed of 2.6 meters per second, the chairlift takes less than seven minutes to cover the entire distance. It operates in the summer season from about the beginning of July to mid-October and in winter from mid-December to early April. Pedestrians are always transported on the hour.

Sights on the Brienzer Rothorn

Up on the mountain, hiking is on the agenda in the summer and since a large ibex colony lives here, ibexes are very often observed.

Fishing and enjoying at Lake Eisee

The Eisee is a natural mountain lake at the foot of the Brienzer Rothorn. It lies at 1,900 meters above sea level. In the nearby Berghaus Eisee guests can eat and stay overnight during the season.

Fishing at the lake is very popular. Here in the lake swim rainbow and brown trout as well as char. It is possible in summer between the beginning of July and the middle of October and is tied to the purchase of patents, which are sold at the Berghaus Eisee or at the valley station of the Brienzer Rothorn cable car. With the patent, up to six fish per day may be caught with one rod. The fish stock in the lake is monitored by the Fischer-Freunde Eisee. The mountain house also offers various fishing utensils for sale and fishing rods for rent. Ice fishing is possible in winter

The lake, which shimmers in all colors, is a popular recreational destination for nature lovers and families. It lies between mountain flanks and is surrounded by alpine pastures. The bottom station of the chairlift is only a few meters away from the lake. The following video shows the experience of ice fishing at the lake Eisee:

Adventure rides with the Brienzer Rothorn Railway

The rack railroad to the Brienzer Rothorn is used as a tourist attraction for various adventure rides. These include:

The Dampfwürstlibummler is a trip with a coal-fired steam locomotive from Brienz to the mountain station on the Rothorn Kulm. It takes between 100 and 120 minutes. A break at Planalp includes a Heizerwürstli, rack bread and a non-alcoholic drink. To be able to buy the additional ticket, a normal ticket is required. The trip takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 persons and includes in this form only the ascent.

The Full Moon Dinner is an extra ride on the cog railroad on full moon evenings. After a 3-course dinner, which can be taken in the Berghaus Rothorn Kulm, the ride goes downhill again after 2.5 hours. The trip is carried out from 20 participants.

The Salon Rouge club trip is conducted as a public uphill and downhill trip with culinary delights in First Class. It lasts a total of 4.5 hours, takes place on selected days and can be reserved online in advance.

A guide stand tour lets participants experience the oil-fired steam locomotive for half a day. This includes preparation and comprehensive technical and historical information about the locomotive. The highlight is the one-hour ride in the driver's cab from Brienz to Rothorn Kulm. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

A whole day of heating an old steam locomotive with coal, lubricating it and holding water can be done by up to 6 taster heaters at the same time. The steam locomotive dates from 1891-92 and is driven between Brienz and Planalp. Lunch and an aperitif at the handover of the diploma are part of the stoker taster course.

The heater course lasts three days and includes more than just lubricating and heating up the steam locomotive. It also includes operation and maintenance of the locomotive. You will also learn about the history of the locomotive. Minimum age is 18 years.

Ride at sunrise or sunset

On Sundays in July and August, the cable car runs from Sörenberg to the Brienzer Rothorn mountain just in time for sunrise. At 2,350 meters above sea level, it is the highest elevation in the canton of Lucerne.

A reservation for the cable car is not necessary. For a breakfast in the summit restaurant is prepared on these days a breakfast buffet. Here, however, the restaurant requires a table reservation by phone no. +41(0)33 951 26 27 or by e-mail at the address [email protected].

In case of bad weather these trips will not take place. Under phone no. +41(0)41 488 15 60 you can inquire the day before from 17 o'clock about the realization.


  • Children under the age of six travel free on the train and have breakfast for free
  • for groups of 20 or more, additional cabin rides are available by prior arrangement.

Another special offer of the railroad includes the ride up to the Rothorn-Kulm in the afternoon, a welcome drink in the hotel, overnight stay with breakfast and return train ride at a special price. The sunset on the mountain is a special experience. This offer is valid for arrival from Sunday to Thursday and not on holidays.

Prices at the Brienzer Rothorn

The prices for the rack railroad are given in full price and half price. Half prices are applied with Half-Fare Card, General Abonnement GA, Swiss Travel Pass, day tickets or for locals. Children with Junior Card travel free of charge. 0836 journeys are the "early bird journeys" 07:36 and 08:36 from Brienz.

Prices rack railroad Brienz - Brienzer Rothorn single with return journey (CHF) in 2021

|1/2 price | full price | children 6-15 y.| |------------------------------|-----------|--------------|---------------| |Brienz - Rothorn | 47,00 | 94,00 | 10,00 | |Hiking ticket | 39,50 | 79,00 | 10,00 | |Brienz - Rothorn - Sörenberg | 63.50 | 127.00 | 28.50 | |Brienz - Planalp | 31,00 | 62,00 | 10,00 | |0836 Ticket Brienz . Rothorn | 37.50 | 75.00 | 10.00 |

Prices rack railroad Brienz - Brienzer Rothorn single without return (CHF) in 2021

|1/2 price | full price | children 6-15 y.| |------------------------------|-----------|--------------|---------------| |Brienz - Rothorn | 30,50 | 61,00 | 5,00 | |Brienz - Rothorn - Sörenberg | 41,00 | 82,00 | 16,65 | |Brienz - Planalp | 20,00 | 40,00 | 5,00 | |0836 Ticket Brienz . Rothorn | 24,50 | 49,00 | 5,00 |

Prices single extra rides cogwheel railroad Brienz - Brienzer Rothorn (CHF) in 2021

Ticket priceConditionMinimum participant
Salon Rouge club trip250,0015
guide tour349,00>18 years
heater course1.490,00>18 years
full moon dinner80,0020
Steam Sausage Lummers15,0010

The prices for gondola and chairlift also include prices for the Tell-Pass and special offers (birthday ticket), which can be found directly on the gondola website. Dogs and mountain bikes are not carried on the chairlift. Children with Junior Card also ride free of charge here.

Prices single cable car/chair lift with return trip (CHF) in 2021

|Cableway Sörenberg-Eisee | Chairlift Eisee-Brienzer Rothorn|Combination ticket cableway and chairlift|Combination ticket cableway and cogwheel train| |-------------------------------------|--------|----------|---------|-----------| |adults 16 years and older | 40,00 | 14,00 | 46,00 | 125,50 | |children 6-15 years | 20,00 | 7,00 | 23,00 | 28,50 | |Adults with Half-Fare Card/GA | 20,00 | 7,00 | 23,00 | 62,75 | |Adults with guest card/holiday pass | 32,00 | 11,20 | 36,80 | |Children with guest card/holiday pass | 16,00 | 5,60 | 18,40 | |Dogs | 12,00 | x | to be paid separately | |Mountainbike | 40,00/day | x | x | |children/season ticket guests mountainbike| 20,00/day | x | | |

Prices single person cable car/chair lift without return trip (CHF) in 2021

|Cable car Sörenberg-Eisee | Chair lift Eisee-Brienzer Rothorn| Combi ticket cable car and chair lift|Combi ticket cable car and cogwheel railway| |-------------------------------------|--------|----------|---------|-----------| |adults from 16 years | 25,00 | 7,00 | 27,00 | 82,00 | |children 6-15 years | 12,50 | 3,50 | 13,50 | 16,65 | |Adults with Half-Fare Card/GA | 12.50 | 3.50 | 13.50 | 41.00 | |Adults with guest card/holiday pass | 20,00 | 5,60 | 21,60 | |Children with guest card/holiday pass | 10,00 | 2,80 | 10,80 | |Dogs | 6,00 | x | to be paid separately | |Mountainbike | 6,00 | x | | | |children/season ticket guests mountain bike| 6,00 | x | | |

Detailed information about passes and prices in Switzerland can be found on the pages Public transport in Switzerland - an overview of all travel and tourist passes and Public transport in Switzerland - an overview of all tickets.

Activities on the Brienzer Rothorn

On the Brienzer Rothorn in the summer is mainly hiking. The shortest tour is at the summit and takes about fifteen minutes. **"The Edelweiss path leads up to the Edelweiss-Bänkli with a view of Lake Brienz"".

In winter, the area around Rothorn and Eisee is a great skiing area, which is also popular with freeride skiers. The cog railroad operates exclusively in the summer months, but in winter the aerial cableway and chairlift are available.

There is a Berghaus on the Brienzer Rothorn, which is only open in summer. The neighboring summit restaurant is always open when the cable cars are running, i.e. also in winter for the cable car from Sörenberg. In the Berghaus Eisee up to 60 guests can find a place to sleep even in winter.

The main activities at the Brienzer Rothorn are:

  • Mountain hiking
  • Skiing and snowboarding

Mountain Hiking on the Brienzer Rothorn

The Brienzer Rothorn is very popular as a starting point for hikes in summer and early autumn. Very long hikes can be shortened with the (also partial) use of the cogwheel railroad, aerial cableway and/or chairlift. For this purpose there is the hiking ticket. It has the advantage that you can decide spontaneously which part of the trail you want to hike. For hikes lasting several days, there are inexpensive overnight accommodations available (including mountain hikers' mass camps). A hiking map of some nearby trails facilitates the choice. Red-white marked trails show rather difficult mountain hiking trails.

Hikes from the top station (2,244 meters above sea level) of the Brienzer Rothorn:

  • Turren (4 hrs.)
  • Harder Kulm (7 hrs. 30 min.)
  • Brünig pass (5 hrs.)
  • Planalp (2 hrs. 50 min.)
  • Lättgässli - Chruterenpass - Planalp (2 hrs. 45 min.)
  • Edelweiss trail (15 min.)

Hikes from Planalp (1,341 meters above sea level), about the middle of the Brienzer Rothorn:

  • Brienz (2 hrs. 30 min.)
  • Mettli - Brienz (2 hrs.)

The Edelweiss trail is an alternative for those who don't want to hike that far: the summit trail from the top station (2,244 meters above sea level) to the summit (2,350 meters above sea level) is combined with the panoramic view over Lake Brienz to the mighty Alpine peaks. 250 edelweiss seedlings have been planted along the path. Edelweiss grow best between 1,800 and 3,000 meters above sea level. Four different varieties were planted, which bloom at different times. In this way, guests should be able to admire the flowering plants for as long as possible.

Two-day Ibex Trek

The two-day tour Ibex Trek is offered as a complete package with train ride, luggage transport and half board at Berghaus Eisee by the Sörenberg Railways. The tour leads over the Brienzer Rothorn.

The overall moderately difficult hike begins in Sörenberg with a gondola ride up to Rossweid. From the mountain station, the path to the Brienzer Rothorn leads across mountain meadows to Blattenegg. An ascent leads via the Lättgässli to the ridge of the Brienzer Rothorn.

During the ascent, ibex can often be observed nearby. Once at the top, the panoramic view of Lake Brienz and a sea of mountain peaks can be enjoyed. Via the Eisee saddle, the path now descends to the Berghaus Eisee, where you will spend the night.

Facts 1st day:

  • 7.5 km
  • 3:30 hrs.
  • 865 vertical meters ascent
  • 377 vertical meters descent

The next day the trail leads over the Eiseesattel on a narrow path to Arnihaaggen. Via Stellenen, Fontanen, Glaubenbielen and Schwendeli the path leads back to Sörenberg.

Facts 2nd day:

  • 14.5 km
  • 4:30 hrs.
  • 391 vertical meters ascent
  • 1,187 vertical meters descent

Those who find the two-day tour too difficult can also vary the hikes, shorten them by taking the mountain railroad or divide them into individual days.

High trail from Turren to Rothorn-Kulm

The hiking trail to the Brienzer Rothorn starts with a cable car ride from Lungern up to the mountain Turren. The large-capacity cabin holds up to 41 people and is in operation from about the end of May to the end of October and between mid-December and early April.

The hike requires a good level of fitness, as there are almost 1,000 meters of altitude to climb.

Turren is located at 1,562 meters above sea level. A beautiful mountain path leads past the 1,764-meter-high Alp Breitenfeld to the mountain region Schönbüel at 2,011 meters. The path goes along flowering meadows. From here, the Wetterhorns (Wetterhorn 3,692 m, Mittelhorn 3,704 m and Rosenhorn 3,689 m) can be seen very well.

The Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau are also clearly visible to the southwest, and the Titlis can be seen to the southeast. After a breather with panoramic views, the trail continues to the Brienzer Rothorn. Now, in addition to the huge Brienzersee, the small Eisee and the tiny-looking Arniseeli are visible. With luck, ibexes and chamois can be seen. From the Brienzer Rothorn, the Brienz-Rothorn cable car takes you to Brienz or the cable car to Sörenberg. In both places there are good connections to the public transport network.

Hike over the Brienzer Grat to Harder Kulm

This hike is classified as a very difficult tour. It is suitable for experienced mountain hikers and leads over the Brienzer Grat always with a view of Lake Brienz from the Rothorn to the Harder Kulm

The hike starts at the Brienzer Rothorn, best between June and October. Since there are no trees or other shady possibilities on the ridge, headgear and sufficient sunscreen should be included. For experienced mountain hikers, it goes without saying that non-slip mountain boots, weather clothing, drinks and food are also part of the minimum equipment.

The trail leads via signposts to the Schongütsch (2,320 m), over the ridge to the Lanzizähnen (2,163 m), the Lättgässli and the Chrutere Pass (2,053 m). Here begins the ridge hike up to the Briefenhorn (2,165m). Other stages include the Wannepass (2,071m), the Balmi (2,141m) and the summit of the Tannhorn (2,221m). The descent includes the Ällgäuhorn (2,047 m) and, after steep sections, the Ällgäulücke (1,918 m). The last ascent is to the Augstmatthorn (2,137 m) and the rest of the way is easy as a gradual descent to the Harder Kulm (1,322 m).


  • 20 km
  • 7 hours 30 min.
  • Very difficult (T5)

The long and partly demanding tour is marked white-red-white and absolutely requires a good basic condition, in addition absolute surefootedness and freedom from vertigo. There is an emergency exit after the Ällgäulücke via the deserted Bitschi Alp (1,690 m).

The following video summarizes this unique hike very well:

Skiing and snowboarding on the Brienzer Rothorn

The ski area of Brienzer Rothorn is connected with Eisee via the quad chairlift. The whole ski area is especially popular with freeriders and experienced skiers

The highest point of the ski area is at 2,350 meters above sea level and stretches across the Eisee area down to

The slope report and the avalanche bulletin are important information for skiing, especially since freeride skiers like to ski in this ski area. Since in case of avalanche danger in the area of marked slopes, these are closed immediately, there is no danger for skiers there. Those who go off the marked slopes must inform themselves about the local and current conditions.

The cable car and chair lift are open in winter from about the beginning of December until April, as is the Berghaus Eisee. For booked overnight stays at the Berghaus, daily ski passes are included in the price. For one night two day ski passes are included, for two nights three ski passes and so on.

The Brienzer Rothorn is also popular with pedestrians in winter. They pay only a small amount for the cable car and are transported every hour on the hour

Events at the Brienzer Rothorn

One event in winter is the down to one, a ski freeride competition in Sörenberg on the Brienzer Rothorn. The athletes' goal is to keep up with the rhythm of the cable car for as long as possible. There are 70 seats for the first cabin ride. To be the winner, you have to have ridden the cable car up about ten times that day and freeride down about 1000 meters of altitude each time on skis. However, there are other hurdles in the process. For example, right at the beginning of the trail, you have to go through a 360-meter tunnel. Further down, a bird net jump and a traverse follow. Even more jumps have to be completed before the ride goes back up again. Eight minutes to rest

The departure times of the aerial tramway can be changed by the jury at any time to make the competition more difficult.

Winner's ceremony The award ceremony will take place in Sörenberg at the Hotel GO-IN. The page downtoone gives more information.

Restaurants and mountain hotels on the Brienzer Rothorn

Sleeping accommodations are available in the mountain hotels at the Eisee and at the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn.

Berghaus Rothorn Kulm

In the Berghaus Rothorn Kulm a total of 100 sleeping places are available. Half board is also available upon request. In addition to single and double rooms, six-person or eight-person bunk beds are available. 21 sleeping places for mountain walkers are in a house about 50 meters from the mountain house. A culinary offer offers everything from a quick snack to a cozy aperitif to a delicious gourmet menu.

Rothorn Summit Restaurant

The Gipfel-Restaurant Rothorn offers regional products and organizes events in cooperation with the mountain railroads. These include:

  • Candle Light Dinner with 4-course surprise menu and live jazz
  • New Year's Eve celebration with aperitif, appetizer, fondue chinoise (veal, beef, pork, chicken), dessert buffet including return trip on the cable car
  • Easter Sunday brunch as buffet
  • Fondue Chinoise on other dates with ascent 19.00 h and descent: approx. 23.00 h

Berghaus Eisee

The Berghaus Eisee is only a few steps away from the chairlift. It stands next to the ski slopes at 1,900 meters and is located between the eastern flank of the Brienzer Rothorn and Arnihaagen. A large sun terrace with lounge and wicker armchairs faces south. Inside there is self-service food and drinks.

Besides seasonal dishes, burgers and fried or smoked fish are offered. 60 sleeping places in eight double and multi-bed rooms (for 4, 6, 8, 10 or 16 persons) are available and already from one overnight stay the Sörenbergcard is included. With it, all open mountain railroads can be used free of charge.

The Berghaus recommends that you bring a sleeping bag and a pair of hut fins (hut shoes) for the overnight stay. For the evening there are board games, a Töggelikasten (table football) and a TV corner available. In summer, the mountain house is also easily reached on foot. If you like, you can prepare your own fish here in the restaurant. Restaurant seats: inside 120, outside 150

Berghaus Planalp

The Berghaus Planalp is located not far from the middle station of the cog railroad. Right next door is a cozy mountain restaurant with a sun terrace. Lake Brienz can be easily seen from here.