Hiking and Walking in Switzerland


Appenzell Hiking in SwitzerlandThe Swiss Alps are Made for Hiking

Switzerland is the greatest hiking and walking destination in the world. The land is crisscrossed by more than 40,000 miles (65,000 km) of marked hiking and walking paths, of which over 13,600 miles (22,000 km) are mountain trails. Hiking and walking is a way of life in Switzerland, where nearly half of the Swiss population hikes regularly.  Hiking is one of the favorite pastimes in this country where over 80% the Swiss population use the nation’s network of footpaths for hiking, running, walking, walking and other activities. On average, Swiss hikers enjoy 20 hikes per year, each averaging about three hours.

Alpenwild, with over 20 years of experience guiding trips in Switzerland, offers a variety of hiking, trekking, and walking tours in the Alps.  We know all the best spots in the Alps, ensuring a trip of a lifetime.

Who is Responsible for Swiss Hiking Trails?

According to Swiss Federal Law cantons are responsible for the planning, development, maintenance and reporting of hiking trails. The cantons may delegate these tasks to specialized private organizations or hiking clubs. Often responsibility is shared so that the cantons are planning and overseeing the creation of trail networks while paths are then maintained by municipalities and marked by local hiking clubs.

Hiking Sign in SwitzerlandHow do They Calculate the Hiking Times Posted on the Signs?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions by Alpenwild hikers. Years ago the trail times were reported by volunteers, often older hikers, who actually hiked the various segments and reported times, excluding breaks. Today with the aid of geographical information system (GIS) technology, trail times are automatically calculated using a unified formula which adjusts for elevation gain and descent. This calculation is therefore done by computer and not by a hiker. Although individual hiking times may vary, most hikers find the times on signs to be fairly accurate and helpful in route planning.




Safety Tips for Hikers and Walkers in the Alps

The following safety tips are provided by the Swiss National Hiking Association (Suisse Rando|Schweizer Wanderwege)

  • Follow the signposted paths.
  • Always close gates and fences.
  • Take breaks regularly. Drink a lot, even if you're not thirsty.