Rosenlaui – Schwarzwaldalp – A Natural Treasure in Bernese Oberland

By Karen Bianchi, June 29, 2023

A few days ago, we spent some wonderful days in Meiringen, and we were impressed by this beautiful village in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.

My family and I are always curious about new adventures, so one day we decided to take a trip to Rosenlaui valley and Schwarzwaldalp with its historic sawmill, a real pre-industrial heritage – I immediately fell in love with this place! The whole area is so peaceful and mystic and not at all crowded.

At Meiringen station there is an hourly postal bus which takes travelers in 30 minutes to Hotel Rosenlaui or to Schwarzwaldalp in 40 minutes. From Schwarzwaldalp, only postal buses and bikes are allowed on the small mountain road leading to Grosse Scheidegg and further on to Grindelwald – making it also an excellent bike route.

Another option is to hike from Meiringen to Hotel Rosenlaui: The distance is 8,1km, all going up (733m of ascent), taking about 3 hours of hiking at a normal pace.

Things to do
The historic hotel with the big garden is the perfect place to enjoy lunch or a snack and unwind. Hotel Rosenlaui has hosted guests since 1771 and charms with its history.

Just a few minutes walking from Hotel Rosenlaui is the impressive Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge. Walking up in the gorge is mind-blowing – and deafening – and shows the power water can have. It’s advisable to bring some rain jackets and sturdy shoes, it gets chilly and wet in the gorge. The walk back down is through the forest.

From Rosenlaui take an easy hike along the river up to Schwarzwaldalp (about 45 minutes) and back the same route (or take the postal bus for one way). A highlight at Schwarzwaldalp is the old sawmill which was built more than 120 years ago. Visitors get to see how sawmills used to work and have the chance to buy some locally produced, wooden cutting board. The Typically Swiss Hotel Schwarzwaldalp serves seasonal dishes from local products and provides a nice terrace with views on the Rosenlaui Glacier. Thanks to the adjacent playground this is a great spot not only for foodies but also for families. In the afternoons a variety of cheese is being sold by a farmer in front of the hotel.

Meiringen – Rosenlaui – Grindelwald is part of the Via Alpina route and a must-do for enthusiastic hikers. I recommend splitting the trip in 2 days, with an overnight at Chalet-Hotel Schwarzwaldalp. The hotel provides simple but cozy double rooms and family rooms (with bunk beds) for up to 4 people, all with showers and toilets on the floor. The entire stretch is 23km long and takes about 8 hours for hikers who are in good shape.

The entire stretch from Meiringen via Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald (or vice versa) with the Rosenlaui line postal bus also makes for a wonderful day trip off the beaten path. If you have some time spare in Meiringen you should try the specialty Haslikuchen (made with hazelnuts) from Bakery Frutal, which makes also for a yummie “souvenir” to take home. The Molki Meiringen, the dairy shop, is as well worth a visit with a wide range of cheese, homemade ice-cream and other dairy products on sale.

All services are open only from about mid May to mid of October.