Aare

Gorgeous Aare Gorge

The Aare Gorge is a section of the river Aare that carves through a limestone ridge near the town of Meiringen. It took 10,000 years for this gorge to be created via the result of glaciation, where the water from the melting glaciers eroded a narrow and deep chasm through the limestone. The gorge is approximately 1 mile long with 50 meters high cliffs on both sides. The width of the gorge is 30 meters at its widest to just 1 meter at the narrowest point. There is a gift shop and washroom at both ends and you can enter from either end.

How to go to Aare gorge

We took train from Interlaken Ost to Meiringen which is the last station on this track. From Luzern also you have to come to Meiringen station. The small train (single cabin) that travels from Meiringen to lnnerkirchen leaves from platform no. 13 which is slightly away from the main station but well signposted (turn right where main rail track ends and follow another track).

MIB train between Meiringen and Aareschlucht West/East
MIB train between Meiringen and Aareschlucht West/East

This small train from Meiringen stops at both ends of the gorge. From Meiringen the 2nd stop is the West entrance station (Aareschlucht West) and the next station is East station (Aareschlucht Ost) inside a tunnel. From the west entrance station (Aareschlucht West) you have to across a bridge and walk for around 500 meters to reach the west entrance ticket office. From the tunnel end there is a footbridge over the river and then a climb of about 20 – 25 meters to reach the gorge entrance.

Aare river east entrance
Aare river east entrance

The eastern station stop is on demand and you have to press a button in the train to inform driver to stop at the station (during peak tourist season not required). If returning from the eastern station, there is a button at the entrance which should be pressed to inform the train driver. Once train will arrive then the tunnel door will open.We entered the gorge from the eastern end and for the best experience I would suggest to enter from this end.

East entrance Aare Gorge
East entrance Aare Gorge

Inside Gorge

The eastern end is at higher elevation and the walk till the other end is downhill, also it gets more beautiful as you walk towards the western end. Inside there is a raised wooden walkway that is fixed to the vertical rock walls through most part of the gorge.

Downhill walk from east entrance
Downhill walk from east entrance
Wooden walkway inside Aare gorge
Wooden walkway inside Aare gorge

In certain sections there are small tunnels in the rock. The wooden plank walkways are secured by metal guard rails. The path through the gorge is more than 1 km long and with plenty of photo opportunities.

We started our walk inside the gorge slowly, while listening the flow of water and taking plenty of pictures. It takes around 45 minutes for us to reach the end where the Aare River travels through a deep, progressively narrowing gorge.

Aare river west side
Aare river west side narrowest point

With slow pace we covered the whole length of the gorge in around one hour. lt was a great experience to see how over thousands of years, Aare river eroded the limestone rocks and make this stunning formation.

We exit the gorge from the western end. Exit is through a souvenir shop and a restaurant. Restaurant At the western end of the gorge is bigger and better then eastern end. Outside there is free parking space and a small garden with sitting area and a small play area for the kids.

Aare west play area
Aare west play area

Tips:

  • Wear hiking shoes or a footwear with good grip as the wooden/rocky walking paths are a little wet in some stretches.
  • Bring your rain ponchos or waterproof jacket because a lot of water is dripping from the walls and ceiling and there is no shelter if it start raining.
  • Inside the gorge is much cooler than it is outside, so bring a light jacket.
  • The gorge is wheel chair /child stroller accessible form the west entrance. Walk up-to the east end where stairs starts and return back to west entrance. Walkways are secured with metal guard rails.

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