In the Bernese Alps you can walk through a mystical place, one which offers wonders of water and majesty of mountains wherever you turn. They call it ‘The Valley of the 72 Waterfalls’, and although the name doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the natural landscape might just leave you speechless.
We set off from Lauterbrunnen in the direction of Stechelberg with the aim of reaching the end of the path in around 3 hours. The air was hot, there was very little shade and we were walking into the sun. If it wasn’t for the crowning glories of the valley we might have made it, but when you walk past natural wonders such as Staubbach Falls you just have to stop and spend some time admiring Mother Nature at work.
At nearly 300m in height, Staubbach Falls is the second highest waterfall in Switzerland. It’s impossible to miss as you head out of Lauterbrunnen into the valley. The water gushing off the vertical cliff faces in this beautiful area is primarily glacier and snow melt, meaning it’s a great place to visit in the early summer when the heat is on. As we got closer and closer to the falls, its staggering height became more and more apparent.
We approached the bottom of the falls hoping there would be a public footpath to take us closer, and fortunately the Swiss authorities obliged. Not only did the path take us closer but there were a series of steps that seemingly led right to the bottom of the falls. As we climbed the steps and got closer to the falls it became wet and slippery. I started to worry about my camera so hurriedly packed it away in my bag to protect it from the water before continuing along the path. I had never felt so close to nature before. At the top of the steps we were right beside the foot of the falls, but the path continued on through a dark tunnel.
The tunnel was wet and cold, water dripping from the ceiling just above our heads. Emerging from the end of the tunnel into the bright sunlight we saw the steps laid out before us. We were going to end up right behind Staubbach Falls with a lookout toward the other side of the valley, the Jungfrau in view. It was now getting very wet but the cold water was a blessing in the heat of the day. My Converse trainers were not well suited to this wet and slippery terrain. We continued on to the lookout point, holding the hand rail as we went.
Whilst feeling paranoid that my camera would be affected by the water, this is the shot I captured very quickly from the lookout. We had experienced something incredible and it wasn’t even lunch time. We still had the immensely powerful Trümmelbach Falls to look forward to in the afternoon…
Staubbach Falls is one of many waterfalls you can find in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland. The train from Interlaken will get you to Lauterbrunnen in 20 minutes, and from just outside the station you’ll see some small yellow signs signs directing you to the left and onto the path toward Stechelberg. Staubbach falls will be on your right, and you can continue following signs right along the path through the valley. As you’d expect in a valley the walk is almost entirely flat, but if you get tired you can take the bus back to Lauterbrunnen. The bus runs on a road that you’ll find parallel to the footpath and has a number of stops along the way.
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