Trümmelbach falls, The amazing power of nature on a budget! Switzerland

Trümmelbach falls are an impressive and somewhat scary display of the power of nature buried within a deep system of caves and tunnels in the side of the lauterbrunnen valley in the Swiss Alps. The sheer volume of water which pour down these impressive waterfalls roars louder than you could imagine as it continues to carve the twisted walls it pounds down! Not only that but it is also a great cheap activity in Switzerland and great on a rainy day too!

 

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As we woke up to a rainy day in Interlaken after a week of blazing sunshine we wondered what to do with ourselves. Many of the amazing activities here are weather based and besides, we had pretty much done them all anyway! (See bottom of post for all the links!) One of the ideas was to visit the impressive Trümmelbach falls, after all, more water will only make them better right?
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What are they?

The Trümmelbach falls (Trümmelbachfälle in German) are an amazing series of 10 glacial water falls which reside deep in the mountainside. They drain the mighty trilogy of the Eiger (3970m), Monch (4099m) and Junfrau (4158m) and their glacial melt…that is some serious flow! In fact to put it into figures the falls carry up to 20,000 litres of water a SECOND with a drainage area of 24km²!

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The waterfalls from the outside look rather tame if truth be told, but the real magic lies in the series of illuminated tunnels and lifts which make them visible from inside the mountain!

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The roaring of nature

As you take the short walk from the roadside towards the falls the view at first is rather inconspicuous and it all seems a bit of a let down! That is until you begin to hear the roaring of the water in the distance, the 10 huge water falls despite not being insight still making their presence known!
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The thing is, these waterfalls exist in the belly of a mountain, inside deep cavities carved for millennia. The outer valley where the waterfalls would have once began keeping the amazing interior a secret!
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As you approach the thunder becomes louder and louder until you eventually peer over a innocuous looking edge only to be deafened by the power of the water! Not only is it an amazing spectacle to witness the sheer amount of water battering the canyon edges, but it’s also somewhat unnerving and even a bit scary!
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The power you are witnessing really makes you feel as small as an ant and pretty powerless against the will of nature. Should you fall in here, that’s it, over, there is no saving you! Watching the occasional leaf, stick or branch getting churned up in here really brings that into focus!
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After looking around the lower waterfalls we took the glass lift straight up inside the mountain towards the beginning of the falls. A fine mist fills the dark tunnels carved into the rock, not from the rain outside, but from the pounding waterfalls! Even as the water hits the pools 30 to 50ft below the spray still blasts upwards and soaks everything in sight!
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Europe’s largest subterranean waterfalls are also the worlds only glacial falls accessible via lifts, tunnels and galleries. In fact many of them allow you to teeter on platforms above them giving you an up-close look at the foaming and churning waters below your feet!
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The natural UNESCO world heritage site has to be seen and more importantly heard and felt to be believed. The raging torrent is so powerful that it brings down with it 20,000 tones of scree and boulders a year! This causes the whole mountain to shudder as you wander around the caves!
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The amazing rock formations sculpted by this powerful and thunderous foaming set of water falls are quite beautiful and elegant. Layers of smooth rock chiselled away over time by the milk white water crashing, tumbling and twisting it’s way down these narrow chutes!
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After a day of rain they are even more intense! Not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon after a morning White Water Rafting!
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Visiting tips:

  • Take a waterproof jacket even on a dry day and non slip shoes
  • Take about an hour to see all the falls
  • Careful with your camera and the dampness, although it is also quite dark so a tripod would be useful!
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  • Perfect for when it is raining and other activities are out, in fact rain makes it even better!
  • The walk back to Lauterbrunnen down the valley takes about 40 mins and is quite lovely!
  • Not really suitable for small children/ toddlers
  • It gets busy so head over here early!
  • Open daily from April to November, 9am to 5pm. July and August from 8.30am to 6pm.
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Price:

Trummelbach falls is one of those rare activities in Switzerland which won’t break the bank!
Adult: 11 CHF / £7.46 / $11.36
Child: 4 CHF  / £2.68 / $4.13
No credit or debit cards accepted!
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Travel info:

Driving from Interlaken is a short trip of about 10miles and there is free parking on site.
To take the train leave from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen which takes around 20mins.
From there take the bus down the valley another 10mins.
You can also access Trümmelbach falls from the Stechelberg cable car station which come down from Gimmelwald and is connected to Murren and The Schilthorn
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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.