The Gelmersee is tucked away on-top of a mountain in the Bernese Oberland. The lake is actually a reservoir and accessible by the steepest funicular in Europe.
To reach the Gelmersee you need to have a reservation on the Gelmer Funicular. There are only 24 seats, so book ahead. You can reserve tickets online. Dogs are allowed on the Funicular but a ticket must be purchased.
The ride on the Gelmer Funicular is quite impressive. The Funicular boast the steepest incline at 106% (CRAZY) in Europe. I have to be honest, it did look intimidating, but once we were on it the spectacular views helped calm the nerves. It also helps it’s a rather slow ride up with no roller-coaster feeling.
At the top of the mountain we walked across the dam and made our way around the lake trail. The first part of the trail is pretty flat with incredible views. Once you cross over the damn there is a small foot trail that circles around the lake.
The trail takes about 2.5 hours but since we had kids in tow, we decided to make a day trip out of it. We enjoyed swimming in the (cold) lake and a picnic lunch along the shoreline.
A few areas on the trail that have a steep drop-off but overall it’s a fairly easy hike with stunning views all along the way.
There was still some snow melt when we were hiking (mid-July) so a lightweight jacket can come in handy. Along the trail there are some beautiful little waterfalls.
The turquoise color is incredible when the sun shines just right on the lake.
Have we peeked your interest? Can you see why we would consider the Gelmersee one of the hidden gems of Switzerland? Definitely add this one to your Swiss summer hiking list.