We stayed one night at Obersteinberg during a multi-day inn-to-inn hiking trip. Obersteinberg is well worth the effort required to reach it. Besides being a working farm, with cows, pigs and a donkey, it’s also an inn and restaurant. The rooms in the guesthouse offer comfy beds with massive eiderdowns in either a few private rooms or in the bigger bunkroom. Every window has a view out on the valley and the mountains across the way. You also get a great view of famous Schmadribach Falls, one of more than 70 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Visitors can sit and relax, take in the view, explore the farm, or head out to explore a few nearby trails. One popular option is to hike over to Oberhornsee, a little mountain lake about an hour past the farm.
If you opt to relax, you may want to bring a book. There’s no electricity at Obersteinberg for television or radio and just enough running water for a communal sink and toilet in the pine-paneled guesthouse. Though with majestic mountain peaks rising all around, and the active farm behind you, you may find it hard to keep your eyes on the page. I found myself sitting on a bench staring across the valley despite a light misting rain, and was delighted to see a rainbow form as the sun broke through the clouds. We were also thrilled to get a visit from a small herd of ibex, mountain sheep with huge curving horns.
One of the biggest advantages of staying on a farm is the fresh food. We watched in the evening as Hans and Vicki called in the cows. Some time later, Hans walked from the stone barn to the house carrying a deep pail: fresh milk for our dinner of fresh-baked bread and homemade rouladen and spatzli. In addition to cheese, the farm makes its own cream and butter, all delicious.
With fresh air, fresh food and fantastic views, Obersteinberg offers visitors a true taste of Switzerland.
Because there are no roads or trains to Obersteinberg, there’s also no baggage transport. You’ll need to carry up your gear with you. Be sure to bring a hat and gloves and a warm sweater – at such high elevation, Obersteinberg can get chilly, even in the summer. A headlamp or flashlight is also helpful, as the inn has no electricity. Candles are provided.
A warning: the trail between the inn and Gimmelwald or Murren has a steep drop-off and may not be appropriate for all hikers or in all weather.