Hiking in Switzerland is an absolute dream. With 65,000 km of well maintained and marked trails, hiking is one of the favorite past times of the Swiss and visitors alike. With easy access to public transportation, a hike in the countryside or the Alps is within reach.
If you are new to Switzerland or just visiting, it is important to understand how to read trail makers before heading out. Understanding the Swiss trail system is not only important for getting around easily, but it is also a matter of safety.
We will start with the yellow trail markers, which you will see all over the country, including in cities, forests, by some lakes, meadows, etc. Yellow trail markers may appear in the following ways: as diamonds (sometimes with the cantonal emblem), on sign posts, or as arrows.
What does a yellow trail marker mean?
That's a great question. Yellow trail markers, of all the hiking trails in Switzerland, are the easiest to navigate. The trails are typically on wide paths, though that is not universal. It is important to note that the yellow routes may not always be even. Areas that may pose risk are often secured or have hand railings. Of the hiking trails in Switzerland, the yellow require the least amount of skill and equipment and are often, though not always, the most family-friendly. This is not to say that the yellow hiking paths do not pose danger. Whenever hiking it is imperative to be aware of your surrounding and enter nature with deep regard.
How do you know if a trail is stroller friendly?
The best way to know if a trail is stroller-friendly is to either ask someone who has hiked the trail or do a bit of research before you go. If you are still uncertain as to whether or not you should take a stroller on a particular route, our best advise is to take a backpack/carrier for your child instead. Some paths may either be too narrow to safely navigate with a stroller, too steep, or may put you and your child at risk. It is always better to err on the side of caution than to put your child or yourself in danger.
Even though the yellow paths are the easiest of all the hiking paths in Switzerland to navigate, it is advisable to wear hiking shoes to ensure proper traction on the trails. In addition, when heading out, always carry the supplies you need (water, snacks, first aid kit, money, wallet, jacket) in the event your journey takes longer than expected.
Always be aware of the weather forecast. If the weather is poor or changing quickly, please turn back for your safety.
Did you know?
Did you know that the Swiss trail system is broken down as follows:
63% of all trails in the country are yellow hiking trails.
36% of the trails are Mountain trails or white-red-white trails and
only 1% of the trails are Alpine trails or white-blue-white trails?
Thanks for the helpful information Jungfrau Region!
Still need more information on trail markers?
To understand white-red-white (Mountain trails) click here.
To understand white-blue-white (Alpine trails) click here.
*Please note that all of our books provide a thorough and in-depth explanation of the Swiss trail system. We provide this information here for those who may not have a copy of our books or simply need access to the information.