Hanging high above the valley, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is a one of a kind adventure. Designed to replace an older bridge that was damaged and closed by falling rocks, this bridge comes as a welcome relief to hikers who find themselves on the last leg of the famed Haute route beginning in Chamonix, France and concluding in Zermatt, Switzerland. This multiday alpine adventure is defined by ascending historic and formidable mountain passes. You’ll walk through lovely meadows filled with colorful wildflowers, get up close and personal with massive icy glaciers, and cool off next to the sparkle of the sun glistening off the lakes. Here, you will pass the twelve highest peaks in the Alps. This brand new Charles Kuonen suspension bridge is currently the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. At 1621 ft long, it float nearly 300 feet in the air, held in place by 8 tons of cable. Thanks to its recent opening, it is now possible to shorten a portion of this journey from nearly 4 hours of trekking to a mere 15 minutes where hikers now face death defying heights graced with stunning views of the Matterhorn in the background.
Sponsored by Charles Koenen (who also earned the naming rights) this modern marvel took only 10 weeks to build at a cost of $775,000. Designed to be single file only, this two ft wide bridge will give even the bravest hiker a slight quiver in the knees at its highest point. The grated surface will surely bring on feelings of anxiety as you can’t help but look down between the rails to see the valley floor so far below. If you have the courage to look around, you will be treated with 360 degree views of the Alps, Matterhorn Mountain going one direction, and the Bernese Alps going the other, making the entire journey across the famous Grabengufer Ravine worth it.
Hikers are excited to be able to once again get across this picturesque ravine, as it has been closed for the last seven years due to the potential dangers of frequent rock slides. Since its late July opening, tourism officials on both sides of the bridge have reported higher than average visitors, who are more than eager to take their own risky walk across. Many describe this feat as “incredibly indescribable,” which comes as no surprise as the adrenaline rush that comes from its center point can never be put into words.