Bernese Alps in the Canton of Bern

Bernese Alps in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland

Each portion of the Alps mountain range has its unique features and local culture. But they all seem to call to climbers, hikers, cyclists and those who seek wild adventure. The Bernese include legendary peaks like Eiger, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Schreckhorn (seen here in the upper left). It was on Alpine peaks such as these that modern mountaineering was pioneered during the golden age of alpinism. Those with no desire to climb, but with a little nerve and a hankering for a good view, can make their way out along the First Cliff Walk which winds around a mountainside here high above Grindelwald, Switzerland.

The Bernese Alps (German: Berner Alpen, French: Alpes bernoises, Italian: Alpi bernesi) are a mountain range of the Alps, located in western Switzerland. Although the name suggests that they are located in the Berner Oberland region of the canton of Bern, portions of the Bernese Alps are in the adjacent cantons of Valais, Fribourg and Vaud, the latter being usually named Fribourg Alps and Vaud Alps respectively. The highest mountain in the range, the Finsteraarhorn, is also the highest point in the canton of Bern.

The Rhône valley separates them from the Chablais Alps in the west and from the Pennine Alps in the south; the upper Rhône valley separate them from the Lepontine Alps to the southeast; the Grimsel Pass and the Aare valley separates them from the Uri Alps in the east and from the Emmental Alps in the north; their northwestern edge is not so well defined, describing a line roughly from Lake Geneva to Lake Thun.

The Bernese Alps are drained by the river Aare and its tributary the Saane in the north, the Rhône in the south, and the Reuss in the east.