The Europaweg Skywalk is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. After I heard about it, I put it on my bucket list as a follow-up adventure to the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route. Thinking it’d be a pretty simple hike, I convinced my mom, dad, and husband to join. After enjoying an excellent lunch at Fuch’s in Zermatt, we hopped on the train and rode it to Randa, just about 20 minutes away.
We were the only ones to get off at the Randa stop and for a Thursday afternoon, the town streets seemed quiet. We found one Randa tourism attendant that shared a map for the Europaweg Skywalk bridge loop, we filled up our water packs, used the restrooms (WC – water closets) and set on our way.
The trail is a big loop. We decided to take the route that would allow us to face South, towards the Matterhorn as we crossed the Europaweg Skywalk bridge. The hike up to the bridge was straight up, mostly on a rocky dirt trail. It was a sunny day but the trees offered patchy shade and relief. We were grateful that we brought water as there weren’t any sources along the trail.
After about an hour of steep incline, the bridge popped into view. Our steps quickened and benches were waiting for us at the bridge. We took a moment to rest and eat some snacks. I had imagined how long the bridge was and what it would look like – it still beat my imagination at 1,621 feet long (494 m)! We took a few pictures and a good rest so that we could enjoy crossing the bridge.
The Bridge Crossing
The grated bottom of the bridge got my heart pumping, if heights worry you, the Europabruke is not for you. Chicken wire lines the sides of the bridge from the floor to the handrails. The bridge lies 282 feet (86 m) above the rocks and shale. It was invigorating to have the time to cross the bridge, enjoy the views and feel like I was flying! There were a few moments I took my hands off of the railings but kept a light touch on them for the bulk of the crossing.
I was amazed at how small the crowds were on the trail. We passed two or three small groups of people and only one group of three and another person on the bridge. That is a perk of the strenuous uphill to get there – it thins out the crowds. I definitely think more people would have been there if there was a lift or funicular up to the bridge.
As the longest pedestrian footbridge in the world, the skywalk was long enough to enjoy it and made me ready to get off by the end. We decided not to go back because we wanted to experience both sides of the bridge trail; the south trail down was also steep with fewer boulders. We saw some weary travelers and promised them they were so close! Sometimes the trail signs indicate direction but the distance can be hard to gauge when there is no indication of elevation.
We finally returned to the train station in time to catch the train. If we would have missed it we would have had to wait an hour for the next one. All in all the excursion was more strenuous than we thought it’d be with the uphill the trail was worthy of proper hiking gear – but completely worth it and a highlight of our trip to the Zermatt area!
Things to Remember
In summary, here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your Europabruke Skywalk excursion:
- Plan for the hike to take 4 hours round trip
- Be aware of the train schedules
- Use the WC/restrooms on the train before you get off in Randa
- Bring a snack to recharge at the top
- Fill up water bottles in Randa before the trail, have at least 1-2 liters of water per person
- Enjoy the journey! Take breaks when needed and know the uphill will be rewarded with an incredible bridge experience and downhill
So what do you think? Will you cross the Europaweg Skywalk when you get the chance to? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!