Rafting the Lütschine River – Interlaken

The Lütschine river in Interlaken has class III and IV rapids and provides a wild ride from the put-in point at Lütschental on the Black Lütschine tributary, past Zweilütschinen where it joins the White Lütschine tributary (forming the Lütschine river proper) and then to the take-out point at lake Brienz. This isn’t a continuous rafting trip as there is a short section that is too wild, and you need to exit the river and go around. Over the Ascension Holiday, we took a guided rafting trip here with the adventure company Outdoor Switzerland and had a great time. I definitely recommend both rafting this river and the rafting company we used.

Detail Summary

Location: Lütschine River in Interlaken
Canton Bern, Switzerland
Car:Zürich -> Outdoor Interlaken Rafting Base, Tellweg, 3800 Matten bei Interlaken – 2 hrs

There are several paid public park lots in Interlaken, including one right by the rafting base station.

Note! Outdoor Switzerland has multiple meeting points, so be sure to check your reservation for the location as it may be different than the one listed here.
Train:Zürich HB -> Outdoor Interlaken Rafting Base, Tellweg, 3800 Matten bei Interlaken – 2 hrs

Note! Outdoor Switzerland has multiple meeting points, so be sure to check your reservation for the location as it may be different than the one listed here.
Open:Mid-May to September
Minimum age: 14
Maximum weight 125kg (275lbs.)
Not suitable for pregnant women.
Duration: 4 hrs, approx. 1.5 – 2 hours on the water
Cost 2022:River Rafting Lütschine- with Outdoor Switzerland
Guided tour –  CHF 139/ Person
Group packages available

Booking a Guide

The Lütschine river in Interlaken has class III and IV rapids, so a guided tour was necessary. There are several companies that offer rafting here. For our guide, we chose Outdoor Switzerland. Their website is in English and they offer simple on-line booking. If you have any special requests, you can add them to the booking request. They were a very professionally run rafting company and I would book with them again. Tours are offered in English and German, inquire for other languages.

What to Bring/ Wear

Our guides provided everything we needed for on the river (raft, paddles, life vests, helmets, wetsuits, water shoes, and water jackets.) So, the essentials for what you need to bring are:

  • swimsuits to wear under the wetsuits.
  • towels. Even if you don’t fall out of your raft, you will get wet!
  • a bag to store our dry clothes,  shoes, towels  and any other personal belongings we had with us.  The bag did not need to be waterproof as it didn’t come on the river with us, rather it was left in the locked changing room at the rafting base. 
  • strap for glasses. If you wear glasses, a strap to secure them.

What about a camera?

This is a wild stretch of river and only cameras that could be attached to a helmet were permitted. We have a Go-Pro which we could strap to a helmet, so I was able to get some pictures. The guide told another person that their Go-Pro strapped to the wrist was not allowed. Helmets with Go-Pro mounting points were available and if you have the mounting hardware, highly recommended. The guide said people have lost Go-Pros when using only the helmet strap.

Getting There and Meeting the Guide 

We met our guides at their rafting base station in Interlaken. They have multiple meeting points, so be sure to check your reservation for the location. The rafting base station was located inside of an ice hockey rink.

After we arrived at the base station, payment was checked, safety waivers were signed, and we were outfitted for the trip. We were each provided with a wetsuit, water jacket, and booties to wear along with a life jacket and helmet. The base station had changing rooms where we changed into our swimsuits and squeezed into the wetsuits. There was also a toilette here if you need it (you will not be able to go while on the river, so best to use it here beforehand), and hot showers if you want to use them later.  After changing into our wetsuits, we put our dry clothes, shoes, towels and other personal belongings into our bag and left it in the locked changing room for later. 

On the River

With everyone suited up, we climbed into the transport van and drove about 20 minutes to the put-in point. Here, the guides gave us our paddles and went though a safety demonstration to make sure we knew where to sit on the raft, how to hold the paddle and  what to do if we fell out of the raft. We also practiced the paddling commands. With the safety presentation done, we headed down to the river and into our rafts. In addition to guides in each raft, we were also accompanied by a kayaker who was there to help should anyone need it.

As soon as we were on the river, we were in the rapids. It was a good thing we had practiced the commands and paddling on shore!

For the most part this is a wild river, and there were only a very few mild sections. In fact, there was one section of the river that was too wild, and we needed to briefly leave the river. After getting off the river, the transport vans were waiting and after a few minutes drive we were at the new put-in point and on to more fun rapids. Here are some action shots I captured with the Go-Pro.

As we approached the take-out point in Lake Brienz, the river became milder. A friend of ours, who lives in the area, took this picture of us from the shore as we floated past.

Off the River

When we reached Lake Brienz, we were at the end of our rafting trip. At the lake, the guide told us to jump in and swim a bit. The water was really cold, even with the wetsuit, but it was still really fun. My Go-Pro had run out of batteries by that point, so I don’t have any pictures. The take-out point was at the same place as the starting point of the Three Waterfalls Hike (The Bönigen, See bus stop) that we did last year, and you can see a few pictures of the bus stop and lake in the Three Waterfalls Hike post.

After getting out of the lake, we helped load up the rafts and then took the transport van back to the rafting base station. There, we changed back into our dry clothes. Often these types of trips have snacks and drinks afterwards. There was a cooler from which you could grab a drink (ice-tea, soda, beer), but that was it. No big deal, we were headed out anyway. This was a fun rafting tip, with great scenery and lots of wild rapids. I also really liked the rafting company we chose (Outdoor Switzerland) and would recommend them – they had easy on-line booking, they were well-organized with great guides, and had a comfortable base station with clean, well cared-for equipment. I would definitely raft with them again. They offer lots of other adventures, too, and I might even try one of those (canyoning maybe?).

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