Gstaad Skiing at a Glance
Summit Elevation 9,850′
220 kilometers of trails, 9 ski areas
53 Lifts including gondolas and cable cars
Gstaad is Switzerland’s most glitzy and glamorous ski resort. With nine unique ski areas, the most five star hotels of any ski region in the Alps, and a fairy tale alpine village as the centerpiece – Gstaad is a gem for those who love après ski, shopping and dining as much (or more) than alpine skiing. Beautiful snowy Swiss castle hotels dot the valleys amid big mountains offering skiing of all levels, and scenery above and beyond – especially on the highest peak – Glacier 3000. Gstaad is among the largest ski regions in Europe, though its not all interconnected like Switzerland’s Zermatt, Verbier and Les 4 Vallées, or 3 Vallées in France, which makes it confusing at first. Gstaad’s ski lifts aren’t as fancy as the celebrity clientele or the designer boutiques in the classic chalet village either.
Gstaad’s “Super Ski Region” includes 53 lifts, and 136 miles (220 kilometers) of prepared trails in six separate ski sections. Rinderberg and Saanerslochgrat and Hornberg are connected, but Gstaad Eggli and La Videmanette, Glacier 3000, La Braye, Gsteig and Lauenen are all separate.
Glacier 3000 is our favorite of Gstaad’s ski areas, and the highest on Les Diablerets Glacier at over 10,000′. While not huge in terms of ski trails and terrain, it is highly scenic as you view the Devil’s Thumb, The Matterhorn in Zermatt and Mont Blanc Chamonix France in the distance. T Bars and trams mix with a few quad chairs to serve the high summit plateau with mellow terrain, and some steeper trails on the front side. You download at day’s end.
Hire a guide for a Gstaad ski adventure, off-piste skiing on Glacier 3000 requires some navigating and skill, avoiding cliffs and hazards, you can ski to the base.
The Peak Walk at Gstaad 3000 is amazing, the world’s highest suspension bridge connecting two peaks, you can walk across this stunningly scenic and a bit scary wiggly bridge. The Black Wall ski tunnel is another marvel of engineering – 265 meters long carved through the mountain that you ski through, leading to a trail to the base of Col du Pillon at Glacier 3000.
Gstaad’s best ski hotels are five-star – Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad Palace and Alpina Gstaad. These luxe hotel resorts are near the village, a short walk or drive to the expensive designer boutiques and delightful restaurants housed in in the picturesque village chalets. Strolling Gstaad’s fairy tale center is an après ski pastime, to see and be seen.
Gstaad’s other ski regions are Rinderberg, Saanerslochgrat and Hornberg, with Saanenmoser the most centrally located town, perfect if you wish to arrive by train, you can walk to the ski lifts, and stay at the lovely Golfhotel Les Hauts and Spa.
On Sannen and Hornegli, dubbed SnowParadise 2000, enjoy well groomed pistes plus snowy meadows just off the trails, and lunch at a mountain wood chalet with Swiss decor – like Chemi Stube. Have the homemade sausage and rosti potatoes with cheese, and bring cash (no credit cards).
Rinderberg Zweisimmen is the furthest west Gstaad ski resort. In Zweisimmen, with a gondola delivering you to a few great groomed trails, and a delightful luxury on mountain chalet – The Hamilton Lodge – exclusively ski in ski out.
To ski Gstaad, It takes at least a week and a car or shuttle to ski all of Gstaad’s ski terrain, and save time for shopping and après ski in the village. Skiing Gstaad would be well combined with a few days in skiing Switzerland’s Jungfrau nearby.
Paris Hilton said “Gstaad is an oasis of calm,” while Richard Burton described Gstaad as “The Most beautiful place in the world”