Just opened, the 1,621-foot-long Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is the longest meant just for pedestrians. And it’s backdrop couldn’t be much more striking.
Look down to see the Swiss valley nearly 300 feet below. Look up at the Matterhorn towering over the horizon. With more than a quarter mile to walk, you’ll have plenty of time to take in both on this new bridge.
The last leg of the famed Haute Route from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps has a new, record-breaking addition. On Saturday, the 1,621-foot-long Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge opened to the public. It is the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge.
The bridge crosses a valley to connect the towns of Grächen in the north to Zermatt in the south. With its eight tons of cable, the bridge shortens the formerly three-plus-hour hike through the valley to just 10 minutes.
Walkers will stand 279 feet above the ground (and 7,200 feet above sea level) at the bridge’s highest point. The modern marvel took just 10 weeks to build and replaces a nearby bridge that was damaged by falling rocks and closed 2010.
Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
At just over two-feet wide, the bridge is single-file only. Its grated walkway means crossers can look down at the valley. Those crossing from the north see the Matterhorn past the bridge’s far side in Zermatt.
In total, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge cost more than $775,000 to construct. The Swiss firm Swissrope created the enormous bridge.
Charles Kuonen, a Swiss psychologist and winery co-owner, earned naming rights as the bridge’s primary sponsor.
Though Zermatt Tourism assures the bridge is safe, if dizzying, it does warn visitors not to attempt the crossing in the event of a storm due to lightning danger.