The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, just opened last month to the public, and it is now the longest suspension bridge meant only for pedestrians. The bride is 1,612 feet long, and it could not feature a more striking background. While standing on the bridge, nearly 300 feet below you will be the Swiss Valley, and if you look up, you’ll see the Matterhorn towering over the horizon. There are plenty of sights to take on this bridge, as the walk from end to end is more than a quarter mile. This bridge is a new record-breaking addition to the famed route from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The bridge crosses a valley, connecting the towns of Zermatt in the south to Grächen in the north. The Charles Kuonen bridge will shorten the hike from over three hours to just under ten minutes. At the bridge’s highest point, visitors will be 279 feet above the ground (at an elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level). Incredibly, the bridge took just ten weeks to be built and has replaced a nearby bridge that closed down in 2010 due to damage from falling rocks. Zermatt Tourism wants the public to know that this new bridge is entirely safe, though it does state a warning that the bridge should not be crossed during a storm, as there could be a danger due to lightning.
The bridge is single-file cross only, as it is just over two-feet wide. To the delight of adventurers and thrill-seekers, the walkway is grated, meaning that you can look down into the valley if you dare. If you are crossing from the north, you will get to experience the Matterhorn past the far side of the bridge in Zermatt. The total construction cost of the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge was over $775,000, and it was built by the Swiss firm Swissrope. The primary funder for this massive undertaking was Swiss psychologist and winery co-owner Charles Kuonen, meaning he got bragging rights as the bridge was named after him.