Teufelsschlucht: Family hike through Devil’s Gorge

Here’s another beautiful river gorge hike that is great for families. The hike follows a stream through a lush forest, with many small and big waterfalls and interesting rock formations. There are lots of places to picnic and build fires along the way. This is a good choice for spring before the mountains are ready for hiking.

I must thank my friend Gretchen from Balls to the Wall Knits, who recommended this great hike. 

Location:   Aargau Region, Switzerland
Address: Trail head: Allerheiligenberg 5, 4615 Allerheiligenberg
Bus stop: Allerheiligenberg, Rest. Aller
GPS: 47°21’07.2″N 7°49’06.3″E
Trail end & parking: Eigasse 9, 4614 Hägendorf, behind Coop
GPS: 47°20’04.5″N 7°50’29.1″E
Car: 50 mins from Zurich to car park, then 12 mins on bus to trail head
Train: 1hr5 from Zurich to trail head
Adult return with SBB Half-fare CHF 34.40
Trail: 4.2 km one way (continue to train station, add 500m)
Condition: narrow dirt trail, stairs, no strollers
Skill: moderate
Open: April to October, weather dependent
Prices: trail and parking free,
bus fare to reach trail head: CHF 3.50 (SBB Half-fare and Junior card accepted).
Services: fire pits along trail, no services or toilets along trail, restaurant at trail head, grocery and cafes at trail end
More info:  www.wanderland.ch

Overview

This hike is a one way hike, starting from the top of the gorge, following the river downhill to the town of Hägendorf. The hike is mostly in a forest with beautiful rock formations lining both sides of the path and river and many waterfalls. The hike is about 4.2 km on a narrow, lumpy dirt path with some stairs and elevated metal walkways, not suitable for strollers. We spent about 3 hours on the trail, though we could have walked it much faster. We prefer hiking downhill, so that’s how my instructions are written.

It is not a difficult trail and is suitable for families. But watch small children very carefully as some sections do not have guard rails next to the river.

There are no services along the trail, but there are many fire pits (two with wood, grills and tables) and beautiful places to picnic. At the top, there is a restaurant with a view and small playground. The trail ends in town, where you’ll find Coop and Denner grocery stores and a few cafes.

Getting There

This hike is located near Hägendorf, a small town in the Aargau region of Switzerland. You can reach the trail easily by car or public transit.

But since this is a one way hike, you will need to ride the bus either at the beginning or end of the hike. The bus runs very infrequently, only a couple times in the morning and afternoon. So check the schedule beforehand and plan your travel accordingly.

I have quoted bus times below, but they may change. Check the bus schedule before heading out!

By car: Drive to Hägendorf. I recommend parking in town and riding the bus up to the trail head. You can park for free behind the Coop grocery in the center of town, Eigasse 9, 4614 Hägendorf. To reach the Coop, turn left at this Gasthof Teufelsschlucht

From there, walk to the Teufelsschlucht, Hägendorf bus stop, about two minutes, as shown below.

Take bus 555 direction Allerheiligenberg, Höhenklink, about CHF 2.70 for a single ride with a SBB Half-fare card. Ride the bus to Allerheiligenberg, Rest. Aller, about 13 minutes. The trail starts here and the trail ends where you parked your car.

Note this bus to the trail head at Allerheiligenberg only runs at 8:47 and 9:47 in the morning, then doesn’t run again until 14:47. So if you miss that morning bus, you’ll need to either hike up the trail or drive to the trail head and take the bus back up to your car at the end.

We missed the morning bus, so we drove to the trail head at Allerheiligenberg, Rest. Aller and parked near the restaurant in the free parking spaces just east of the restaurant. Then at the end of the hike, we rode the bus back to our car. The last bus was at 16:47, but check the current schedule and don’t miss it.

By public transit: Take a train to Hägendorf. Then take bus 555 to Allerheiligenberg, Rest. Aller. The trail starts here. The trail ends in Hägendorf and you can easily walk the extra 500 m from the trail end to the train station, as shown on the trail map above.

Note that Bus 555 to the trail head only runs at 8:45 and 9:45 in the morning from the train station and doesn’t run again until 14:45. So check the schedule beforehand and plan accordingly. If you miss the morning bus, you can hike up instead. But remember the last bus back down is 16:47, check the schedule to be sure and don’t miss it.

Starting the hike

From the Allerheiligenberg restaurant, follow the yellow trail signs to the Teufelsschlucht. Here we are following the signs down from the bus stop and restaurant.

The playground below the restaurant.

Here’s the view from the top.

On the trail

Walking down to the road, just a few meters on the road before heading back into the fields.

Across the field to reach the gorge in the forest.

Hiking along the river

The Teufelsschlucht official starts when you reach the river in the forest. You’ll stay by this river for the rest of the trail.

Examples of the path, with dirt and stairs.

Cross this road and follow the path down to join the river again.

At the end of the stairs, before you start down the trail, walk to the water and turn right (where my kids are standing below) and look up river to see a hidden waterfall.

Here’s that hidden waterfall.

Continue down the trail. There are lots of waterfalls and elevated metal walkways in this section.

Most of the trail is in shadow except this lovely sunny spot with large mossy boulders.

Here’s one of the picnic areas with a fire pit, grill, wood and picnic table. The wood wasn’t fully stocked yet in April, but probably in summer.

This interesting moss wall had dozens of mini waterfalls. It looked like the wall was raining.

Some of the rock walls were very tall!

One of the caves along the way.

A fire pit in one of the caves.

Lots of pretty things along the way.

Don’t forget to pin this for later…

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7 comments

  1. This sounds like another gorgeous Swiss hike, especially with the waterfalls being so gorgeous right now.

  2. Gorgeous pictures!
    Glad you didn’t have an actual devil encounter!
    I think I was there as a kid, it looks familiar.

  3. I´ve had this hike on my bucket list since I saw it on Instagram a few weeks ago. The spring nature looks amazing. I think lots of the moss waterfalls were caused by the crazy snowy weather we´ve had here recently.

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