This hike loops around a beautiful alpine lake with views of the surrounding spiky peaks. It’s easy walking for families with minimal elevation gain. One side of the lake is suitable for strollers if little ones can’t manage the whole 7km. There are minimal services at the lake, so best to bring a picnic to enjoy lakeside, while the kids throw rocks and dip their toes in the chilly water.
|Location:||Central Switzerland, Muotathal|
|Address:||Sahliboden, 6436 Muotathal|
|Car:||1hr10 from Zurich
Cable Car Parking: 46°54’49.9″N 8°50’47.7″E
|Train:||2hr from Zurich, CHF 38 Adult return with Halbtax
Bus stop: Bisisthal, Sahli Seilbahnstat.
|Trail:||7 km loop, about 2.5 hr walking time|
|Condition:||partial dirt/gravel, partial rocky alpine trail
option for all-terrain strollers as described below
|Services:||restaurant at top of cable car|
|Cost 2017:||Cable car round trip: CHF 24 Adult, CHF 12 Child
SBB Half-fare and Junior cards not accepted
|Open:||June thru October|
This trail loops around an alpine lake. You can reach the trailhead by a small cable car in the Muotathal valley. You can also hike up from the valley if you prefer.
The full loop is 7 km but easy walking. The trail is mostly a wide gravel path suitable for strollers. However, the trail on south side of the lake is a narrow, rocky path. So with strollers, stay on the north side.
There is a restaurant near the top of the cable car but besides that, no other services. You can build fires here, but there are no official fire pits and no wood. I don’t know if swimming is allowed in the lake, but the water is sure to be chilly, even in summer.
By car: Drive to Schwyz, then follow signs to Muotathal, driving all the way down this valley to the end. Note: there are a couple speed cameras along this route, so check your speed.
By public transport: Take a train to Schwyz, then Bus 1 to Muotathal, Post, then Bus 6 to Bisisthal, Sahli Seilbahnstat. This bus runs infrequently and not during lunch hours, so check the schedule before heading out. For example, the last morning connection from Zurich is at 9:09, then you’d have to wait until 12:09 (plus adding the 2 hours travel time).
Don’t get put off by our foggy photos. We did this trail on a rainy day in late September and even then it was super beautiful. Of course, it would be even better on a sunny summer day when everything is bright green and the wildflowers are out. See a picture gallery here.
The cable car is tiny, fitting only about 8 to 10 people. So you might have to wait to go up on a crowded day. At the top, follow the signs to the “See”.
The trail signs are ridiculously tall, presumably because they get a lot of snow in winter. They were so tall, we couldn’t read the text. But the trail is easy, you won’t get lost.
The restaurant is very close to the cable car station. It doesn’t have a view of the lake, so you might prefer to picnic when you get to the lake.
At about 1 km, the trail splits. If you have a stroller, take the left fork, which remains a wide gravel path all the way to the end of the lake. By foot, you can take the right fork, which turns into a narrow, rocky when you reach the lake. It connects back to the gravel path at the far end of the lake.
The path winds through some fields with great views of the peaks above.
It’s about 2 km before you reach the lake. You can’t really see it until you get there.
My boys enjoyed climbing around on the boulders along the path.
Here’s where the path turns rocky and narrow on the south side of the lake. It’s not difficult, just lumpy.
We had our picnic in the rain, cuz we’re crazy like that. I’m sure you’ll have better weather.
Someone went a little cuckoo with painting the trail markers.
At the far end of the lake, you have to cross the river to continue the loop. I hope this river doesn’t get much fuller or I’m not sure how we’d get across. Maybe there’s a bridge in high summer. After crossing the river, the trail turns back into a wide gravel path.
View of lake from the gravel path on the north side of the lake. The mountain peaks were obscured by the fog. But not when you go!
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