This short loop at Rotenflue has wonderful panorama views and is a good one for families with smaller children as the distance is short and walking pretty easy. The trail is a wide dirt road, lumpy at times, but possible with an all-terrain stroller. There is a playground at the top and four mountain restaurants in the area. At 1571m, this is a good lower elevation option for the shoulder seasons when higher up trails are covered in snow. We’ve hiked here in late May and in early November, both seasons really beautiful.
Rotenflue is also the starting point for the longer 10km Mythenrundreise, a really beautiful tour for older kids which leads to Sattel-Hochstuckli. See my Mythenrundreise post for details.
|Location:||Canton Schwyz, Central Switzerland|
|Address:||Rickenbachstrasse 163, 6432 Rickenbach bei Schwyz|
|Car:||45 mins from Zurich
Parking GPS: 47°00’52.7″N 8°40’08.3″E
|Train:||1hr10 from Zurich HB to Rickenbach SZ, Rotenfluebahn
Adult return half-fare CHF 27
|Trail:||1.6 to 2.9 km loop, about 1.5 hr walking time with kids|
|Condition:||wide dirt path|
|Services:||several restaurants, two fire pits with wood, small playground|
|Cost:||Adult combi hiking ticket CHF 38
SBB Half-fare accepted. Discount with Junior cards.
|Open:||mid April to end of October|
This trail starts and ends at the top of the Rotenflue cable car at 1571m. The loop trail is 2.9 km, but you can also shorter it to 1.6 km by taking the path in the middle of the loop. The path is a wide dirt road possible with strollers. On the north side of the trail, the trail gets a bit steep as it climbs back up to the cable car station.
There are several restaurants and two picnic areas with fire pits along the trail. Both fire pits have grills and are stocked with wood. There is a small playground at the cable car station with swings and a slide.
By public transport: Take a train to Schwyz, then Bus 3 to Rickenbach SZ, Rotenfluebahn. The cable car is directly across from the bus stop.
By car: Drive to Schwyz, then follow signs to Rickenbach and Rotenfluebahn. The address is Rickenbachstrasse 163, 6432 Rickenbach bei Schwyz. Park in the metered lot next to the cable car station. Bring coins to pay for the parking meter.
In 2017, a full price adult return fare cost CHF 38. SBB Half-fare card is accepted. A SBB Junior card discounts the child fare to CHF 9. Children under 6 are free. Credit cards are accepted. The cable car runs from about mid April through October but check the website for opening times.
The Rotenfluebahn is a small four person cable car. You can fit a folded stroller inside the cable car.
Here’s the Rotenflue cable car going up the mountain. The impressive Mythen peak is on the left.
Looking back down the valley to Schwyz and Lake Luzern.
Top of Rotenflue
The cable car drops you off at this the restaurant.
View from the top.
Playground on the other side of the restaurant.
View of the Mythen peaks from the top. There is a trail leading to the top of the big peak, but a little dangerous. On another day, we hiked the longer Mythenrundreise which leads to Sattel. Details here.
On the trail
You can start the loop in either direction. This time we started at the playground and are walking north.
Big views across the northern valleys.
Weaving down the hill for a bit.
The trail gets a little steep for a bit as it dips into the forest. Here we are walking back up to the restaurant. If you have a stroller, this will be the toughest bit, a little lumpy with rocks. But the rest of the trail is pretty smooth.
Before you reach the fire pit, there is a narrower path branching off to your right that will loop you back to Rotenflue. But with a stroller, keep walking and take the next right after the fire pit, which is on a wider smoother trail, which also loops back to Rotenflue.
Here is the fire pit in the forest north of the cable car station.
Last time I walked by this, they had upgrade the fire pit with this oven.
Here is the right turn on the wider path that loops back to to Rotenflue. Just make sure to follow the trail signs to Rotenflue. You’ll turn right again in about 600m.
In this picture we are walking the opposite direction, taking the smaller path shortcut instead the main wide path.
View of the surrounding foothills in May.
And what they look like in November.
Back on the main path looping back to Rotenflue.
Walking in the opposite direction on that same road.
View from the trail on your way back to Rotenflue. There is a short cut at the 2km mark, heading up the hill directly to Rotenflue instead of continuing the loop.
Here’s the other fire pit just south of the cable car station. The other fire pit is much nicer, but this one is functional and had wood.
Well, that’s it, a short and sweet little panorama loop. I hope you like it. Reward your kids with some ice cream and time on the playground at the end.
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