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    One of the Rarest Flowers in the World on Mount Rossberg

    Arth Goldau - Ober Spitzibüel - Gribsch - Steinerberg

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    One of the Rarest Flowers in the World on Mount Rossberg

    Arth Goldau - Ober Spitzibüel - Gribsch - Steinerberg

    Published on 24.04.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 27.05.2015

    On a mountain called the Rossberg in Central Switzerland is a forest where one of the rarest flowers in the world grow: The Purple and Yellow Lady Slipper orchid. The flowers thrive in the proximity of a certain type of fungus and are extremely hard to propagate in gardens, because of this apparent symbiosis with the fungus. People trying to remove it from the forest to plant in their gardens, and also the grazing sheep are partially responsible for the decimation of this lovely plant. [This flower used to be widespread in England but now apparently there is only one plant left there, and if anyone is caught stealing it, they could face six months in jail, according to a UK Daily Mail article.]

    Another thing the Rossberg is known for is that one of the greatest natural disasters in Swiss history took place here in 1806: The Landslide of Goldau. The town was destroyed by 40 million cubic meters of rock that slid down the mountain in about 3-4 minutes. There have been several additional landslides on the same mountain since then, the most recent one in 2005 with the release of 200,000 m3 of rock that destroyed additional forested area. Although the vegetation is slowly growing back, you can still see the massive scar along the entire southern flank of the mountain.

    This hike up the Rossberg from Arth Goldau and back down to Steinerberg passes through the area where the Lady Slippers grow, and also across the scar of the landslide. At the site of the Lady Slippers is a marked loop trail that takes you up about 100m and back down, a total of about 1 hour for the loop. You are required to stay on the trail to prevent damage of the flower’s terrain, but there are plenty of bunches to view.

    Make sure to go about early to mid-May when the flowers are at their best. It is recommended to call Arth-Goldau Tourism Office to confirm the progress of the flowers: 041 855 54 30



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    Published on 24.04.2016 by GabrielleMerk - Tour Date: 27.05.2015

    Route Details 

    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Download GPS-File / SwitzerlandMobility Map
    Central Switzerland
    Time Required
    3 hours 15 minutes
    9 km
    564 m
    475 m
    Season Start / Season End
    April - November
    Level of Difficulty (Hiking)
    Points of Interest
    Rare Lady Slipper Orchids, Landslide Area at Gribsch
    Starting Point
    Arth-Goldau Train Statioin
    Starting Point with Public Transport
    Steinerberg Train Station
    Return with Public Transport
    Places to Eat
    Gribsch (Mountain Inn), Steinerberg
    Things to Note
    You have to stay on the Loop Trail Path in order to protect the Lady Slippers's Terrain. Also, the Restaurant at Gribsch might be closed on Wednesdays, call to verify: 041 832 14 06
    Adresses and Links

    Route Description 

    00:00 In Arth-Goldau train station take the North Exit into the town, and turn left at Rossbergstrasse. Continue North.

    00:10 Reach trail marker, go in direction of Härzigwald. The trail should start ascending at this point.

    00:45 Reach a plateau with a bench and great view over Lake Zug and Arth. From here the path goes left off the forest trail through jungle-like vegetation. The trail climbs steadily until it meets a meadow and then heading SE you reach the road at Spitzibüel about an hour later.

    01:40 Reach the road at Spitzibüel, this is about the highest point in the tour.

    01:50 Reach the place where the Lady Slippers grow. Allow an hour to do the loop trail if desired. Continue Eastward along the trail in the direction of Gribsch.

    02:10 Reach the spot where the 1806 landslide carved a path down the mountain. This area is being carefully monitored for additional possible slides.

    02:20 Reach the Mountain Inn Gribsch (might be closed on Wednesdays so call to verify: 041 832 14 06). Continue in the direction of Steinerberg.

    Most of the rest of the tour which is mostly downhill, follows the paved road past a variety of pretty farmsteads and meadows with views South across Lake Lauerz.

    03:10 Arrive Steinerberg.





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