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Published/updated on 29.08.2017 by GabrielleMerk | 25801 points | Date of Tour: 23.08.2017 | Favourite Entries (5)
The 29-km stretch between Altdorf in the Reuss Valley and Engelberg is Stage 7 on the Via Alpina Trail (total 29 km).
The nicest stretch to walk is between Brüsti above Attinghausen (using the cable cars saves about 1000m ascent) and Fürenalp near Engelberg. The hike can be done in either direction, although from the Fürenalp side the ascent stretches out over more kilometers.
Starting on the Brüsti side, the 1-hour, 250m ascent to Alp Grat is relatively easy, with an interesting stretch across the rocky Chräienhöreli (secured where it might be slippery) with stunning views steep into the Waldnacht valley to the South.
Alp Grat is a simple, secluded, family-run restaurant and "hostel"(dormitories in their new cow barn, holds approx. 30 people and is a very popular accommodation along the Surenenpass Trail) and worth a stop for homemade cheese and sausage breakfast, even if not spending the night.
From the Alp, the hike to the Pass is another two hours, and steeper than coming up from the Engelberg side, but the reward in terms of view when you reach the pass is well worth it. If you are observant, you can see marmots and even ibexes on the snow and grass patches along the steep cliffs to the North. (Bring Binoculars)
The long descent to Blackenalp in the rather empty high alpine bowl-shaped valley never tires, and after the Blackenalp (restaurant), the landscape changes with the trees and rivers.
Once arrived at the top of the Stäuber Falls, there are several options. If continuing to the Fürenalp Summit Station, as most people do, another 200m ascent is required, before descending to the valley by cable car. Or you can descend at the falls and walk out of the valley, avoiding a second cable car altogether. A compromise is to walk to Usser Aebnet and take the small, 4-seater Gondola down to Stäfeli and walk out of the valley from there. With this option, you have to ring for operator. This gondola costs only 6 SFr.
There are several small mountain restaurants along the way on the Engelberg side, most just serve drinks and cold platters. Once arrived at the Fürenalp Valley station (whether on foot from Stäfeli or with the Fürenalp cable car) a bus picks up hikers once an hour to return them to the train station at Engelberg.
Definitely a stunning and satisfying hike, even if it is a long one. You can reduce the tour to 5 hours and start in the early morning on the ascent if you spend a night at the lovely Alp Grat.
**If you start on the Brüsti side and plan to descend by the Fürenalp gondola, purchase a "Hiking Circuit Ticket" (Kombiabonnement) for both gondolas, approx. 16 Sfr.
Alp Grat, Blackenalp, Hohbiel, Usser Aebnet, Stäfeli, Alpenrösli (Niedersurenen)
Things to Note
There can still be snow up here in late June or even early July. Recommended is July to mid-October. Also, the farmers at the Alps are usually only up there from mid-July till end of September.
Last bus at Herrenboden (Fürenalp Valley Station) is at 17:20.
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Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
GPS file for download
Route description in text form
Printable tour description
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