Published/updated on 15.09.2016 by GabrielleMerk | 26676 points | Date of Tour: 31.08.2016
The Gitschi Valley is probably a lesser known side valley of the Reuss Valley, you can just see it on the right side of the valley as you head from Flüelen toward Altdorf. There is not much up there except a couple of mountain farmers...
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The Gitschi Valley is probably a lesser known side valley of the Reuss Valley, you can just see it on the right side of the valley as you head from Flüelen toward Altdorf. There is not much up there except a couple of mountain farmers and the stunning rock formations of the base of Mount Gitschen. The valley is a large bowl and the "wild" feeling combined with scattered grazing cows has an unusual but rather overwhelming effect. It is not the landscape you expect in central Switzerland.
The first part of the tour, uphill from Brüsti and through the rocky Chräienhöreli cliffs (support cables) then to Alp Grat is the first part of the very popular trail over the Surenen Pass to Engelberg. After a pleasant lunch of cheese and sausage at the family farm, with fantastic views South along the Reuss Valley, you head up and over into the Gitschi Valley. The descent is steep and wet, as it is the shaded side and doesn't dry out much. So this is suitable only for those confident on steep descents.
Along the descent to Gitschitaler Boden, the ring of steep and convoluted rock cliffs is exhilirating. There are lots of marmots all around as well. From the Gitschitaler Boden, the trail continues just slightly uphill through a wild forested mountainside and across a couple of tricky streams that might be hard to cross if the water is high.
Shortly before the Gitschenberg cable car station for the descent to Seedorf, you pass another quaint family farm (Honegg) right along the trail, where they advertise some very delectable desserts. I recommend stopping here for refreshments rather than about 15 minutes later at the cable car station.
Before descending back to Seedorf, you must take some time to admire the fantastic view North over Lake Uri. The cable car from Gitschenberg is a steep and magnificent descent, privately run, and relatively inexpensive as far as cable cars go. One must call the number in the station to request the operators to come to the station, which could take 10-15 minutes (the descent is about 7 minutes), so allow for enough time if you need to catch the bus below.
UPDATE 2018: According to another User who hiked this trail, the ascent from Gitschitaler Boden is closed due to a landslide, and the ascent is further down. See photo posted under the reviews to the tour description here: Notice
Alp Grat and Alp Honegg, but only till first week in September
Things to Note
The Cable car from Gitschenberg to Seedorf is privately run and you have to phone down to the operator [(079)4260641, Fam. Arnold]. Allow enough time as they have to commute from home to operate the cable car.
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Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
Barely noticeable on the West Side of Lake Uri is a cleft in the otherwise steep cliff face, a gorge opening out to a beautiful upland valley totally hidden from view in the... more >>