trail running alpstein

Alpstein: Inside Switzerland’s Secret Kingdom

A friendly route set in scenery that's nothing short of magical

This Run is featured in Run the Alps Switzerland:  30 Must-Do Trail Runs

→ 20km     

↑ 1622m

Δ 2074M 

♦ Easy


Grüezi, hallo. Grüezi. Be ready to say hello too. Sections of this route are popular with hikers and families happy to offer a chipper greeting. When you reach the Seealpsee you immediately understand why everyone's here. The pristine water mirrors the narrow green valley walls, the angled cliffs, and distant Säntis. It's not the big Alps but these slanted ridges have a magic all their own.   

The Alpstein has a maze of great trails. On this run, there's plenty of ups and downs and sweeping traverses. From the high point of the run, the 2073m Wagenlücke, a fast descent mixed with smooth cruising takes you down to Meglisalp, a small settlement dating back to the Middle Ages. Grab a beer from the trough-cooler behind the Berggasthaus before starting off on the final fast descent.

While you're in eastern Switzerland be sure to include the Pizol 5 Lakes trail running tour.

Detailed GPX Track

Download the GPX File and import the route into your phone's mapping app and/or your watch for the full turn-by turn.

The tracks for the Run the Alps Switzerland runs are free for download with book purchase. We hope you’ll support what we do and buy our guidebook prior to downloading these tracks.

GPX Track

Start: 47.28353, 9.42588
Town:  Wasserauen
Canton:  Appenzell
Country:  Switzerland

  • For more running, once you reach Altenalp, traverse east with a slight drop before turning back along the base of a wall with climbing routes. You’ll rejoin the loop after passing through Schäfler adding 4km, 330 meters gain and a little bit of exposure to your day.

  • In the Appenzell, treat yourself to a Biberli, a classic Swiss gingerbread cookie. They must be good for recovery, or to carry along for fuel.

Run the Alps
Guided and self-guided trips. Come run with us.

trail running alpstein

Early in the run it's obvious, you've found yourself in mini-big mountains on smooth singletrack.

trail running alpstein

And so it goes in the Alpstein, you turn corners or top out on rises only to discover that it just keeps getting better.

trail running alpstein

Ridge running in the Alpstein.

trail running alpstein

A little detour from the main route for a geology lesson - higher views of the tilted bands.

trail running alpstein

Dan and Kim passing through Meggisalp, an old village in the Alpstein backcountry.

Singletrack trail running in the Alpstein region of eastern Switzerland

Give yourself a full day when you visit the Alpstein, it's magic.

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Comments 2

  1. Hi,
    Thinking about hiking Alpstein and staying at the mountain huts! I’m very interested in Shafler Hut. However, I noticed that they do not provide any WiFi. I tend to be an anxious traveler and would be concerned if I do not have WiFi or cellular connection while staying at this mountain hut. Do you know if they have cellular connection?


    1. There is data almost everywhere in CH so I would imagine they do, but you would need to call them to confirm.

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