Melchsee Frutt: Staying High in Obwalden
Maintaining 2000m elevation, this is a friendly high tour of central Switzerland
Positioned nearly in the absolute center of Switzerland, this run starts from the family-friendly resort village Melchsee Frutt, Obwalden. The village and it’s lake sit at 1891m on a grassy plateau ringed by higher peaks. It’s popular for hiking in summer months and known for skiing in winter. Kilometers of easily runnable trail unfold from the lake making a rolling tour that hovers right around 2000m for the majority of the loop. The high vantage gives views of bigger summits and glaciers in the Berner Oberland while cowbells jangle below in the green pastures.
A short climb brings you up to the Bonistock and along it’s ridge trail before dropping from Chringen to Tannalp. From the far end of lake Tannensee, always choose the high path on the upward push toward Erzegg station. Turning off the traverse just as you reach Planplatten station, enjoy a speedy descent to grassy Hääggen. The alp caters self-serve drinks: beer, soda, cider, and milk all keeping cool in the trough. It’s a refreshing stop with social chickens, pigs, and cows before one more big climb through Hohsträss to Hochstollen. From the summit, it’s time to start the descent back to Melchsee Frutt.
If you’ve been enjoying the view from Hochstollen, maybe watching the sunset...like we did, you’ve lost all track of time, and just remembered to check your watch. Now, the race down, bounding over the rocky trail in a hurry not to miss your turn to drive the alternating uphill/downhill hours between Melchsee Frutt and Stökalp. Don’t worry, the last few kilometers go quicker than you think!
Across the valley you see the long traverse below the Tällistock to the Engstlensee. It seems improbable there would be a trail along the cliff, but it’s there, and it’s smooth, fast running. Visit our Gental run to get more info on this cruiser point-to-point route.
Start: 46.774673, 8.268019
Town: Melchsee Frutt, Kerns
A ten meter detour takes you up to the summit of Hochstollen where you get a great view to the surrounding peaks and down on Melchsee Frutt and it's lakes.
From Stökalp you can reach Melchsee Frutt by lift or by car. You can drive up on even hours, and back down during odd hours.
- For lift times and tariffs visit: melchsee-frutt.ch
Getting started - a quick climb from Melchsee Frutt puts you on a smooth ridge trail.
Cruising toward the Erzegg station with views over the Gental.
Speeding along the traverse with the Tällistock towering behind.
Aid station at Hääggen; self-service beer, soda, cider, and fresh milk. Nothing quite like fresh milk.
Climbing towards Hochstollen.
Coming close to completing the loop with Hasliberg below.
The view of Melchsee Frutt from the summit of Hochstollen... then it's time for the big drop to the lakes.
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