Hiking at Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Roundtour

Shortly after we moved to Switzerland three and half years ago, my husband’s coworker took us sledding at Melchsee-Frutt, a small mountain resort village in eastern Switzerland. It was our first Swiss mountain experience and the 8 kilometer long sled run was magical.  We’ve since gone back several times in the winter as it became our go-to place to take guests sledding. Having only seen it covered in snow, I wondered what it looked like in the summer. To quench my curiosity, we decided to go hiking there this past weekend.  I’m so glad we did. It was absolutely beautiful and had everything I think a Swiss mountain hike should have – dramatic mountain peaks, alpine lakes, rolling meadows with grazing sheep and cows, and the sound of clinking cow bells.

Detail Summary
What: Hiking
Melchsee‐Frutt –> Distelboden –> Balmeregghorn –> Erzegg –> Fachshubel –> Tannendamm –> Melchsee‐Frutt
Where: Melchsee-Frutt, Canton  Obwalden, Switzerland
Skill: Moderate
11.25 km, 3.5 hours
Condition: Red/White mountain trail, rocky dirt path
Open:Mid-June/July to October
Getting there: Train: Zürich HB  -> Stöckalp – 2 hr 15  min
Car: Zürich -> Stöckalp – 1 hr 20 min
Large metered parking lot at Stöckalp.
Cost 2020:Cable car from Stöckalp to Melchsee-Frutt
Round-trip adult: 33 CHF
SBB half-fare card and GA card accepted.
Children to age 16 free when accompanied by an adult.

Additional Info

The Trail

From the gondola station in Melchsee-Frutt, first head down to Melchsee lake, then the trail goes along the shore to Distelboden. From there, it is a steep climb up to Balmeregghorn, followed by a long ridge hike past Erzegg to Tannensee. From Tannensee, it is an easy valley walk back to Melchsee-Frutt and the gondola station.

The Start

The gondola dropped us off at Melchsee-Frutt – a small mountain resort village with a few hotels, restaurants, and a vacation homes situated along the shore of the alpine lake Melchsee. From the gondola station, we walked down to the lake and met up with the Rundweg Melchsee trail.

Around Melchsee

The Rundweg Melchsee trail is, as it sounds, a trail that circles around Melchsee lake. You can go left along the shore taking the shorter route to Distelboden where the trail to Balmersegghorn begins, however, we decided to go right and take the long way around the lake. The Rundweg trail is a very easy gravel trail with lovely views across the lake.

After crossing a small stream we came to the Distelboden cable car hut. This is where the trail to Balmeregghorn begins.

The Balmeregghorn trail is a red and white mountain trail. To follow it, look for trail markers of painted white and red stripes on rocks and posts as you go. We had a little trouble finding the trail head as the marker was in the grass. We did not spot it until we saw two other hikers exiting the trail.

The Climb

This part of the trail is a bit of a tough climb with a 300 meter elevation change and a sometimes muddy and sometimes loose rock trail. There are some interesting rock formations along the way and large boulders to sit on and rest if you need it. This trail follows the cable car path so it is easy to know which way to go.

Balmeregghorn – The Highpoint

When we reached the top at Balmeregghorn, we weren’t exactly rewarded with the view we had hoped for as a cloud had rolled in, but we did see some goats. After resting a  a bit, the cloud blew past and we got to see the gorgeous views from both sides of the ridge.

Ridgewalk Past Erzegga

From Balmeregghorn, we hiked along the ridge following the trail signs to Tannenalp, taking us past Erzegga and Fachshubel.

This trail has incredible views the entire way.

Around the Tannensee and Back to Melchsee-Frutt

At the Tannensee, you can turn right and and go around the lake to Tannenalp where there is restaurant. Wanting to ensure we got back to the gondola before the last run of the day, we turned left walking along the lake to the dam and then on to the valley road back towards Melchsee-Frutt.

Back to the Gondola

After an easy valley walk, we were back at Melchsee-Frutt, with plenty of time to spare before the gondola stopped running for the day. A little sore, and a little sunburned, but what an excellent hike!

Note: This is post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

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