Hiking the ZBB Trail Suggestion #12 from Zugerberg to Baar + Höllgrotten Cave Tour

The ZBB Trail Suggestion #12 is one of the long trail suggestions found on the Zugerberg Bahn (ZBB) website. This 13 km trail has about 208m ascent and 550 m descent. It starts at Zugerberg, Bergstation and ends at the Baar train station. Along the way, it passes the Hochwacht point where there are expansive panoramic views, the castle ruins at Wildenburg, and the Höllgrotten caves. There is an entrance fee for the caves, but it is a worthwhile detour, especially if you are hiking on a hot day.

Detail Summary
Where:Hiking the ZBB Trail Suggestion #12 from Zugerberg to Baar + Höllgrotten Cave Tour
Canton Zürich, Switzerland
Train:Zürich HB -> Zugerberg – 1 hr 1 mins
Baar – > Zurich HB – 32 min
What:Hiking: ZBB Trail Suggestion #12 from Zugerberg to Baar + Höllgrotten Cave Tour

Trail Markers

From Zugerberg, Bergstation, follow:
– Yellow trail markers towards Hochwacht

From Hochwacht, follow:
– Yellow trail markers towards Allenwinden and Wildenburg

From Allenwinden, follow:
– Yellow trail markers towards Wildenburg and Höllgrotten

At Wildenburg the trail branches. The trail to the left continues to Höllgrotten. The trail to the right heads towards Burgruin, a quick 5 minutes to the Wildenburg castle ruins.
To view the castle ruins, follow:
– Yellow trail marker Burgruin. After touring the ruins, return to where the trail branches and then follow:
– Yellow trail marker to Höllgrotten.

At Höllgrotten, you can add in the short cave tour. Open April – October. Tours are self-guided.

From Höllgrotten:
– Yellow trail marker towards Baar Braueri and Lorzenuferweg
– Yellow trail markers towards Baar Bahnhoff
Skill:Easy – About 3 hr 30 min + time to explore the cave

Length 13 km, Ascent 208 m, Descent 550 m
Cost 2022:
Höllgrotten Cave Entrance Fees
Adults (Age 16+) – 12 CHF
Children (Age 6 -16) – 6 CHF
Children under 6 – FREE

Additional Info

Getting There

This is a point-to-point hike, so best done with public transportation. The hike starts at Zugerberg, Bergstation. The Zugerberg Bahn train was not in operation the weekend we went, so we had to take the replacement bus service. The bus stop is very near the Bergstation, so it didn’t put us off course.

We found our yellow trail sign pointing to Hochwacht and we were on our way.

The Trail – Zugerberg to Hochwacht

After about 10 minutes of walking, we reached the Hochwacht, the high point of our hike. You can see in the photos that we were just above the snow line.

We spent some time admiring the views and then we continued on our way.

The Trail – Hochwacht to Allenwinden

After leaving the Hochwacht, we followed the yellow trail signs to Allenwinden. This part of the hike took us through some really pretty rolling hills. We did pass by some cherry orchards (Zug is famous for their cherries), but we were just a bit too early for blossoms.

I have a cherry blossom hike in this area that I want to do someday but, so far the timing has not worked out.

The Trail – Allenwinden to Wildenburg

When we reached the small town of Allenwinden, the trail briefly followed the main road. At this point, we were now following the yellow signs towards Wildenburg and Höllgrotten. When the trail entered the forest there was a sign that warned us to stay on the trail to prevent death. The trail here went along the top of a ridge. It was very steep on both sides and I can imagine that it is hard to see how steep it is when the plants are in full growth. In spring, with the bare branches, it was quite obvious (although practically impossible to capture in a photo.). When we reached the trail sign in the third picture, we were at the short detour to the Wildenburg ruins.

The detour to the Wildenburg ruins (german), the remains of a 13th century residential castle built by the lords of Hünenberg, is only five minutes and it a fun place to poke around and explore. There are also fire pits here and it would make a great picnic spot. The second picture is from inside the tower looking up.

After exploring the ruins, we returned to the main trail.

The Trail – Wildenburg to Höllgrotten

Back at the main trail, we followed the signs towards Höllgrotten. Here, the trail takes a steep descent down to the bottom of the Lorze ravine where we were surprised by a pretty waterfall.

We crossed the stream on the bridge just below the waterfall and then began the climb out of the ravine. When we looked back, we saw there there was a second waterfall under the bridge. So lovely!

After we left the ravine, the trail alternated between forest and open fields with views of Zug as we continued in the direction of Höllgrotten.

When we saw the Höllgrotten ticket booth ahead, we knew we had reached the next way point.

Höllgrotten Cave Tour

We have been to the Höllgrotten cave before, but decided we wanted to go again. The tour is self-paced and it doesn’t take long to do, a half hour at most. After purchasing our tickets, we went up to the cave entrance and started the tour. The interesting thing about this cave is that it has some pretty impressive limestone drip formations. (The amount of limescale in the water really explains why it is such a chore to keep the build up on my coffee maker from getting out of control.) Anyway, the cave also has a cute story about a devil and some fun lighting effects.

Because it is underground, the cave is a steady cool temperature all year round. I came here once on a super hot August day and it was such a pleasant break from the heat. The cool temperature also makes it a great place to age whiskey.

After the cave tour, we continued on the trail towards Baar.

The Trail – Höllgrotten to Baar

When we got to the intersection you see in the first picture, there were signs pointing to Baar in two directions – one said 45 minutes and the other pointed towards both Baar and Lorzeuferweg (Lorze river shore trail) and said 1 hour. A river walk is always nice relaxing way to end a hike so we chose the longer path.

In about an hour, we had come to the outskirts of Baar.

Getting Back

At Baar, we simply followed signs to the Bahnhof and got the next train home.

We really enjoyed this hike so I’ll be checking out more of the hike suggestions found on the Zugerberg Bahn website.

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