The trail from Pizolhütte to Weisstannen, Oberdorf is 12 km long with 368 m of ascent and 1594 m of descent. We also added a short scramble up to the Hochwart peak. This was an incredibly stunning hike, as it took us past the otherworldly Wildsee lake, astounding views from the Lavtinasattel and Hochwart peak, and down past the Batöni Waterfall Arena, which is as amazing as it sounds. But, this was also a very physically challenging hike (hiking sticks and hiking shoes required), and there were a few sections that were very, very steep and on loose gravel and shale where I felt extremely uncomfortable. I don’t know that I would do this hike again and would only recommend it to experienced hikers. Also, there are no services along this trail, so you need to make sure to bring plenty of snacks and water. There are a easier ways to see the best sights from this hike, and so I will include those recommendations at the end of the post.Detail Summary
|Where:||Hiking Pizol to Weisstannen via the Batöni Waterfall Arena|
Canton St. Gallen, Switzerland
|Train:||Zürich HB -> Wangs, Pizolbahn – 1 hr 8 mins |
(+ time to buy tickets and ride the gondola and chairlifts up tp Pizolhütte, can be busy so at least 30 min)
Weisstannen, Oberdorf- > Zurich HB – 1 hr 40 min
|What:||Pizol to Weisstannen via Batöni Waterfall Arena|
Red and White Mountain Trail
Pizolhütte – Wildseeluggen – Lavtinasattel – Batöni – Weisstannen
At Lavtinasattel there is an optional detour up to the Hochwart peak and back.
|Skill:||Hard – About 4 hr 30 min (official estimate from the Graubunden Tourism Site) |
Note: It took us over 6 hours, partly because we took so many pictures and party because some sections we needed to take very slowly for safety. Still this is a red and white trail and no special equipment is needed, just good hiking shoes, and sticks. There are no services along the way so be sure to pack plenty of snacks and water.
Length 12 km, Ascent 368 m, Descent 1594 m
|Cost 2023:||One way ticket for the cable car and chair lifts up to Pizolhütte|
Adult: 30 CHF, With SBB GA or Half-fare card: 15 CHF
|Hiking the 5-Seen-Wanderung at Pizol + Mountain Carts (My post on the Pizol 5 Lakes Hike)|
Graubunden Tourist Info for the Pizol – Bätoni – Weisstannen Trail
Swiss Family Fun Posts: Pizol Summit Peak Hike and Batöni Waterfalls
This is a point-to-point hike, so best done with public transportation. After taking public transport to the Wangs, Pizolbahn station, we bought a one way ticket to Pizolhütte and then took the gondola, and two chair lifts up to Pizolhütte.
The view from the Pizolhütte is fantastic and it is a wonderful start to the hike.
The Trail – Pizolhütte to Wildseeluggen
From Pizolhütte, we followed the trail to Wildseeluggen. We’ve done this part of the trail before when we did the Pizol Five Lakes Trail, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures this time. It is a bit of a tough climb, but awe inspiring when you get to the Wildsee.
At the lake, the trail splits with the Five Lakes Trail going to the right and our trail, the one towards the Lavtinasattel going to the left. One of my favorite views ever, is the view of the Schottensee lake from above and I wanted to see it again, so we went to the right just far enough to get the two pictures below – one of the Wildsee with July snow, and one looking down at the Schottensee lake with the Churfirsten peaks in the background.
After admiring the view, and the summer snow, we turned around and headed back to our trail.
The Trail – Wildseeluggen to Lavtinasattel
From Wildseeluggen, the trail heads to the left around the Wildsee. This trail is narrower and rockier than other parts but not too difficult. We stopped lots of times to pose and take photos.
In the photo of me above, you can see the Hochwart peak directly behind my head and the Lavtinasattel is the gap just to the left of it – our next destinations.
As we continued around the lake, we walked over what used to be a glacier and was now just rocky ground. There is a blue and white trail that branches off here from out trail, so make sure to stay on the red and white trail. The view of the lake from the steep climb up to the Lavtinasattel was amazing. As was the view when we crested the ridge.
Our trail continued down the other side of the ridge, however we decided to take a brief detour from the trail to summit the Hochwart Peak.
The Trail – Detour to Hochwart Peak
From the Lavtinasattel, it is a short hike up to the Hochwart Peak. I didn’t take a lot of pictures on the way up because I was concentrating on the trail.
At the top, the views are amazing! It was great to get another view of Schottensee lake. And it was really neat seeing our next destination, the Batöni Waterfall Arena (the convergence of valleys in the center of the second picture) from this perspective.
On the way back down, my husband took some pictures of me. You can see why I was concentrating on the trail too much to take pictures on the way up.
The Hochwart Peak was a great detour and would be a great destination on its own for a hike. Just make it a there and back hike by returning the way you came to Pizolhütte. Swiss family Fun has a post about hiking to the Hochwart Peak that has some additional ideas for making it a complete day (mountain carts, restaurants, etc.) See Pizol Summit Peak Hike on Swiss Family Fun for more information.
The Trail – Lavtinasattel to Batöni Waterfall Arena
Back at the Lavtinasattel, it was time to begin the long descent down to the Waterfall Arena. This descent started with a very steep section of switchbacks down a scree field. Hiking on such steep terrain on loose rocks and gravel makes me incredibly nervous. We took this part extremely slowly. While hiking down, we saw a Rega helicopter fly over. I hope I never need them, but I am so glad they are there and I highly recommend being a Rega Patron.
After we were down from the scree field, the hike became less steep (but still constant descent, there is 1594 m descent on this hike total, after all) through meadows and cow pastures. Beautiful and relaxing area to hike. Lots of wildflowers!
When we reached the Waterfall Arena, I took about a million pictures. Here are some of the best ones. Gorgeous beyond belief!
The three waterfalls here from left to right are: the Piltschinabach Falls, the Sässbach Falls and the Muttenbach Falls.
The Trail – Batöni Waterfall Arena to Weisstannen, Oberdorf
At the Waterfall Arena the trail forks with one branch going over a suspension bridge and one branch heading down the valley towards Weisstannen where we planned to catch our bus home. Before we started the hike down to Weisstannen, some other hikers were nice enough to take this photo of us.
The path down to Weisstannen is wide and pleasant, with some steep descent but nothing to be concerned about.
It is roughly 4 km from the Waterfall Arena to the Weisstannen, Oberdorf bus stop. Some of it is through the forest, and it was nice to have a bit of shade after being in the sun the whole day. We were rushing a bit at the end to get back in time for the bus, so I didn’t take any pictures for the last 2 km or so.
Getting Back + Final Recommendations
By the time we got to the Weisstannen, Oberdorf bus station, I was so wiped out I barely remembered to take any pictures, but I did take these two.
We really enjoyed this hike, but I recommend it only with reservations. It is not an easy hike and you need some experience to hike it safely.
If you feel you have the fitness, time, and skill to do this hike and you do decide to do it:
- Bring plenty of water (at least 1.5 liters per person) and snacks as there are no services on this trail.
- Wear sturdy hiking boots. Hiking sticks are strongly recommended.
If you don’t think you have the fitness, time, or skill to do this hike, but want to see the Wildsee, Hochwart Peak, or Batöni Waterfall Arena, I suggest:
- Hiking the 5-Seen-Wanderung at Pizol (the Pizol 5 Lakes trail) – You will see the Wildsee, and Schottensee (+ 3 more lakes). This hike isn’t easy but it is easier than hiking across to Weisstannen.
- Summiting the Hochwart Peak as a there and back hike from Pizolhütte – You will see the Wildsee and the views from the peak. See Pizol Summit Peak Hike on Swiss Family Fun for more information.
- Doing a there and back hike up to the Batöni Waterfall Arena from Weisstannen, Oberdorf. This is a particularly nice option for when the weather isn’t perfect. See Batöni Waterfalls on Swiss Family Fun for more information.