The Speer Summit Loop hike from Amden is a 15 km hike with 700 M of ascent and 900m of descent. The hike starts at the top of the Mattstock chairlift and ends back at the bottom of the chairlift (which accounts for the difference in ascent and descent in the loop). I really enjoyed this hike, even though the clouds rolled in just as we reached the summit. Still, there were great views along the way and a lovely little restaurant, as well.Detail Summary
|Where:||Speer Summit Loop|
Canton St. Gallen , Switzerland
|Train/Bus:||Zürich HB -> Amden, Ruestelstrasse 20 (Sesselbahn Mattstock (German)) – 1 hr 18 min|
Amden, Dorfplatz -> Zürich HB – 1 hr 20 min
|Car:||Zürich -> Amden, Ruestelstrasse 20 (Sesselbahn Mattstock (German)) – 51 min|
There are two nearby paid public parking lots.
|What:||Speer Summit Loop – Speer – König der Voralpen (German)|
Yellow, and Red and White mountain trail
Hintere Höhi – Oberchäseren – Speer – Oberchäseren – Unterchäseren – Hasenboden – Durschlegi – Amden Dorf
|Skill:||Hard – About 5 hrs 30 min|
Length 15 km, Ascent 700 m, Descent 900 m
|Cost 2023||Sesselbahn Mattstock (German)|
Adult fare one way: 10 CHF
No discount for SBB cards.
This hike starts at the top of the Mattstock chairlift. You can save 10 CHF and add 200 m of ascent by hiking up from Amden rather than taking the chairlift. When I hiked this trail, I went with my friend Kate, and we both decided the chairlift was worth it.
After taking the chairlift up, we found the sign pointing to Hintere Höhi, and we were on our way.
As the trail heads to Hintere Höhi, the Mattstock ridge was to our left, and we had open gorgeous views to our right.
After we passed Hintere Höhi, we started to follow the signs towards Oberchäseren. At one point I think we got off on a side trail but when we reached the hut in picture one, we checked our map and got ourselves back on the right trail. The rock tagged with “Speer” and an arrow gave us the obvious clue we needed to know that we were on the right track. Up until this point the trail was fairly gentle up and down, but here the trail started to get rather steep.
If you look closely in the first picture, you can see two women ahead of us hiking. We were slow and they passed us easily. Very surprisingly, one of the women was hiking barefoot. I can’t imagine doing that! Just before we reached the restaurant at Oberchäseren, my friend took my picture, and fortunately the clouds hadn’t crept in yet and we had a very clear view of the ridge.
In the picture above, the Oberchäseren (German) restaurant and hut is just ahead. Just past the restaurant is where the spur up to the Speer summit breaks off from the main loop. The hike up to the summit is steep but it has incredible views. For some reason, I got a bit dizzy as we were going up the trail. I was worried about continuing, but after some rest and a bit to eat and drink, I felt better and we continued on our way.
The last bit up to the top really is quite steep. But, we made it and a stranger was kind enough to take our picture.
At the top, we admired the views and had our picnic lunch. It is a shame that the clouds crept in just as we were at the top. It would have been nice to get the far views. Still pretty great and we can pat ourselves on the back for getting to the top.
The way back down from the peak was much easier than going up and rather quickly we were back at the Oberchäseren restaurant. We decided to stop for a snack. I got the merengues with fresh cream and an Aperol spritz. Just lovely. When we were ready to begin the hike back down, we followed the signs towards Hasenboden and Durschlegi. A cow wanted to block our way, but eventually we made our way around her.
The trail down to Durschlegi is a pleasant descent and, even at times shaded, which we appreciated. The way the trees grew right on the rocks was so strange. The rocks are a sort of natural concrete called Nagelfluh, a conglomerate sedimentary rock made of Jurassic clay and small stones. I’ve been looking to see if there is an English word for it but I can’t seem to find one.
When we reached Durschlegi, we came to one of the most stunning views on the hike. This gorgeous view of Lake Walen is simply breathtaking!
From Durschlegi, it is a short walk back to Amden and to where my friend had parked her car.
This was a great hike and I am very glad we did it. You really don’t need to travel far from Zürich for really amazing hikes.