Hiking the Kärpfbrugg Rundweg Trail from Schwanden (Mettmen)

The Kärpfbrugg Rundweg is a 7 km long loop trail with 400 m ascent/descent that takes you over the Kärpfbrugg, a 50 m wide natural stone bridge. I loved this hike. It had a unique rock formation (the Kärpfbrugg), pretty reservoir views, panoramic views, alpine cheese, lots of wild blueberries (mid-August), and a lovely terrace restaurant. All that and it was a fairly easy hike (although the last two km were fairly steep.) Just a really wonderful day out.

Detail Summary

Canton Glarus, Switzerland
Train/Bus:Zürich HB -> Kies, Talstation – 2 hrs
Car:Park at the Schwanden, Däniberg Park and Ride Lot, then take bus to the Kies, Talstation.

Trail Map
Follow signs past home towards “Stausee Garichti”. When you reach the reservoir, follow the trail markers for Kärpfbrugg Rundweg Route 818.
This is a Red ad White mountain trail.
Skill:Easy – About 2 hrs 30 min
Length 7 km, Ascent 400 m, Descent 400 m
Cost 2023Luftseilbahn Kies-Mettmen (German)
Gondola Roundtrip ticket
Adult: 20 CHF
Child (6 -16): 10 CHF
No discounts for SBB GA/Halbtax

Additional Info

Getting There

The hike starts at the top of the Kies-Mettmen gondola. The valley station of the Kies-Mettmen gondola cannot be reached by car. We took public transportation the whole way there. If you choose to drive, you will need to park at the Park & ​​Ride lot at the Schwanden (Däniberg) bus stop and take the bus from there to the gondola.

After taking the bus up to the gondola, we purchased tickets (20 CHF each roundtrip) and took the gondola up to the start of the hike. If you want the extra challenge, have time, and want to save some money, you can hike up from the bus stop. Personally, I think the gondola price was worth it.

The Trail

After arriving at the top of the gondola station, we walked past the Berghotel Mettmen, then followed the signs towards “Stausee Garichti.”

When we reached the reservoir and the beginning of the loop, we went left along the shore in the direction of “Chärpfbrugg.” Beautiful views across the water.

After passing the lake, the trail begins to climb. The trail is wide here and not overly steep. The valley views were just lovely. There was a cute sculpture titled “Ein Paar” (a couple) along the way.

We took a slight detour off the path to go up the observation tower basket in the first picture. Fantastic views and worth the stop.

After the look out tower, we continued on our way to the main attraction of this hike – the Kärpf Bridge. But, first we stopped at the dairy just below the bridge to buy some cheese. When we reached the bridge, we took some time to explore. It is possible (at your own risk) when water levels are low to walk under the bridge. We took a peek inside, but I didn’t want to risk getting my feet wet. Better to go over the bridge.

After crossing the bridge and taking the picture above, we paused for our picnic lunch. It really is an impressive rock formation. I’m not sure the pictures really capture it. The hike up to it was not too difficult, but if you find it to be a lot, you can just turn around here and return the way you came. In the middle picture below, you can see how the trail goes up and over the ridge. In the third picture is a look down from near the top of the ridge at the dairy next to the Kärpf bridge where we purchased the cheese.

There was a small pond near the high-point of the hike. So pretty! After passing the pond, we began our descent back to the valley.

The views here were wonderful. There were wild blueberry plants everywhere and as it was mid-August the blueberries were ripe. We tried more than a few.

Just before we began the steepest part of the descent back to the reservoir, I took the panorama shot above of the valley on the other side of the ridge.

The last kilometer of the hike had great views but it was steep enough I wished I had my hiking sticks. In the bottom right hand corner of the picture above, you can see the top of the gondola station.

After we got back to the Garichti-See resevoir, it was just a short walk down to the hotel and the gondola. On the way, we decided to stop at the Berghotel Mettmen restaurant for a desert. No regrets.

This was a great hike and I recommend it.

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