For a winter hike with great views, the Engelstock Loop Trail is an excellent choice. At 5k with 148 m of ascent and descent and with several restaurants along the way to choose from, we found this loop made for a very relaxing day out.Detail Summary
|Where:||Sattel Hochstuckli – The Engelstock Loop Trail|
Canton Schwyz , Switzerland
|Train/Bus:||Zürich HB -> Sattel Talstation – 1 hr 19 min|
|Car:||Zürich -> Sattel Talstation – 45 min|
Paid parking lot next to the gondola station.
|What:||The Engelstock Loop Trail (Sattel-Hochstuckli Website)|
Route 563 – Engelstock-Rundweg (Swiss Mobility)
Trail Map (Sattel-Hochstuckli Website)
Trail Map (Swiss Mobility)
Route 563 – Pink pole trail markers
|Skill:||Easy – About 2 hrs|
Length 5.4 km, Ascent 148 m, Descent 148 m
|Cost||Adults – 24 CHF or 17 CHF with SBB GA or Half-Price Card|
Children (6 – 16) – 12 CHF
This loop trail starts and ends at the top of the Mostelberg gondola station. For this hike, we found it easier to drive to the gondola station than to take public transportation. The train takes significantly longer and there was no advantage to using an SBB day card as the price of the gondola is not included. For this hike, we needed a gondola return ticket. Before we headed out in the morning, I purchased our gondola tickets on-line and loaded the tickets on to our SBB card. Being able to skip the long ticket line made for a nice start to our day.
After arriving at the top of the gondola station, we were at the start of the trail. This is a loop trail, so we we needed to decide which direction to take the loop. We decided to start our hike by going left on the trail after exiting the station. We also decided to begin our hike with a quick detour across the 374-metre Skywalk Suspension pedestrian bridge, rather than saving it for the end. Although there is another short winter hike that starts on the other side of the bridge (The Bridge Loop Trail), we simple walked across the bridge and back taking pictures of the fabulous views. We’ll save the bridge loop trail for another day.
After returning to our trail, we first passed through the beginner ski area and then along a stream.
When we came to the stone gate you see in the first picture below, we again passed though more of the ski village where we saw the adorable hut in picture two. After leaving the ski area behind, we had a nice quiet hike up to the ridge.
After we went over the ridge, this trail brought the drama with gorgeous snowy panoramic views.
At about the halfway point, we passed the restaurant and goat farm in the first picture below. It was too early for lunch so we didn’t stop. If we do this trail in the summer, I want to stop and give their goat’s milk ice cream a try.
As the trail continued, there were many more pretty views. The chainsaw wielding figure was quite the surprise, though.
When we came to the self-service farm shop in picture two, we picked up some cheese and some apple ginger jelly. Discovering new cheeses is one of my favorite things about Swiss hiking.
While we were inside the little farm store, the fog rolled in. When we exited, we weren’t able to see a thing! No problem, the next part of the trail was through the woods anyway. And when the fog cleared, we had a fantastic view of Mount Rigi.
Too soon, the Mostelberg gondola station was in sight and our hike was over.
It was just past noon, so we decided to get lunch at the Berggasthaus Mostelberg next to the gondola station. We had eaten here once before and had been happy with it. It is typical Swiss cuisine at typical Swiss prices but the quality is good. I really enjoyed my soup and cappuccino. It was nice to warm up after a winter hike and the view from the restaurant was lovely. I’m sure we will come back to the Sattel Hochstuckli area to hike again.