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on the trail // braunwald & the oberblegisee

Another weekend, another hike, and more panoramic views around Switzerland. Despite a slightly delayed departure thanks to a nail in our tire, our recent Saturday hike to Braunwald and the Oberblegisee was another perfect day trip on the trail from Zurich.

After a short drive into Glarus, we parked at Linthal and took the funicular and several gondolas up to Grotzenbüel before beginning the hike. Since we brought along our friend’s little 4-year-old boy, Leon, we stopped for drinks and a short playground detour before heading off across the mountain following the family hiking route, along the blue path pictured below.

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[Extract from this Brunnenbergbahn flyer with more information about the hiking routes.]

Following a stop for lunch near an alpine cheese dairy, we hiked up to the beautiful glacial lake, Oberblegisee. As we arrived at the lake, we could see unexpected thunderclouds rolling in across the valley. Greta took a quick dip, and then we were off on the fairly steep descent to the cable car at Brunnenberg. About halfway down, the torrential rain/hail arrived so we ended up chilled and soaking wet (except for Reese) by the time we reached the cable car. It was a cold 45 minutes while we waited for Martin to get the train back to the car and come pick us up, but we were still in good spirits and happy to have made it through the day.

For hiking with Reese and four-year-old Leon, we managed to keep pace with expected hiking times along the trail. Leon rode piggy-back on Greta for a bit of the hike, mostly downhill, when he was tired, but otherwise was a hiking champ. It was nice to see his confidence on the trail and varying terrain develop as we trekked along. It would have been nice to have an earlier enough start to really enjoy more time at the lake, as we had planned before being delayed by the tire, but now we know for next time.

hiking details // family hike oberblegisee
Village (1,256 m.a.s.l.) ⇒ Grotzenbüel ⇒ Braunwaldalp-Unterstafel ⇒ Alp Bösbächi, Alpkäserei ⇒ Bächialp ⇒ Oberblegi Lake (1,422 m.a.s.l.) ⇒ cable car station Brunnenberg ⇒ Luchsingen ⇒ Linthal 3½ hours, medium difficult

From Braunwald take the cable car to Grotzenbüel. The hike starts with a lightly descending trail with a glorious panorama to Unterstafel. A path through fields and open forest leads to the valley of Bösbächi. A wonderful mountain track then leads to the Oberblegi Lake. From there it goes downhill to the mountain station Brunnenberg. The cable car then brings you to Luchsingen, where you can either return by train to Linthal or go straight home. Considering the weather, we waited in Luchsingen while Martin picked up our car before heading home.

travel information
Linthal is about an easy hour drive from Zurich (or ca. 2 hours by train). There are numerous family activities, including hiking and playgrounds, the Braunwald area. More about our hike, including fare information, can be found here.

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