Hiking the Grossbodenkreuz and around the Glattalpsee

It is summer time in Switzerland, and the best time of the year to hike in the Alps and mountains. This time I’ll share with you our journey around the Glattalpsee (Lake Glattalp). Expect stunning views of Swiss mountains, flora, fauna and curious critters:

Kühe auf Glattalp

The map below shows our tour: Taking the gondola from the Sali up to the Glattalphütte, hiking up to the Grossbodenkreuz and Pass, finding a way along the Glattalpfirst, then down to the Glattalpsee, strolling around the lake and then back to the gondola station and down back to Sali. Duration around 4-5 hours.

Glattalp Map

Glattalp Map (click to enlarge)

The Glattalp is one of the coldest places in Switzerland (usually below -30°C, with a record of -52.5°C in 1991). The lake is used for electricity production, and the small gondola up to the lake is operated by the electricity company and open to the public (but expect long waiting time, as there is only one small gondola).

Starting point in Sali

Starting point in Sali

The gondola with space for up to 8 passengers:

The Gondola

The Gondola

The gondola will take us 700 meter up there:

The cables up to the Glattalp

The cables up to the Glattalp

View back to the Sali lake:

View down to the Sali Lake

View down to the Sali Lake

View to the Waldisee Falls:

View to Waldisee

View to Waldisee Falls

View back to the Waldisee and the Alpler Horn in the back:

Waldisee

Waldisee

On the right the hiking trail up to the Glattalp:

Hiking Trail up to the Glattalp

Hiking Trail up to the Glattalp

Getting closer to the first stop:

View back to Alpler Range

View back to Alpler Range

View from the top station:

View back from the top station

View back from the top station

Alpine hiking trails below. The valley is Karst area, and the presence of a lake is rather unusual, as the water dissolves the rock and creates a subterranean drainage. That’s the reason why the lake has no natural exit.

Alpine Hiking Trails

Alpine Hiking Trails

Alpine meadows

Alpine meadows

Passing the Glattalp Alpine (SAC) hut which is a starting point for many hikes.

Glattalphütte

Glattalphütte

Heading to the left (north) side of the valley. Passing a sign post. Usually they are about 2.5 meter high, but that one is about 5 meter: that way you still see it with all the snow:

Signpost

Signpost

Passing on the left the Glattalp Chapel:

Glattalp Chappel

Glattalp Chapel

White-Red-White marks tell us we are on the right track:

Wanderwegmarkierungen

Wanderwegmarkierungen

The Karst creates a very special and interesting landscape:

Glattalp Karst

Glattalp Karst

Glattalp Karst

Glattalp Karst

Between the rocks, areas with alpine meadows, created after the last ice age more than 10000 years ago:

Karst Meadows

Karst Meadows

Karst Meadows

Karst Meadows

Karst Meadows

Karst Meadows

The Grossbodenkreuz (cross on the right) is in reach:

Grossbodenkreuz

Grossbodenkreuz

Nearby is the Grossbodenkreuz Pass at 2056 meter:

Grossbodenkreuz Pass

Grossbodenkreuz Pass

On the pass, a nice welcome from a small Steimannli (stone man):

Steimannli

Steimannli

The Grossbodenkreuz is just a few metes above at 2072 meter:

Grossbodenkreuz

Grossbodenkreuz

With stunning views:

View from Grossbodenkreuz

View from Grossbodenkreuz (click to enlarge)

Views from the Grossbodenkreuz

Views from the Grossbodenkreuz (click to enlarge)

View to the Glattalpsee

View to the Glattalpsee

View to the Glattalpsee

View to the Rigi and Lake Zug:

View to the Rigi from Grossbodenkreuz

View to the Rigi from Grossbodenkreuz

Grossbodenkreuz Pass nearby:

Grossbodenkreuz Pass

Grossbodenkreuz Pass

Down below in the valley the Charetalphüttli in the valley of Charetalp:

Charetalphüttli

Charetalphüttli

We are leaving the official hiking trail and following a trail on the Charetalpfirst to the East, a trail on the rim between the two valleys:

Hiking on the Charetalpfirst

Hiking on the Charetalpfirst

 

Hiking on the Charetalpfirst

Hiking on the Charetalpfirst

Charetalpfirst

Charetalpfirst

Beautiful flora:

Alpina Flora

Alpina Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

With a little critter representing some part of the fauna:

Frog

Frog

After about 1 km, descending again back into the Glattalp valley to reach the lake:

Descending down to the lake

Descending down to the lake

Crossing beautiful alpine meadows …

Crossing Alpine Meadows

Crossing Alpine Meadows

… and small creeks, with Gross Chilchberg (2426 m), Höch Turm (2665 m) und Ortsstock (2520 m) and Schijen (2608 m) in the background:

Gross Chilchberg, Höch Turm und Ortsstock

Gross Chilchberg, Höch Turm und Ortsstock

And I missed to mention another species common in this area:

Chälbeli

Chälbeli

Passing by a small waterfall:

Vorderer Läckibach

Vorderer Läckibach

More flora:

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

And yet another species:

Kühe auf Glattalp

Kühe auf Glattalp

Kühe auf Glattalp

Kühe auf Glattalp

These hiking companions always wanted to know what’s going on:

Approaching the lake, yet another species:

Pferde auf Glattalp

Pferde auf Glattalp

Pferde auf Glattalp

Pferde auf Glattalp

Pferde auf Glattalp

Pferde auf Glattalp

In a peaceful coexistence as it seems:

Ross und Kühe auf Glattalp

Ross und Kühe auf Glattalp

Approaching the lake:

Glattalpsee

Glattalpsee

Faced another lake guardian:

Kalb auf Glattalp

Kalb auf Glattalp

Followed the road on the north shore of the lake:

Road on the side of Glattalpsee

Road on the side of Glattalpsee

Crossing one of the creeks feeding the lake:

Bach auf Glattalp

Bach auf Glattalp

At the end of the lake, yet another sign post which reminds us how high the snow in winter time is:

Sign Post at the End of Glattalpsee

Sign Post at the End of Glattalpsee

Concrete tries to prevent water from draining into the Karst:

Betonkanal auf Glattalp

Betonkanal auf Glattalp

Stone guards again:

Steimanndli

Steimanndli

On the other side of the lake we took the trail back to the gondola station.

View on the lake:

Glattalpsee

Glattalpsee

More flora:

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Alpine Flora

Crossing what has been left from winter and avalanches:

crossing snow fields

crossing snow fields

crossing snow fields

Views around the lake:

Glattalpsee

Glattalpsee

Glattalpsee

Glattalpsee

Taking a bath would have been very refreshing I think:

Ice

Ice

More Fauna …

Frosch auf Glattalp

Frosch auf Glattalp

and Flora, featuring the Blue Enzian:

Enzian

Enzian

Approaching the gondola station …

Wegweiser auf Glattalp

Wegweiser auf Glattalp

… and heading back down to the Sali, with a last view back to the Glattalp:

Glattalp Seilbahn Bergstation

Glattalp Seilbahn Bergstation

Of course we could have taken the hiking trail down to Sali too:

Bergpfad auf Glattalp

Bergpfad auf Glattalp

But taking the Gondola was much faster and more convenient :-).

Glattalpbahn Talstation

Glattalpbahn Talstation

That was a beautiful summer mountain hike, and I hope you enjoyed the ride (or the pictures).

Happy Glattalping 🙂

Links

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Hiking the Grossbodenkreuz and around the Glattalpsee

  1. Pingback: Hiking around Waldisee and Salisee | MCU on Eclipse

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