“Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein” (“Geological Educational Hike Alpstein”) is a medium to long round tour of the Eastern portion of the Alpstein mountain range, leading from Hoher Kasten peak along the ridge to Saxerlücke, and back to Brülisau through alp farms and meadows, lakes and forests.
Along the way, 20 educational boards provide information about the various geological formations and phenomena of the region, including underground lakes draining the landscape above and the massive Sax-Schwende Fault (which you will surely notice without boards).
The “official” tour makes use of the cable car from Brülisau to hoher Kasten, while my version does not.
- Exposed areas are secured by steel wire cables, but sure-footedness and a head for heights is highly recommended.
We chose this hike, specifically the modified version of this hike without the cable car, because the weather was (almost) perfect for it, and because we wanted a bit of a challenge. Also because taking the cable car to shorten a hike that is doable in one day just takes away from the experience if you ask us.
The view from the top rewarded us richly for the steep ascent. We can only imagine how hollow it would have felt by comparison, had we skipped the cardio exercise. Okay, enough about cable cars.
The fact that the restaurant at the top was still closed due to Covid also meant that we had the peak almost to ourselves to enjoy our (first) lunch and the view of the Rhine valley and the Austrian Alps.
Maybe the strong winds helped a bit with that too 😛
The gales also made taking sharp pictures a bit of a challenge…
After our short break, the (official) hike just began. And what a trail it was! Nice paths along the ridge with stunning views left and right, literally.
Sämtisersee (lake) and Sämtis valley along with Rhodwald and the Western Alpstein Range with Säntis peak on the right looking ahead, the appenzell region on the right looking back, and the Rhine valley and Austrian Alps on the left. Also 80 km/h headwinds, but that’s a different topic.
The geology of the region was as interesting as promised, and especially the Sax-Schwende Fault, seen from Saxerlücke, stuck with me. Truly awesome, both in the classical and modern sense,
We decided to have our (second) lunch at the shore of Fählensee to watch the last bit of light slowly wander up the mountainside on the left. It may have been a bit chilly, but a beautiful and romantic spot nonetheless.
The way back to Brülisau along alp farms and meadows, Sämtisersee, and down an – according to our tired feet and knees – particularly steep forest road decline was just as lovely, even without the panoramic views.
Unfortunately my phone battery, not being the youngest, decided to give up on life before we finished the hike, so pictures of Sämtisersee onwards are missing, but Jenny managed to take some interesting video clips along the way 🙂
A hike to my liking!
Would you like to share your own experiences with this hike? Do you have any questions? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂
Route Report / Gallery
Don’t miss a hike 🙂
|Date of Hike:||2020-06-12|
|Technical Difficulty:||T3: Mountain Trail|
|Net Hours (Est.)||8|
|Net Hours (Act.)||8|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1816|
|Net Hours (Est.)||5.5|
|Max. Alt. (m)||1816|