Map

Thumbnail for the map of the modified Schweizmobil 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (988) hiking trail, opens link to interactive web map.
Source1

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile of the modified Schweizmobil 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (988) hiking trail.
Source1 : Bundesamt für Landestopografie; Drawn with schweizmobilplus.ch

Useful Links

Original Route
Bus Stop
Parking
Weather
Cable Car

Short Description

“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.

Notes

  • Exposed areas are secured by steel wire cables, but sure-footedness and a head for heights is highly recommended.

Impressions

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.

People coming down a steep trail leading to Hoher Kasten peak, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
Most people seem to prefer the other direction (down from the cable car station).

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…

Sämtisersee (lake), Sämtis valley, and Rhodwald, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
View of Sämtisersee (lake) and Sämtis valley from along the ridge.

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.

Chrüzberg peak, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
Chrüzberg seen from Saxerlücke. Absolutely awesome in person.

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,

Fählensee and the Fählenalp valley, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
A short descent later: Fählensee and the Fählenalp valley.

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

Full size images without watermarks are available for licensing to interested parties. Check romans.pictures for a selection of my favorites, or contact me for details.

  • Array of hiking trail signs as seen at the starting point of the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Hoher Kasten mountain peak in the distance, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Brülisau village (starting point), as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • People coming down a steep trail leading to Hoher Kasten peak, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View of Hoher Kasten during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Appenzell Village (capital of Appenzell Canton) as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Bee on a mountain flower, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • The last few meters of the ascent to Hoher Kasten with the top in view, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View during the ascent as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Sämtisersee, Smämtis valley, and Rhodwald as seen from Hoher Kasten peak during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • The Rhine and the Austrian Alps, as seen from the top of Hoher Kasten during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Woman enjoying the view from the top of Hoher Kasten, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • A steel wire rope secured hiking trail in an exposed area, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Sämtisersee (lake), Sämtis valley, and Rhodwald, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Sämtisersee (lake), Sämtis valley, and Rhodwald, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Hoher Kasten, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Sämtisersee (lake), Sämtis valley, and Rhodwald, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge: Fählensee (turning point) coming into view, Säntis visible in the distance (the peak with the Antenna), as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the steel cable secured ridge walk, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Flowers, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View of Fählensee from the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the ridge, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Chrüzberg peak, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Chrüzberg peak, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • Fählensee and the Fählenalp valley, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View of Hoher Kasten in the distance along the way back of the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the way back of the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • View along the way back of the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • An appenzell rural home, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.
  • An appenzell rural home, as seen during the modified 'Geologischer Wanderweg Alpstein' (Schweizmobil 988) Swiss hiking trail in June 2020.

NEWSLETTER

Don’t miss a hike 🙂

Basic Data

Date of Hike:2020-06-12
Participants:Roman, Jenny
Technical Difficulty:T3: Mountain Trail

Stats

Roman’s Version

Km21.3
Net Hours (Est.)8
Net Hours (Act.)8
Ascent (m)1523
Descent (m)1523
Max. Alt. (m)1816
Loop?Yes
Cable Car?No

“Official” Version

Km16
Net Hours (Est.)5.5
Ascent (m)660
Descent (m)1500
Max. Alt. (m)1816
Loop?Yes
Cable Car?Yes
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