Updated: Oct 14
The Swiss Path, or route 99 of the Swiss hiking trail system, is one of the most historical and scenic routes in Switzerland. The Swiss Confederacy was formed in 1291 and in 1991, the cantons created the Swiss Path as a way to commemorate the Swiss Confederation’s 700th anniversary. This 35 km route is picturesque throughout. If you are pining to get out there and participate in a multi-day hike, this is the perfect trail to start your journey! Plus, it makes a great hike year-round due to its lower elevation.
This three-to-four day hike can be completed in less days for those feeling ambitious. Starting in Rütli and finishing in Brunnen, this hike offers much in the way of scenery. With impressive views of the turquoise Lake Luzern and the lush green mountains, this route is a genuine hiker’s paradise.
As you embark on this awesome trek, you will discover there is something absolutely enchanting about the simple rhythm of hiking all day. Of eating modest meals outside and basking in the sun drenched trails. Retreating to your room to remove the day’s sweat before the evening meal, all becomes welcome routines. With full stomachs, kick up your feet with a drink in hand. After days spent immersed in nature, sleep will quickly wash over your tired body. You will rise each morning only to be greeted by captivating views and eager to do it all again.
Day 1: To get to the start, Rütli (Boat Dock), you will need to arrive by boat. This is easy to get to from the Brunnen (See) boat dock, or if you want to enjoy a longer relaxed view of Lake Luzern, you can start at the Luzern Bahnhofquai. From the Rütli boat dock, follow the trail markers to Seelisberg. This section will climb uphill. Continue toward Bauen.
Day 2: From Bauen, follow signs toward Isleten and then continue toward Flüelen. Before reaching Flüelen you will pass through Seedorf which is a lowland delta of the Reuss River. This is a mix of wildlife and relaxing area. After passing through Flüelen, continue toward Sisikon. This will lead uphill with expansive views of the lake and will parallel a highway for a short section before dropping back down to the lake.
Day 3: From Sisikon, the trail will lead up a valley and across a small river. Continuing uphill and through several farms. The trail will begin to descend toward Morschach. It is not much further, but pay attention in the forest as there are many trails that meander, and continue to follow signs toward Axenstein and then to Brunnen.
Day 1: Rütli (Boat Dock) - Rütlihaus - Seelisberg Bahnhof -Chilendorf - Kapelle -Sonnenberg - Seelisberg Oberdorf - Marienhöhe - Schloss Beroldingen – Bauen
Day 2: Bauen - Isleten Schiff - Isleten - Bolzbach - Peschrüti - Seerestaurant - Schanz - Flüelen - Tellskapelle - Galerie Buggi – Sisikon
Day 3: Sisikon - Binzenegg - Schilti - Morschach - Axenstein - Chänzeli - Brunnen
If you are having difficulty locating a hotel, consider spending your nights in Brunnen and traveling between start and finish locations each day. The boat and train service is quite frequent, but mind the timetables!
Book your hotel accommodations far in advance for the Swiss Path, as it is a popular route. We highly recommend an overnight stay for your first evening at the Zwyssighaus located in Bauen. This meticulously restored hotel provided a cozy room, a shared bathroom and delicious meals. The staff was welcoming and the views were the absolute best!
Hotel - Restaurant
+41 41 878 11 77
A three-to-four day hike in central Switzerland that is a feast for the eyes; what’s not to love!
This route is rich with history.
Due to the lower elevation, this is a fantastic route for off-season hiking.
You are never too far from public transportation, including a boat ride should you elect to cut the trail short or stop for lunch along the way.
This route provides you with a teaser for thru-hiking in Switzerland. This is only the beginning, for more thru-hiking options including longer and more challenging routes, see the additional routes highlighted below.
Watching the kite surfers to the north of Flüelen was pretty cool! Want to join them, there is a rental at the beach: visit www.windsurfing-urnersee.ch or www.kitefun.ch for more details. If you are looking for additional lakes in Switzerland to try kiteboarding, consider: Lake Brienz, Lake Geneva, Lake Neuchatel, Lake Silvaplana, and Lake Zurich.
If you are a family and wondering if this is possible to do with children, the answer is, “Yes!” We completed the route in three days with our two children.
Pack light, as you will be carrying your backpack for several days.
Bring weather appropriate clothing.
Carry plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit.
Never rely on hotels being able to accommodate last minute requests.
Pack your swimsuits, should you have an interest in swimming.
Bring sunscreen, hats and sunglasses for this path.
Have cash in hand for small farm shops along the route.