Wondering how to hike to the iconic Schäfler ridge in Appenzell, Switzerland? Below is a hiking guide filled with practical information so you can set off on an adventurous, fun day trip. Enjoy!
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Quick facts Schäfler day hike
- Duration: 2 hours return
- Gondola departs from: valley station Wasserauen
- Hike starts at: Gondola mountain station Ebenalp
- Gondola ticket price: 31 CHF return
- Parking costs: 3 CHF per day
Getting to the start of the Schäfler hike
Which gondola to the start of the Schäfler hike?
The cable car to the start of the Schäfler hike leaves from Wassenrauen and takes you up to the mountain station Ebenalp. There are two cables cars, so you might need to wait a few minutes.
Do you have take the cable car up to get to Schäfler?
No, you don’t need to take up the cable car to Schälfer though it is more efficient time wise. If you’d like to save money you can take trail number 5 and walk up to the gondola station Ebenalp. This will take you about 45 minutes. You will pass the famous Wildkirchli.
The hiking trail to Schäfler
Signs at the top of the gondola station say the hike to the Schäfler viewpoint is 1h20min. However, we completed the hike in about an hour and we aren’t particularly quick hikers. The trail is clearly marked and fairly easy going. Have look at the official trail map.
The Schäfler ridge viewpoint + Berggasthaus Schäfler
The viewpoint of the Schäfler is right next to the refuge and restaurant (Berggasthaus Schäfler). You can take photos at different lookouts. Make sure you wear good footwear if you’d like to go to the higher viewpoint. The grass can be muddy and slippery and there is no fence.
Instagram vs. reality at Schäfler viewpoint: behind the scenes
The viewpoint is more built up than most photos allude to. There is a restaurant and refuge (Berggasthaus Schäfler) right next to the characteristic look out. The water here is rainwater, so bring enough drinking water from the valley or take a water filter with you.
No camping permitted along the Schäfler hiking trail
We passed a sign stating that overnight camping is not permitted. The famous viewpoint is right next to the restaurant, so I personally think the adventurous feel is wild camping would be gone anyway.
An extra detour to Wildkirchli
Consider a 45min (return) detour to see the characteristic Wildkirchli before heading down with the gondola. Beware: it is very touristic.
More hiking in Switzerland
Check out more epic (day) hikes in Switzerland! Saxer Lücke is right on the other side of the valley, don’t miss it!