Pizol 5 lakes hike: Where to wild camp

Pizol 5 lakes hike: Wild camp to avoid the tourists

Are you wondering how and where to wild camp along the Pizol 5 Lakes hike? Which lake along the Pizol 5 Lakes hike is best to camp at? Below is all the practical info you need before setting off on your own overnight adventure!

If you’re wondering how to do enjoy this popular hike but without the tourists, you’ve come to the right place! The Pizol 5 lakes hikes (5 Seen Wanderung) can get busy. Though most people do it as a day hike, it’s the perfect hike for overnight camping. Online there is very little information about suitable camping spots. Here you’ll find all the pro’s and cons per lake including photos! 

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Views of the valley of Wangs
Hiker on the Pizol 5 Lakes hiking trail

Quick facts Pizol Five Lakes hike

  • Duration: 4 – 5 hours total
  • Gondola valley station: Pizolbahn in Wangs
  • Hike starts at: Pizolhütte (2227m)
  • Gondola ticket price: 46 CHF for 5 Lakes hike gondola ticket (2021 price, see the official price list for all fares)
  • Parking costs: Free

Hiking duration per section of Pizol 5 lakes hike

You can see the route of the Pizol 5 lakes hike (5 Seen Wanderung) on the official trail map. I would recommend doing the hike as described below, because this way you will loose elevation which is less strenuous. Below is an indication of the hiking time required per section:

  • Mountain gondola station Pizolhütte (2227 m) – Lake 1: 15min return 
  • Wildsee (Lake 2) – Schottensee (Lake 3): 20 – 25min
  • Schottensee (Lake 3) – Schwarzsee (Lake 4): 1h 25min
  • Schwarzsee (Lake 4) – Baschavalsee (Lake 5): 1h – 1h 15min
  • Beschavalsee (Lake 5) – Gaffia gondola station (1861 m): 40 – 50min

Wild camping along the Pizol 5 Lakes hike to avoid the crowds

Most people do this hike as a day hike. However, we decided to do it overnight and took one of the last chair lifts up to the top. During our overnight hike we only ran in to two Swiss friends who were also camping. Other than that we saw no one. If you’d like to have the beautiful hiking scenery to yourself, you’ll have to do the overnight hike because during the daytime this hike gets very busy.

Is wild camping along the Pizol 5 Lakes trail allowed?

Yes, hiking along the Pizol Five Lakes hiking trail is permitted and legal at all lakes except Wildsee (Lake 2). This is because Wildsee is part of a hunting ban area as can be seen on the official interactive map

Which lake is best to camp at during Pizol 5 lakes hike?

Below are the pro’s and cons of camping at each of the lakes on the Pizol 5 lakes hike (5 Seen Wanderung).

Wanger See (Lake 1) not suitable for camping

The first lake Wanger See is not suitable for camping. It is too close to the chair lift station and there are buildings around the lake. Continue on to one of the other lakes for a better sense of adventure! 

In my opinion you can skip this lake because it is nothing special, especially when compared to the other lovely lakes you will still see. Instead head straight to Wildsee (Lake 2)!

Pizolhutte and views of the valley. Cows along the trail. This is the starting point of the Pizol 5 Seenwanderung
Wangersee Lake. This is the first lake of the Pizol 5 Lakes hike.
There is nothing spectacular about Wangersee (Lake 1). You can skip this lake and head straight to the second lake!

Wildsee (Lake 2) not suitable for camping

Wildsee (2435 m) has steep rocky slopes around the lake, so it also isn’t suitable for camping. It is the bluest lake, so make sure to enjoy the views before continuing your hike.

Hiker in front of Wildsee Lake. This is the second lake along the Pizol Five Lakes hiking trail.
Wildsee (Lake 2) is beautiful and blue, but the shores are too steep for camping.
The blue waters of Wildsee Lake and mountains as backdrop. This is Lake 2 of the Pizol 5 Lakes hike.

Camping at Schottensee (Lake 3), Pizol 5 Lakes hike

Schottensee (2332 m) is probably the most pretty lake of the walk, so take your time to enjoy this one! It is also a great option for overnight camping. There are beautiful waterfront spots where you can pitch a tent. Please take note you are not allowed to camp everywhere along the lake because there is a federal hunting ban in place. Please read the official information about wild camping along the Pizol 5 lakes hike. 

If you need a more sheltered spot, keep walking for about 5 min after the lake is out of sight. There are some sheltered flat grassy spots to camp. Though you miss the view of the lake, this could really help during windy or extreme weather conditions. 

Hiker in front of Schottensee
Enough flat spaces to camp at Schottensee (Lake 3).
Hiker standing at the edge of Schottensse Lake

Advantages of camping at Schottensee (Lake 3)

  • Flat spaces for camping 
  • You will have sun till it sets
  • Pretty blue/green water
  • Remote feeling without city views

Disadvantages of camping at Schottensee (Lake 3)

  • Rocky ground
  • No sunshine in the morning

Camping at Schwarzsee (Lake 4), Pizol Five Lakes hike

We decided to camp at Schwarzsee (2372 m) because it seemed most logical timewise. We kept hiking till 19:00 and pitched our tent here. The next day we only had to hike a short while (1h 30min – 2h). We were at the parking lot in the early morning and were ready to drive off for our next adventure. 

There are many camping possibilities at Schwarzsee because there is lots of space. There are flat grassy and rocky patches to pitch a tent near the water’s edge. 

Tip: Bring a hammer to get your tent pegs in the hard ground. We managed without one, but it was a bit of a struggle.

Green tent at the edge of Schwarzsee. Wild camping at Lake 4 of the Pizol 5 Lakes hike.

Advantages of camping at Schwarzsee (Lake 4)

  • Enough flat ground to find a suitable camping spot
  • Remote feeling without city views

Disadvantages of camping at Schwarzsee (Lake 4)

  • Sun is behind the mountain in the evening and morning
  • Rocky patches of ground make it harder to pitch a tent
Tent next to Schwarzsee. Looking from tent towards the lake. Wild camping along the Pizol Five Lakes hiking trail.
Green tent and couple wild camping at Schwarzsee, the 4th lake along the Pizol 5 Lakes hike.

Camping at Baschalvasee (Lake 5), Pizol 5 Lakes hike

Bachalvasee (2174 m) is the least rocky of the lakes that are suitable for camping. Some spots are wet, but there are plenty of flat dry bits too. You’ll be able to enjoy magnificent view of the valley. It’s less than an hours walk to the chair lift to take you back to the valley.

Advantages of camping at Baschalvasee (Lake 5)

  • Early morning sun is a big plus
  • Great panoramic view of the valley and city below

Disadvantages of camping at Baschalvasee (Lake 5)

  • Some wet grassy areas
Flat, green grass for camping next to Baschavalsee
Enough flat, grassy area's to pitch a tent next to Baschavalsee (Lake 5).
Chairlift to Pizolhutte for the Pizol 5 Lakes hike. View of the Wangs valley

Don't miss the awesome cliff photo at Baschavalsee (Lake 5)

When you’re hiking down from Schwarzsee (Lake 4) to Baschavalsee (Lake 5), don’t miss the photo opportunity with the cliff and the Baschalvasee in the backdrop! It will be on your right hand side once you see the Baschalvasee. If you camp at Lake 5 it’s a short scramble up to take some photos.

Hiker standing on Baschavalsee cliff with lake beneath
Don't miss out on this photo opportunity! Below the cliff is the Bachavalsee (Lake 5).

How to get to the start of Pizol 5 lakes hike

Frist, take up the gondola and then the 2 chairlifts all the way to the top to Pizolhütte (2227 m). This means you will take up the following gondolas to get to the start of the Pizol 5 Lakes hike: 

  • Pizolbahn Wangs gondola from Wangs (509 m) – Furt (1522 m)
  • Charlift Furt (1522 m) – Gaffia (1868 m)
  • Chairlift Gaffia (1868 m) – Pizolhütte (2227 m)

Then you’re ready to start the hike and head off the Lake 1: Wanger See. Or you can head straight to Lake 2 (Wangersee) because the first lake isn’t very spectacular. 

Please note: The last gondola up to Pizolhütte is at 16:00. Keep this in mind if you want to wild camp along the Pizol 5 Lakes hiking trail.

How to get down after the Pizol 5 lakes hike

Because you’ve lost a considerable amount of elevation during the hike, you only need to take one chairlift and one gondola down. The way back looks like this:

  • Take the chairlift down from Gaffia (1868 m) to Furt (1522 m).
  • From Furt (1522 m) then take the gondola down back to the valley station Wangs (509 m).

This makes a lot more sense when you look at the official trail map. Make sure to buy the 5 Lakes gondola ticket for this route (up: Wangs – Pizolhütte, down: Gaffia – Wangs). This is cheaper than a return ticket Wangs (509 m) – Pizolhütte (2227 m). Your ticket is still valid when you go down the day after you go up.

More hiking after your Pizol 5 Lakes hike

What epic hikes are near the Pizol 5 lakes hike?

Try the epic tunnel hike to the Limmernsee. It’s only a 1h 15min drive from the Pizol 5 Lakes parking lot to the start of the Limmernsee hike!

Discover more hiking in Switzerland