The Meglisalp hike is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland as it is full of everything you want: amazing peaks, huge valleys, old Swiss architecture, narrow paths, legendary restaurants, magic lakes, some steep climbs and a fairy tale looking final destination – Meglisalp.
As I first saw Meglisalp in the pictures in one journal in Switzerland, I couldn’t believe that such place exists and I have never visited it. In the picture I could see a small windy path leading to a cozy little village sitting in the end of a valley surrounded by huge mountains. It was no-brainer for me – next weekend I must go and see Meglisalp. And that I did, and that I completely loved.
Ok, so first things first, some facts about the hike, so you would know what to expect. I must as well tell you, that there are other ways to reach Meglisalp (avoiding gondola ride), but the distance, the time, the difficulty level is very similar to the one hike I did.
Meglisalp hike short summary
Time: 4 – 5 hours
Distance: 12 kilometres
Difficulty: medium. It is not a hard hike itself, but quite long, and the part from Seealpsee to Meglisalp is pretty steep, so you should take it easy there.
Altitude difference: ascent: 628 meters, descent: 1347 meters
Hiking path: paths are pretty good prepared, but some parts are very slippery. Hiking shoes is a must, as you can encounter a lot of mud and slippery rocks.
Hike is almost a loop.
Stuff to have: at least 2 liters of water for each, good hiking shoes, rain jacket (weather changed maybe 20 times during 4 hours), hiking poles (especially on steep parts and on the descent to the Seealpsee), a cap, some money (there are nice restaurants on the way to Seealpsee, by the Seealpsee and in Meglisalp. As well there’s a chance to buy local cheese and milk in the farmers house).
Cost: 20 CHF for a gondola ride. If you do not choose to ride the gondola, then 0 CHF.
As you can see from the map, the hike is pretty much a loop, but there will be some stretches from Seealpsee to Meglisalp which you will have to walk back and forth.
The hike starts at Ebenalp (the gondola will take you there) or you can start the hike straight in Wasserauen – the hike to Meglisalp, one way, would take you 2-3 hours. Then back 2 more hours.
Ok, let’s have a look at the whole hiking experience to Meglisalp.
How to reach the starting point of Meglisalp hike?
To start the hike, you must get to Wasserauen. It is a small settlement/village with a beautiful restaurant, hotels and a mountain gondola station.
If you are going by car – it is pretty straightforward – you should simply come to Wasserauen and park your car there. It can be full of people, so you may need to park on a private land (we parked on a grass field), but no worries, it is all legal, and you pay just 3 CHF for the whole day.
Distance from Zürich to Wasserauen – 98 kilometres, 1h 20 minutes.
From Sankt Gallen – only 23 kilometres, 32 minutes.
You can reach Wasserauen as well by train, it is very comfortable as the train stop is right next to the gondola station.
The train ride from Zürich will take around 2 hours as you will have to change trains in Gossau. Please have a look at all train connections and timetables right here: Swiss trains.
Once you are in Wasserauen, you can start your hike straight from the parking lot.
How to get to Ebenalp?
As I mentioned before, you can start hiking to Meglisalp straight from the Wasserauen, there’s no need to take a gondola to Ebenalp, but the views from Ebenalp to the valley will be worth every penny you pay.
There is a mountain gondola station there gondola takes rides every 10-15 minutes to Ebenalp. The ride takes around 10 minutes and costs 20 CHF one way. There is no need to buy a return ticket as you will go back to Wasserauen on foot.
Ebenalp is at 1640 meters altitude and offers exclusive views to the valleys and all surroundings.
On Ebenalp as well you can find a nice mountain restaurant and hiking paths to Schäfler summit (1925 m altitude) and to a very famous restaurant called Aescher-Wildkirchli.
Ebenalp – Seealpsee
The first leg of the hike is quite easy as you will descent for more than an hour. Just take it easy as the path is very rocky and can be pretty muddy (it was raining the last night so my shoes were instantly dirty) and slippery. Be very aware each step.
The hiking path will have huge amazing rocks on the right and in 10 minutes you will get to a nice Swiss Alps forest.
After 30-40 minutes you will reach maybe the most popular and well known Swiss Alps restaurant – Aescher-Wildkirchli. It is a beautiful house which is pretty much put into the rock. And it was fully renovated in 2020, so it looks amazing. There are free public toilets as well. If you have more time, I highly recommend to have a coffee or even a lunch there, just don’t be surprised that it can be completely packed. It is a very popular destination.
The hike from the restaurant to Seealpsee will be down down and one more time down for next 30-40 minutes. You must be cautious there as it can be again very slippery and muddy. I have even found signs in german language saying that “please don’t let your children go alone as it is a dangerous path”. It is not dangerous, but quite easy to slip and fall, so be slow and careful.
Once you finish your climb down, you will reach a paved road which leads (if you take a turn to the left) to Wasserauen, but you should climb a bit (maybe 10 meters in altitude) and reach a beautiful Seealpsee.
Seealpsee is really worth exploring as it is a magical lake surrounded by huge mountains with dozens of cows on its shores.
Seealpsee has couple of restaurants on its banks, as well a small camping place, many cows and some farms which would sell you Alps cheese (Alpkäse), milk and other milk products.
It is a perfect place to relax and rest as there are benches and many other comfortable places to sit around the lake.
Seealpsee – Meglisalp
Once you get to the end of the lake, you will have to take a turn to the right and get into the forest.
This stretch from Seealpsee to Meglisalp will be the hardest part of your hike. This is where you are going to do pretty much all your ascent in this whole hike.
The hiking time from Seealpsee to Meglisalp is around 1h – 1h 30 minutes, depending on your speed. Ascent – around 400 meters.
And in some places it is very steep, you will go through some rocky parts and sometimes the stairs are carved in the rock. Take it easy and enjoy the views from the top to the lake. It is breathtaking.
Once you reach the top of your hike, the stunning views to Meglisalp will open up. That is a magical moment and one of the most beautiful places in all Switzerland (in my humble opinion).
A small village with cows in the streets, a medieval church and a huge wooden hotel – one perfect spectacle. I love it.
From the time you see first views to Meglisalp to the village – another 5-10 minutes.
What to do in Meglisalp
Meglisalp a very fine Berggasthaus (mountain hotel) with a restaurant where you must try some Swiss cuisine. We had Rösti (a potatoes dish) with cheese – loved it.
The prices in the restaurant are reasonable Swiss prices: Rösti price – 17 CHF, coffee – 5 CHF.
You can spend a night in this hotel as it has double rooms and a huge dormitory.
The hotel is mostly open from late May – as soon as it is possible to hike there and there’s no snow. So you can visit it basically all summer long. It is a perfect mountain destination.
You can find more information about the hotel right here: Meglisalp Berggasthaus.
Other than that, you can visit a local church or take hundreds of pictures of local cows who graze there all day long. They are free as it can get there, they walk all around and inside the village as they wish.
From Meglisalp it is as well possible to hike to another very famous destination in the region: Säntis. The hike is much more demanding as you will have to gain almost 1 kilometre in altitude, but if you have spent a night in Meglisalp and feel fresh the other day – you can conquer these mountains around Meglisalp and reach Säntis in 3 hours.
As mentioned before, the hotel is closed during winter season and pretty much is open only during summer.
I highly recommend visiting it in summer as you will have the best of it.
The temperatures in summer can get up to 20 – 25 degrees, but it can be windy and rainy every day. So a rain jacket is a must there.
In winter time – it is full snow and you may not even see the houses up there. Of course – it looks like a winter wonderland up there in mid winter.
Meglisalp – Wasserauen
If you have a look at signs in Meglisalp – it will be written that you can reach Wasserauen in 2 hours 15 minutes, we have done it in 1h 40 minutes.
There are two ways possible to get back to your car. Once you hike back to Seealpsee – you can go on the right side of it or left side of it. Left side – it will be a much faster and easier hike. Right side – a longer hike with some more climbing included. Right side will be more beautiful and if you still have power – you can go on the right side. From Seealpsee you should reach Wasserauen in about 1 hour.
Meglisalp hike summary
Meglisalp hike is a stunning, beautiful, bit easy, bit demanding hike in the Swiss Alps.
I really loved it, every second of it. The gorgeous views – pretty much all hike long. It is a full Swiss experience.
I really recommend visiting the Aescher-Wildkirchli restaurant on the way and buying some Swiss Alps milk products by the Seealpsee.
Spend at least an hour in the Meglisalp hotel/restaurant and enjoy the place which, in common sense, wouldn’t even exist. It is a paradise in the Alps.
If you have any more questions about Meglisalp, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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