Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Switzerland | Appenzell Hut Hop

Delve into the heart of the Alpstein mountain range.

  • Self Guided Appenzell
  • "A big THANK YOU to Ryder Walker!!!! I don’t think that we could have found a better organized hiking trip to the Alps Switzerland!! Hiking the stunning mountains, following the provided trail map with a destination of our over night Bergasthaus was simply incredible!!! Our trip involved 5 days/night’s of hiking, eating, drinking and memories never forgotten!! We would recommend (and do) this type of trip to anyone and look forward booking a trip with you in the near future again. Tschüss…Aufwiedersehen."- Russell and Angelina
  • "This was an amazing experience. So well organized. I loved that the hotels were reserved with meals included. I loved the maps and trail descriptions. Accurate and complete. The views were indescribable and the people kind. A unique and once in a lifetime trip. The price was very reasonable for the services provided. I will continue to recommend Ryder Walker to friends and family interested in an adventure. Thank you all so much."- Danae Goerl

Trip Highlights:

  • Adventurous hiking trails featuring cables; ladders; drops-offs; serpentine ridgewalks and airy descents. (Options with less exposure available upon request).
  • Lunch at the Bergasthaus Aescher, a rustic mountain house built into a cliff face and cave.
  • Panoramic views across northeastern Switzerland and into neighboring Austria and Liechtenstein.
  • A hike through Wildkirchli, a 400 year-old cave church and a prehistoric cave system that provided shelter for neanderthals, monks and hermits.

Lose yourself in Appenzell, a unique corner of Switzerland where airy mountain trails, punctuated by steel cables and iron pegs to aid the hiker, lead you through a world of striking landforms, traditional Swiss hamlets, and well-appointed mountain houses that are never more than a day’s walk apart.

Beginning in the quirky and colorful village of Appenzell, this 6-day point-to-point hiking tour circumnavigates the Alpstein mountain range, a convoluted maze of folded peaks, water-scultped limestone outcroppings, knife ridges and caves. Test your resolve as you hike across the Lisengrat, a singletrack trail with precipitous drops on both sides, making it one of Switzerland’s famous ridgewalks. (Easier option available). Sample Appenzeller cheese, a source of pride for native Appenzellers and a product that wins awards annually. Hike to the top of the Säntis and Altmann peaks, the highest mountains in the range. Bed down indramatically situated mountain houses boasting panoramic views, outstanding cuisine, fluffy down comforters and hot showers.

Trip Itinerary

Arrive in Switzerland and transfer to the quirky village of Appenzell. The transfer from Zurich airport to Appenzell is about 1 and a-half hours by train. Check into our favorite four-star hotel on the main square, drop your bags, then hit the town for an afternoon of sightseeing and beer garden hopping. The tour officially begins around 7:00 pm with a delicious dinner in the hotel dining room.

You’ll spend the next 3 nights in mountain huts, so luggage transfer is not an option. Throw some clothes and toiletries in your pack, but leave the rest of your bags at the hotel in Appenzell. A short transfer by bus and cable car carries you to a magical world of limestone spires and rock outcroppings. You’ll hike along serpentine trails with precipitous drops as you wind your way around, and over, these stunning limestone formations. Enjoy lunch at a mountain hut perched on a high ridge. Bed down in a lakeside mountain house, the Berghaus Bollenwees.

Today you’ll travel into the heart of the range with a hike over the Zwinglipass and Rotsteinpass. Along the way enjoy an optional ascent of the Altmann (7,989 feet), the second highest peak in Santis Churfirsten mountain range. Time permitting you can try your hand at rock climbing in the afternoon or just relax on the pastoral grounds of the Berghaus Meglisalp, a traditional working farm.

Choose from one of many options today. The popular route climbs to the summit of the Säntis (8,208 feet), the highest peak in the range. You can also hike along the Lisengrat if you’re not afraid of heights. The Lisengrat offers dramatic singletrack hiking with cliffs on both sides. The trail is, quite easily, one of the most famous ridge hikes in all of Switzerland. Take in the views from the top of the Säntis, then traverse across the Blau Schnee snowfield to a dramtically situated moutain hut, Schaefler. Overnight on a high ridge with views extending across northeastern Switzerland.

Today you’ll enjoy a lovely ridgewalk and traverse to Ebenalp, a high plateau offering panoramic views of the rolling hills of Appenzell. From Ebenalp you’ll descend to the 400 year-old Wildkirchli cave chapel. The trail continues through a series of prehistoric caves where neanderthals, and eventually monks and hermits, lived in contemplative solitude. Have a lunch at one of Appenzell’s notable hiker’s attractions, the Berggasthaus Aescher, a mountain restaurant and guesthouse that is literally carved into the face of a limestone cliff. Fuel up on a hot plate of Rosti, Switzerland’s addictive take on fried potatoes and cheese, then return to Appenzell through forest and meadows to finish in the superb hotel where you began your tour.

Awaken to a delicious alpine breakfast then depart. The return to Zurich takes about 1 and-a-half hours by train.

Appenzell Hut Hop | Switzerland

Similar Trips

You Might Also Like...