Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Switzerland | Appenzell Hut Hop

Delve into the heart of the Alpstein mountain range.

Switzerland flag
  • Self Guided Appenzell
  • APPENZELL HUT HOP
  • APPENZELL HUT HOP
  • APPENZELL HUT HOP
  • APPENZELL HUT HOP
  • "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 ridge walks, and airy descents. (Options with less exposure available upon request.)
  • Lunch at the Berggasthaus 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 ridge walks (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 in dramatically situated mountain houses boasting panoramic views, outstanding cuisine, fluffy down comforters and hot showers.

Trip Itinerary

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Independently transfer to Appenzell. Overnight in a charming four-star inn.

Today a lift takes you to a high ridge separating Switzerland from Liechtenstein. Enjoy expansive views over the vertical limestone cliffs of the Alpstein and across to the pastoral rolling farmland of the Appenzell region. Enjoy a night on a high alpine lake, the Falensee.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 900/1800 ft.

Start with ascent to the Saxerlücke on the crest between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Hike up beneath the vertical spires of the Kreuzberg to the Zwinglipass. Enjoy lunch at the spectacularly situated Rotsteinpasshütte before an optional ascent of the Altmann. Descend to Meglisalp and enjoy the afternoon in their welcoming Berghaus. Relax at this working farm, or go climbing in the nearby “Klettergarten”. Farming is the essence of the Appenzell industry, and the primary product is Appenzeller cheese. Connoisseurs of alpine cheeses unanimously find this to be the finest cheese produced in Switzerland, and it wins awards annually.

Distance: 7 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3000/2700 ft.

Re-ascend to the Lisengrat, perhaps the most spectacular kilometer of hiking in Switzerland. The Lisengrat takes you to the summit of the Säntis, the highest peak in the range. Enjoy lunch on top of the Säntis (you won’t be alone since a cable car takes people up from Schwagalp on the other side of the peak). Traverse to the magnificently situated Berggasthaus Schäfler to spend the night.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 3000/2100 ft.

Traverse to the fascinating Berghaus Äscher and the unusual Wildkirchli. This hut and church are built into caves in a vertical limestone wall. Cross through a dark tunnel to the Ebenalp area and begin a long, pastoral descent back into Appenzell and your familiar hotel.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: n.a./3765 ft.

Awaken to a delicious alpine breakfast, then depart.

Appenzell Hut Hop | Switzerland

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.