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Alpstein Geological Path

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Alpstein Geological Path

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  • The view of the Kreuzberge from the summit of Mutschen (2,122 m). To the right (east) are Liechtenstein and Austria.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • From the start of the hike you can see the summit of Hoher Kasten with its distinctive tower and the gondola up to the summit.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The view west from Hoher Kasten, including the Samtisersee Lake in the valley.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • From the Hoher Kasten summit looking north you can see the rolling hills of the Appenzell district as well as the Bodensee (and Germany behind it) on a clear day.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The ridge looking west from Hoher Kasten. The Geological Trail runs along this ridge.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • From the Geological Trail along the ridge there are fantastic views, including Santis in the distance.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The Fahlensee, seen from the Geological Trail along the ridge.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The Ridge Trail has some exposed and narrow sections.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The narrow trail along the ridge.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • Hochhus Peak behind a wildflower field.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • The impressive Kreuzberge seen from Saxer Lucke.- Alpstein Geological Path
  • From the summit of Mutschen, looking southeast you can see both Liechtenstein and Austria, past the Rhein River.- Alpstein Geological Path
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fantastic views of Swiss Alps, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Several options for dining and overnight stays.
Cons: 
Hoher Kasten and nearby trails can be busy.
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Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
6,961.94 ft (2,122.00 m)
Year round: 
No
Open from: 
June 01 to September 30
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
15.60 mi (25.11 km)
Total elevation gain: 
6,935.00 ft (2,113.79 m)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,997.00 ft (913.49 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

This hike along the Alpstein Geological Path includes views of four different countries as well as several different types of landscapes from the vast farmland of Liechtenstein to the dramatic Kreuzberge mountains. The Geological Path itself is a 16-kilometer trail that starts at the Hoher Kasten summit and ends at Brulisau. However, the hike detailed here adds the hike from Brulisau to Hoher Kasten as well as an excursion to Mutschen Peak, bringing the total mileage to 25-kilometers. Scattered along the geological path there are signs (in German) about geological features of the region.

The hike begins in Brülisau at the gondola station. There is limited free parking there in addition to paid overflow parking. You can also take the bus to Brülisau, Kastenbahn. From here, follow the yellow sign toward Hoher Kasten. At around 2 kilometers you will reach Ruhesitz, where the trail splits. There are three paths up to the summit; the shortest takes another hour and a half. The yellow signs will point you in the correct direction.

Near the summit (at 3.86 kilometers) you will reach a trail junction. There is a short out-and-back (about 15 minutes each way) to get to the summit of Hoher Kasten. Note that there is no free drinking water here, so be prepared.

From that junction follow the trail back along the ridge to Saxer Lucke. The trail undulates as you pass peaks like Glogger and Stauberenkanzel. At Stauberenkanzel there is a gondola station and a small restaurant; again, they do not have water for hikers.

When you reach Saxer Lucke (the "Saxer" gap), you have excellent views of the Kreuzberge (Chrüzberg) mountains. Here there is an out-and-back option to visit Mutschen, which is recommended if you have time. The path leads uphill about 2.4 kilometers to the Mutschensattel, where you will turn left onto a short but steep trail to the summit. The summit is quite small with steep drops, but it offers amazing 360-degree views.

After heading back to Saxer Lucke, follow the trail north down into the valley toward Bollenwees. Here there is a hut where hikers can stay overnight. You can refill water here in the bathrooms (with flushing toilets!). Also, be sure to walk down to the Fählensee, which is a beautiful mountain lake.

The trail then leads back through the valley to Plattenbödeli and Pfannenstiel. Most of the hike is along a gravel road now, but near Plattenbödeli you can opt for a short trail section that leads nearby the road. Just look for the yellow signs and follow them towards Brülisau, where the hike ends.

Enjoy the hike through this fantastic area!

Note:

  • You can skip the trip to Mutschen, which saves perhaps two and a half hours and about 4.8 kilometers.
  • You can take the gondola up to Hoher Kasten rather than hiking, which saves about two and a half hours and about 4 kilometers.
  • You can easily split this into a two-day hike by staying overnight at the Berggasthaus Bollenwees. There are also a few other huts nearby (Roslenalphütte, Berggasthaus Staubern), but be sure to check the open months online.
  • Check the Switzerland Mobility hiking maps for further information while planning your hike or for printing maps.
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