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All killer, no filler — trekking Central Switzerland’s Tell-Trail

Adventurer Nic

All killer, no filler — trekking Central Switzerland’s Tell-Trail

Hiking Collection by Adventurer Nic

17

Tours

36:16 h

90.3 mi

20,775 ft

In August 2022, I trekked the Tell-Trail, a new long distance hiking route in the Lucerne region of Central Switzerland. Our eyes were on stalks time and time again, as my boyfriend James and I began the route in the stunning town of Altdorf and finished eight days later, with memory banks brimming, in Sörenberg.

The eight stages of the Tell-Trail are designed to showcase the very best of the region and maximise the use of Swiss public transport. The journey includes short sections on the world’s steepest funicular, a double decker open top cable car, multiple leg-swinging chair lifts and the steepest cogwheel railway on the planet.

To access the trails, you can buy something called a Tell Pass which covers all of the transport in one ticket. The walk itself takes you across the Älggialp – Switzerland’s geographical centre – and summits the Brienzer Rothorn, which at 7,710 feet (2,350 m) is the highest point on the route. The Tell-Trail also includes some top notch ridge scrambling at Wagenleis.

The length of our hikes varied from 7 miles to 15.5 miles (11 - 25 km) per day, with an average of around 12 miles (19 km) a day. My favourite Swiss meal along the way was Älplermagronen, which is a version of macaroni cheese that was so good I ate it two days in a row!

PS: If you were wondering, the trail is named after William Tell, Swiss folk hero. Legend has it he shot an apple off his son's head with an arrow from a crossbow!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Day one (part one): Hotel to Tell Monument in Altdorf — trekking the Tell-Trail

    00:07
    411 yd
    1.9 mph

    The Tell-Trail starts at the monument to William Tell in Altdorf. From there you catch a bus to Burglen Brugg to catch a ride up to Ruogig to start walking.

    by Adventurer Nic

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  • 04:17
    11.4 mi
    2.7 mph
    1,350 ft
    4,875 ft

    From the Ruogig cable car we headed up the high mountain pass Chinzig Chulm before dropping down into the Wängi valley into Muotathal. The peaks around us have been jagged, breathtakingly stunning and the cool mountain breeze was bliss!

    by Adventurer Nic

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  • 01:58
    6.18 mi
    3.1 mph
    75 ft
    450 ft

    The first part of today's stage of the Tell-Trail. It took us to the Stoos Funicular, which is the steepest of its kind in the world.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:20
    0.86 mi
    2.6 mph
    125 ft
    0 ft

    In Stoos we had a lovely hot chocolate, wandered around and met some of the bovine locals before getting the chair lift.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 01:13
    2.74 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    775 ft

    Would have loved to have seen the views from this ridge walk but it wasn't mean to be 🥲. I'll be back!

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 01:09
    3.32 mi
    2.9 mph
    175 ft
    1,375 ft

    The closing stage of today's walk, which ended in beautiful Brunnen on Lake Lucerne.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:23
    1.22 mi
    3.2 mph
    0 ft
    25 ft

    Our third day on the Tell-Trail started with a walk along Lake Lucerne from Brunnen to get the Urmiberg cable car.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 03:48
    10.5 mi
    2.8 mph
    2,800 ft
    1,975 ft

    A great deal of today's hike along the Tell-Trail was in the cloud again but we're hoping for the sunshine to return tomorrow.

    

    We had lots of good conversation, including a good hour reminiscing on our favourite trails. Some of the routes I remembered fondly were the Raad ny Foillan on the Isle of Man

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:14
    0.78 mi
    3.5 mph
    75 ft
    50 ft

    The final portion of our third day on the Tell-Trail was a wander through beautiful Lucerne, our destination for the day.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 03:45
    6.82 mi
    1.8 mph
    5,500 ft
    275 ft

    After catching a bus to Kriens, we set out on the 5,250-foot (1,600 m) ascent of Lucerne's local mountain, Pilatus.

    

    Much of the start of the climb is in woodland on gravel trails before it opens out into a slightly more technical ascent on muddy, rocky ground. It ends on zig-zagging switchbacks of scree

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 04:36
    9.43 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,900 ft
    4,325 ft

    Our best day on the Tell-Trail so far! This was the most challenging of all the hikes and we were blessed with brilliant weather for it. There is one section that has fixed ropes where you need to be sure-footed and have a head for heights to cope with the exposure. We LOVED it!

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:15
    0.73 mi
    2.9 mph
    50 ft

    A wander from our hotel in lovely Engelberg to the cable car before we start today's main section of the Tell-Trail.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 05:03
    12.6 mi
    2.5 mph
    1,775 ft
    3,525 ft

    In terms of distance, this was our longest day on the Tell-Trail so far. We started at the cable car for Titlis and headed to Jochpass by chairlift to start our walk to the geographical centre point of Switzerland at Älggi-Alp. The trails here are popular and it's easy to see why. One lake after another

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 03:43
    9.30 mi
    2.5 mph
    1,325 ft
    3,375 ft

    Our seventh day on the Tell-Trail was probably the quietest in terms of footfall. Bliss! The great sense of peace and tranquillity was palpable. First, we passed the geographical centre point of Switzerland and through woodland towards the Brünig pass. The turquoise waters of Lake Lungern were almost too bright to be true!

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:58
    3.18 mi
    3.3 mph
    200 ft
    1,200 ft

    This was a nice walk down into Lungern, with gorgeous views across the lake, to take the Turren cable car.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 03:36
    8.08 mi
    2.2 mph
    3,725 ft
    1,225 ft

    Our last day on the Tell-Trail 🥲and it was the BEST day! Great trails, great weather, great company and insanely great views 😍.

    by Adventurer Nic

  • 00:53
    2.93 mi
    3.3 mph
    25 ft
    425 ft

    The official end of the Tell-Trail in Sörenberg 😃.

    by Adventurer Nic

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    17
  • Distance
    90.3 mi
  • Duration
    36:16 h
  • Elevation
    20,775 ft

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