The Falensee (Falen Lake) is an incredible alpine lake situated next to the Bollenwees Mountain Hut in the Alpstein region of Appenzell. It can be an adventure in itself or part of several hikes nearby. The Bollenwees Mountain Hut, which is right next to the Falensee, is a great overnight stay and base camp for sunset and sunrise missions in the surrounding lakes and peaks.
FALENSEE LAKE HIKE
I visited the Falensee on two occasions. The first visit was part of the ‘Alpstein Three Lakes Hike‘ and the second occasion was at the end of the Hoher Kasten to Saxer Lucke Hike. However, you can also hike in from Brulisau just to stay overnight at Bollenwees and visit the Falensee. In this blog post, I will detail all of the options to visit the Falensee and what other hikes you could do when using Falensee and Bollenwees as a base camp.
HOW TO GET TO FALENSEE LAKE
Falensee Lake is accessible from three main routes:
- The first and most direct route is to park in Brulisau or get off at the Brulisau Bus Station (after catching the Post Bus from Weissbad) and hike past Samtisarsee (another alpine Lake) and make the journey up towards Bollenwees/Falensee. This is the most direct route and also a scenic route as you get to visit Samtisarsee on the way as you come through the valley.
- The second option is to begin at Hoher Kasten and hike along the ridge to Saxer Lucke. After enjoying Saxer Lucke, you will hike down for 20-minutes to Bollenwees and then you can visit the Fallensee right there before staying the night or hiking out through the valley, past Samtisarsee to Brulisau/Weissbad.
- The third option is the Three Lakes Hike, which begins in Wasserauen. On this hike, you trek from Wasserauen to Seealpsee and then up to Meglisalp before making the pass over to Bollenwees and Falensee. That hike ends with the hike through the Valley, past Samtisarsee and on to the Brulisau bus station.
MY EXPERIENCE AT THE FALENSEE LAKE
I hiked to Falensee on the ‘Alpstein Three Lakes Hike’. However, instead of finishing at Samtisarsee, I finished at Fallensee. I wanted to be at Fallensee at for sunset to see the alpenglow on the ridge above and to witness any reflections on the still lake of the colors in the sky.
The valley in which the Falensee is found is quite narrow and there are actually hikes on either side although several of them are alpine routes and not for the average hiker. I’ll mention a few of these hikes below.
I arrived just before sunset to Fallensee and it was incredibly calm. The water was still and reflecting perfectly. The sunset wasn’t off the charts but still, a little alpenglow made the scene one to remember from my adventures in the Alpstein region. It’s important to know that if you do stay for sunset, you have a long walk back in the dark to Brulisau (make sure the last bus is possible or it will be an even longer walk to Weissbadd Train Station). The better option is to stay overnight at Bollenwees and then explore Saxer Lucke or other hikes in the Alpstein region the next day. I’ll detail the Bollenwees mountain hut below.
OTHER HIKES THAT PASS THROUGH OR START AT FALLENSEE LAKE
I’ve already mentioned a few of the hikes such as the Saxer Lucke and the Three Lakes hike but there are also a couple of other routes in the region. You might be interested to check out these other routes nearby:
- Altmann Hike
- Mutschensattel Hike
- Lisengrat Ridge Hike
- Rotsteinpasshutte Hike
- Hundsteinhutte Hike
HOW TO BOOK A NIGHT AT BOLLENWEES MOUNTAIN HUT
In order to book a night (or more) at Bollenwees you will need to send an email, make a phone call or fill out the form on their website. They are not on other booking platforms, this is how the hut is booked.
- To email Bollenwees you can contact them here: [email protected]
- To visit the website to make a booking you can do so here: bollenwees.ch
- To make a booking via phone you can do so with this number: +41 71 799 11 70
SWISS TRAVEL PASS or HALF-FARE CARD
OPTION 1: Buy the Swiss Half Fare Card: Switzerland trains, buses, and cable cars are EXPENSIVE! I found the best way to get around cheaply was to buy the Swiss Half-Fare Card before I arrived. It gives you 50% off every regular train, bus, and even many cable cars. It only costs $150 USD but pays itself off in just a few days with many train tickets in Switzerland costing close to $100 alone. If you are staying for more than 5 days, I suggest buying the Swiss Half-Fare Card.
OPTION 2: Buy the Swiss Travel Pass: The second option is to get the Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited train, bus, and (many) cable car rides but it’s pretty expensive at around $100 USD per day so if you don’t travel each day it isn’t worth it.
OPTION 3: Buy the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass: The final (BEST) option is to get the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to buy 8 days’ worth of transit but you can choose the night before if you want to activate the next day. That way you don’t need to travel every day to get your money’s worth, you can just activate the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass on the days when you are doing sizeable transits. My advice is to book the Swiss Half-Fare Card or the FLEXI Swiss Travel Pass in advance before your trip so it’s ready to go when you arrive.
MY SWITZERLAND HIKING GUIDES
I spent 100 days hiking in Switzerland and created a guide for different regions around the country. You can click on one of my Switzerland hiking guides below to help you plan your trip.
- The Complete Guide: 50 AWESOME HIKES IN IN SWITZERLAND
- The Via Ferrata Guide: 4 EPIC SWITZERLAND VIA FERRATA COURSES
- Lauterbrunnen Guide: 10 AWESOME HIKES NEAR LAUTERBRUNNEN
- Interlaken Guide: 15 AWESOME HIKES IN INTERLAKEN
- Grindelwald Guide: 12 AWESOME HIKES NEAR GRINDELWALD:
- Mürren Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES IN MURREN
- Appenzell Guide: 9 AWESOME HIKES NEAR APPENZELL
- Chur Guide: 7 AWESOME HIKES NEAR CHUR