SEEALPSEE HIKE IN APPENZELL – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Seealpsee is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Switzerland and can be found in the Alpstein region of Appenzell. The lake can be reached in under an hour from Wasserauen Train Station or with more strenuous hiking routes throughout Alpstein. This ease of accessibility and moderate incline make it one of the most popular attractions in the Alpstein and Appenzell regions.

I personally visited Seealpsee on three different occasions.

  • My first visit was in the summer when I hiked up to Ascher, Ebenalp and then down through the forest to Seealpsee. You can read that blog post here.
  • The second visit was part of the ‘Alpstein 3 Lakes Hike’, which includes Samtisersee and Falensee. You can read that blog post here.
  • The final visit was the final stop on my Alpstein Loop hike, which was a great way to finish my favorite overnight adventure in Switzerland.

 

HOW TO GET TO SEEALPSEE LAKE

Wasserauen Train Station is the start point for the Seealpsee hike and is easily accessible by train or car. Wasserauen is in the north-east of Switzerland near the Liechtenstein border. Luckily, Switzerland is a relatively small country so you can reach the town of Wasserauen from most places including Zurich (2-hr journey by car). There is no major city nearby with journeys of 2+ hours from Chur, Lucerne, and Bern to reach Wasserauen. I was based in Appenzell district when doing this hike so it was just a 15-minute train journey for me.

 

TRAILINSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SEEALPSEE HIKE

The Seealpsee hike begins in Wasserauen for all of the possible routes. I’ll detail the most direct/popular route, the second most direct/forest route and then touch on other possibilities to include Seealpsee ion your Alpstein hiking itinerary.

  • The first option is a straight shot from Wasserauen Train Station to Seealpsee. There is a paved road almost the whole way to Seealpsee. If you are at Wasserauen and follow the road you will walk on an easy route for 2.9km (searchable on Google maps) and reach the Seealpsee Mountain Hut/Restaurant within an hour. This is a good option if you are enjoying a nice stroll, some exercise and are keen to see
  • The second option is to take a left turn shortly after leaving Wasserauen and follow the forest route to Seealpsee. This is my favorite way to reach Seealpsee because you pass by a waterfall and get to explore the forest, caves and an elevated trail rather than the straight gravel road. Look for the sign to ‘Seealpsee’ on your left shortly before leaving Wasserauen.
  • The other way to reach Seealpsee is to continue on once you reach Ascher and hike down through the steep forest trail. Alternatively, you could be coming across from Bollenwees to Meglisalp and then venture down to Seealpsee. Lots of trails finish or start at Seealpsee so you can create a route that incorporates this beautiful lake into your itinerary.

 

SEEALPSEE LAKE HIKE

As I detailed above, the Seealpsee Lake hike can be done in a few ways. The best direct way is the forest hike which passes by a waterfall on an immersive trail beneath the trees. 

 

The direct route is still beautiful but on a paved almost path the entire way. At the end of the trail just before Seealpsee, you will get a great backdrop of the ridges and Santis as you near the lake.

 

The other popular option is to pass by Ascher and then hike down through the forest (number 8 on the map above). This isn’t a direct route but a great combination for a day of hiking.

Ascher Cliff Restaurant

Once you arrive at Seealpse, there are lots of different activities to do and places to visit at Seealpsee and you really can spend a whole day here or you could just be admiring the lake as you pass through. Below I’ll detail all of the different attractions and activities at Seealpsee.

  • The Seealpsee Berghaus is a great place to stop in for a meal or a coffee. With lots of outdoor seating that has tremendous views of the lake, this is the ultimate chill-out spot in Alpstein.
  • Taking a rowboat out on the lake costs just $5 for 30-minutes and you can pay at the Seealpsee Berghaus. It’s a pretty fun activity and a memory that will stick with you for a lifetime.
  • Walking around the entire lake is just under 2 kilometers and incredibly scenic. As you walk around the lake you will get different reflections, backdrops, and views so it is a great way to find your favorite spot of the Seealpsee.
  • There are lots of spots for picnics on the grass and in the summer many people will even swim! Don’t be afraid to set up a spot next to the lake for a few hours and enjoy the sunshine and maybe a cold swim!

Seealpsee and the iconic row-boat

A drone view of Seealpsee while flown from Ebenalp

An aerial of the lake and the golden-tipped peaks during sunset.

 

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