Engelberg Obertrübsee Snowshoe Trail

A long, leisurely snowshoe hike that loops around the hills above the frozen Trübsee lake with big mountain views. A good choice for beginners.

The Obertrübsee snowshoe trail in Engelberg is a nice snowshoe hike that follows a long, leisurely loop past the frozen Trübsee. Because this hike starts at a higher altitude of nearly 1800 meters, it’s less about the quiet winter forests and open fields, and all about the big mountain views. Obertrübsee is a beautiful trail that is a great choice for beginners. If you don’t have snowshoes, you can instead do the groomed winter walk around the Trübsee lake.

This post was generously contributed by Alex from Wander We Go, who we love following on Instagram. She’s usually climbing straight up a Swiss mountain, a bit more ambitious that our family is at the moment. But this snowshoe trail is perfect for families, so that’s why I asked her to share it with us. Thanks Alex for the inspiration!

From Alex… I’ve been following Tanya and her outdoor adventures since I moved to Switzerland almost three years ago – and I mean that literally. The day my husband and I arrived in July 2018, I immediately started looking up hiking trails, and came across the Swiss Family Fun blog. And the very next day,  my husband and I were up on the Stoos ridge, wondering how this gorgeous scenery could possibly be real, and marveling at the many more Swiss trails we would get to discover. As a huge fan of Tanya’s work, I’m very excited to pen a guest blog today.

Please check snow conditions before heading out. If avalanche warnings are high, this trail may be closed. 

See also How to snowshoe in Switzerland for beginners and What to pack & wear on a winter hike

Location:   Central Switzerland, Engelberg
Address: Titlis Cable Car – Gerschnistrasse 12, 6390 Engelberg
Car: 1hr10 from Zurich, CHF 5 parking fee
Parking: 46°48’59.4″N 8°23’48.4″E
Transit: Engelberg, Bahnhof, then 3 min bus ride or 10 min walk to cable car station
1hr50 from Zurich HB, 45 mins from Luzern
   
Trail: 5 km loop, about 2.5 hours
Condition: marked trail, not groomed
Skill: easy
Open: Dec through March, assuming snow
Prices 2021: Return cable car fare to Trübsee: Adult CHF 36, Child CHF 18
Discounts for SBB Halbtax / GA / Swiss Travel Pass / Regionalpass Berner Oberland
More info: www.titlis.ch – webcams

Overview

This snowshoe trail is located in Engelberg in central Switzerland south of Luzern.

To reach this trail, you ride the gondola from Engelberg to the Trübsee mid-station, where the hike starts and ends. Once you strap on your snowshoes, simply head in the direction of the lake to get started on the trail. You’ll wind along the side of the Trübsee for the first kilometer, sharing some of the trail with winter hikers before the snowshoe path splits off.

Because this trail is a loop, it doesn’t matter which direction you choose. We opted to go in the direction of Bitzistock. Mid-morning, there will still be lots of shade cast by the surrounding mountains, but don’t worry, you’ll warm up soon enough with the first 100+ meter ascent up to Bitzistock. On a clear day, the view from here is phenomenal, sweeping up to the Urner Alps and down into the Engelberg valley.

You can extend your day by riding the cable car up to Titlis, where you’ll find a glacier ice cave and suspension bridge. See my Titlis post for more details. 

Getting Here

By car: Drive to Engelberg and follow signs to Titlisbahn. Park in the metered lot next to the base station, CHF 5 per day.

By transit: Take a train to Engelberg, then a bus to Titlisbahn. The bus drops off directly at the gondola station. You could walk from the train station, but it’s a little too far to walk with ski gear.

Gondola tickets & operating times

You’ll need a return ticket on the gondola from Engelberg to Trübsee. In 2021, this ticket costs CHF 36/adult. You get a 50% discount for children aged 6-16 and those with SBB Halbtax / GA / Swiss Travel Pass / Regionalpass Berner Oberland. Those staying in Engelberg get a 10% discount with their guest card. The ticket is free with the Tell Pass. See current prices.

The gondola generally runs from 8:00 to 17:00 every 30 mins. Check their website for detailed operating times.

Equipment Rental

You can rent snowshoes at the sport shop connected to the Titlis gondola station. 

On the trail

The trail starts on a groomed winter walking path below the Trübsee station. Follow this until the snowshoe trail branches off to your right. Mid-morning, there will still be lots of shade cast by the surrounding mountains, but don’t worry, you’ll warm up soon enough with the first 100+ meter ascent up to Bitzistock. 

On a clear day, the view from here is phenomenal, sweeping up to the Urner Alps and down into the Engelberg valley. 

 

From Bitzistock, the path begins to make a wide loop with a gentle descent. This part of the trail, out of sight from the busy mountain station and chairlifts and skiers, was my favorite portion. All you can hear is the crunch of your snowshoes, and all you can see are large swaths of untouched snow on the high, sun-drenched plateau.

This area is surrounded by craggy mountains, with just a few lone fir trees dotting the landscape. It feels much more secluded than it actually is. For me, that feeling of remoteness is one of the biggest draws of snowshoeing, and something I always look for in a good trail.

But eventually, you’ll need to return to civilization (sigh). The descent ends at Älperseil, a small rustic mountain station. And from there, it’s time to go back up again for the final 150 meter climb to Chrützhubel. Oh, my thighs were burning from this one. But as with all climbs in Switzerland, it’s always worth the effort in the end, and this is no exception.

The view at the top opens up to a spectacular panorama, with the famous Mt.Titlis towering over Trubsee. With the birds-eye vantage point, the frozen lake looks perfectly frosted, covered in smooth white snow like icing on a winter cake.

Even though this is near the end of the hike, it’s a great sunny lunch spot if you can hold out for it. From Chrützhubel, the trail dips down (somewhat steeply) to rejoin the lakeside path where you started.

All in all, it’s a lovely snowshoe hike in Central Switzerland. At around 6 kilometers with 300 meters ascent/descent, it’s not too challenging for beginners, but has enough to keep more experienced snowshoers interested, too. And for a place that’s quite popular and easily accessible, there are many moments that feel like it’s away from it all.

Thanks again to Alex for contributing this post! Go follow Alex on Instagram and check out her Wander We Go blog for more Swiss hikes.

See more Swiss snowshoe trails we recommend.

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Hi! I’m Tanya and our family has been living & hiking in Switzerland since 2005, collecting dozens of fun hikes and activities for all ages and abilities. More about us…

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