The journey up to the small Bannalp wintersports area begins in Oberrickenbach in the lower part of the Engelberg Valley. The «s’blaiä Bähnli» gondola will take you to the starting point of the circular snowshoe hike, which is an easy walk for anyone of average fitness. At the mountain station of the Fell–Chrüzhütte Bannalp cableway you will immediately notice the jagged profile of Bannalp’s famous landmark, the Bietstock. With your back to the prominent peak, you follow the snowshoe trail slightly downhill through the snowy woods to the Bannalp reservoir. Before you loom the peaks of Gross Walenstock and Klein Walenstock, towering majestically over the alpine meadow.
Looking down, you will see the frozen lake, covered in snow. This reservoir has provided the canton of Nidwalden with hydroelectricity since the 1930s. Next, you pass through sparse conifer woodland, with the Bannalp stream on your right, and the path climbs steadily but gently upwards to the Urnerstaffel mountain inn. Here, cold feet and hands can be thawed over a cup of hot tea before returning to the starting point via open terrain.
Enjoy snowshoeing by moonlight with raclette fun in the mountain guesthouse Urnerstaffel.