Plan a route here Copy route
Winter Hiking recommended route

Kleine Melchaa gorge winter path

· 1 review · Winter Hiking
Responsible for this content
Obwalden Tourismus Explorers Choice 
  • Eiszapfen in der Melchaaschlucht
    / Eiszapfen in der Melchaaschlucht
    Photo: Obwalden Tourismus, Obwalden Tourismus
  • / kleine Melchaa
    Photo: Obwalden Tourismus, Obwalden Tourismus
m 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
The Melchaatobel - a forest gorge and popular hiking area in summer and winter - leads into the Kleine Melch valley. In winter, water transforms the narrow rock faces into a giant ice sculpture landscape. Storms repeatedly alter the gorge; each time, the footpath is restored with great effort.
moderate
Distance 13.4 km
4:09 h
511 m
511 m
From Giswil railway station, the path leads to the northern end of the village and on to the Gasthof Zollhaus.

You reach the little gorge road via the southern portal of the motorway tunnel. Follow it upwards until it turns into the narrow gorge. Deep down, the water of the Kleine Melchaa river rushes through narrow rocky basins. At the Cholplatz, there is a shelter, and a panel describes the places and their stories, which you pass one after the other in the gorge: Bettlernest, Dom, Giswiler Hüttli Lochcheller, Tuffgräben, Lengbrügg to end point 977 of the winter path at Rindenhüttli.

Here the path branches off and in summer continues up to the geographical centre of Switzerland at Älggi. The winter path takes the same route back out to the gorge and down through the Grossmattwald forest - also a popular sledge run - to the Zollhaus and under the road to the lakeside path. Heading south, you return to Giswil along the Kleine Melchaa, which was diverted into Lake Sarnen in 2015. As a variant, you can also walk northwards on the lakeside path to Ewil Maxon railway station or on to Sachseln.

Profile picture of Obwalden Tourismus
Author
Obwalden Tourismus 
Update: January 14, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
967 m
Lowest point
468 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

For the latest information on closures, e.g. due to forestry work, visit www.ow-wanderwege.ch

The path is not secured against dangers such as falling icicles. You use the path at your own risk!

This hike is not signposted with pink signs and is not groomed. 

Start

Giswil station (484 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'657'016E 1'187'537N
DD
46.836536, 8.186026
DMS
46°50'11.5"N 8°11'09.7"E
UTM
32T 437928 5187320
w3w 
///genius.roofs.fermented

Destination

Giswil station

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Giswil ist ab Luzern oder Interlaken bequem mit der Zentralbahn zu erreichen. Für die Rückfahrt kann auch die Station Ewil Maxon am Seeweg nördlich des Zollhauses benutzt werden.

Getting there

Auf der A2 von Luzern her im Tunnel auf die A8 Richtung Interlaken, Sarnen wechseln und der Strasse bis zur Ausfahrt Giswil folgen. 

Von Interlaken via Brünig auf der A8 bis zur Ausfahrt Giswil.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'657'016E 1'187'537N
DD
46.836536, 8.186026
DMS
46°50'11.5"N 8°11'09.7"E
UTM
32T 437928 5187320
w3w 
///genius.roofs.fermented
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Basic Equipment for Winter Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots appropriate for winter use (B1+ recommended)
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Long, warm technical socks plus liners and spares
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Water- and windproof mountaineering jacket and trousers with ankle adjustment or separate gaiters
  • Lip protection (SPF 30+)
  • Water- and windproof gloves plus thin fleece inner gloves
  • Neckwear
  • moisture wicking skull / knit cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Winter Hiking

  • Hiking poles fitted with snow baskets
  • Trail ‘spike’ crampons at minimum and a basic ice axe are recommended when covering steeper terrain
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

Ask the first question

Would you like to the ask the author a question?


Rating

4.0
(1)
Tina Gasser
December 31, 2020 · Community
Photo: Tina Gasser, Community
Photo: Tina Gasser, Community

Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
13.4 km
Duration
4:09 h
Ascent
511 m
Descent
511 m
Public-transport-friendly Out and back Refreshment stops available Family-friendly

Statistics

  • Content
  • Show images Hide images
Features
2D 3D
Maps and trails
Duration : h
Distance  km
Ascent  m
Descent  m
Highest point  m
Lowest point  m
Push the arrows to change the view