A car-free village in Kerns, Obwalden, Melchsee-Frutt is a charming place to visit. On a high plateau in the Swiss Alps, it’s around 1,920 meters high. You’ll find Melchsee-Frutt in Central Switzerland, just outside of Lucerne. It is also near other mountain resorts such as Hasliberg and Engelberg.
With only 142 residents, most of whom are in the tourism industry, this laid-back mountain resort is a great place to unwind.
Since December 1935, the Gondola on Stöckalp has been bringing people to the sun-drenched Melchsee-Frutt plateau. Many tourists have visited since then. Despite being less touristy than Zermatt or the Jungfrau region, Melchsee-Frutt is still gorgeous and serene. It’s pretty in the summer with its lush pastures, crystal clear lakes, and rocky mountains in the distance.
Melchsee-Frutt is home to beautiful lakes like Lake Melch (Melchsee), Lake Tannen (Tannensee), Lake Engstlenen (Engstlenensee), and Blue Lake (Blauseeli). Don’t confuse this particular Blue Lake with Kandersteg’s Blue Lake. With lounge chairs, ample sunlight, BBQ areas, playgrounds, and food available, Lake Melch sometimes feels like a beach in the middle of the Swiss Alps.
While in Switzerland, Melchsee-Frutt is worth a visit. It’s not just for families with little kids; everyone can have fun there. You might be wondering if Melchsee-Frutt in Obwalden is worth visiting, so we rounded up the top 10 reasons below.
Here are some of the 10 things to love about and do in Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland:
Reason # 1: Melchsee-Frutt is Easily Accessible and Car-Free
Melchsee-Frutt’s car-free high plateau has a great view of the surrounding mountains. As an outdoor leisure area, the region can be reached by cable car. You can get there from places like Lucerne or Sarnen, which are nearby.
In the summer, you can park directly at Melchsee-Frutt. However, you have to park in the Dempfelsmatt lot since the region is car-free. The drive is every two hours per way, so please confirm the exact schedule. In winter, you cannot take your car up to Melchsee-Frutt.
In my opinion, taking the cable car is the best option, even if you have to bring your suitcase. You can take the cable car from Stöckalp to Melchsee-Frutt. From Melchsee-Frutt, you can also take another cable car to Bonistock.
You can leave your car in the valley parking lot. Free parking is available at the Stöckalp Valley Station. Melchsee-Frutt is accessible via the A2 Highway (Lucerne – Gotthard).
Reason # 2: Melchsee-Frutt has 4 Beautiful Lakes
- Lake Melch (Melchsee) – Lake Melch sits at 1,891 meters. Its surface area is 54 hectares. It’s a great place for swimming or pedal boating. Fishing is allowed here too.
- Lake Tannen (Tannensee) – Lake Tannen is located east of Lake Melch. It is a reservoir dam used by Elektrizitätswerk Obwalden to produce electricity. Although swimming is not allowed in Lake Tannen, fishing for trout or char is.
- Lake Engstlen (Lake Engstlen) – Lake Engstlen is a natural lake near Joch Pass that is also used as a reservoir. It is located in Bernese Oberland.
- Blue Lake (Blauseeli) – The Blue Lake is a small idyllic spot for fly fishing. It is around 1.25 kilometers away from Melchsee-Frutt village.
Reason # 3: Melchsee-Frutt is Excellent for Families
Melchsee-Frutt is a great place for families with young kids. But even older kids can have fun here.
Here is a list of some fun stuff for kids at Melchsee-Frutt :
- Uf dr Wildli Playground: A playground near the old cable car mountain station with various play elements such as a slide, a cheese track, a play church, a play house, a flying fox, and more.
- Fruttli-Weg Hiking Trail: You’ll have 10 posts to answer questions. Each post will have an interesting activity or playground such as balancing beams, ropes, and more. After you finish the Fruttli-Weg card, you can head to the old or new mountain station to claim a little prize. On weekends and holidays, you might even see Fruttli the mascot.
- Stroller-friendly Trails: Take your stroller and walk along the yellow hiking trails. These are usually good for kids’ all-terrain strollers.
- Scooter Riding: At Melchsee-Frutt’s new summit station, 30 scooters are available for rent. Scooters are allowed for kids over 14.
- discOWer Seilpark Melchsee-Frutt: There’s an adventure rope park right next to Stöckalp Valley Station. From 6 years old, kids can choose from 6 rope courses of varying difficulty, including a 12-meter pendulum jump. At Pfideripark, kids can also try three different rope courses starting at 4 years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult until they’re 13.
- Frutt Mountain Resort Facilities (guests only): The Frutt Mountain Resort has swimming pools, spas, cinemas, and indoor playgrounds for guests.
Reason # 4: Melchsee-Frutt is Excellent for All Age Groups
No matter your age, Melchsee-Frutt is a great place to go. It’s a great place for adults to relax and have fun, with well-kept pastures, crystal-clear water, and amazing mountain views.
Listed below are some things you might like about Melchsee-Frutt:
- Fantastic Views: Despite sounding like a broken record, Melchsee-Frutt has amazing nature. With its lakes, mountains, and fresh air, it truly is beautiful here.
- Panorama-Lift: A panorama lift takes you to the observation deck, 40 meters above Lake Melch. The view from there is amazing: Titlis, Wendenstöcke, and Balmeregghorn are all visible.
- Barbeque Spots: Several barbeque or grill spots are marked on the hiking map. You can simply seek one out and stop there to have a nice meal.
- Scooter Riding: At Melchsee-Frutt’s new summit station, 30 scooters are available for rent. You can ride a scooter if you’re over 14.
- Group Events: Group events can be arranged via frutt events, Sportcamp, or Outventure.
- Cave Tour by Outventure: Rear Melch Valley has one of the largest karst cave systems in Switzerland. If you would like to organize a cave tour for groups of 6, you can reach out to Outventure. Please wear hiking shoes.
Reason # 5: Melchsee-Frutt has a Variety of Hiking Trails
There are tons of hiking trails in Melchsee-Frutt, including easy yellow trails where you can use children’s strollers, red-and-white mountain trails, and difficult blue alpine trails. Walking along Lake Melch (Melchsee) is easy, and you can hike to the second lake from there Lake Tannen (Tannensee).
A popular one is the four lakes hike, which goes to all four lakes via Melchsee-Frutt – Tannalp – Engstlenalp – Jochpass – Trüebsee. You’ll finish in 4 hours and 10 minutes after 13.5 kilometers. This is a classic mountain trail. It can also be done in the other direction, starting from Engelberg. You’ll see four lakes: Lake Melch (Melchsee), Lake Tannen (Tannensee), Lake Engstlen (Engstlensee), and Lake Trüb (Trübsee).
Älggialp, the geographic center of Switzerland in Canton Obwalden, can be reached from Melchsee-Frutt. It’s indicated by a triangular pyramid.
Well-marked hiking trails run through Melchsee-Frutt. Here are some of the hiking trails that you can do here:
|Hiking Trail||Length (in kilometers)|
|Melchsee-Frutt Bonistock – Tannenalp – Circular Trail||9.52 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Bettenalp – Bonistock Circular Trail||7.30 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Circular Trail||11.25 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Hochstollen Circular Trail||17.50 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Älggi Trail||14.58 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Jochpass Circular Trail||21.60 km|
|Melchsee-Frutt – Stöckalp Trail||10.95 km|
Hiking Time Calculator
Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.
Reason # 6: A Frutt Train can get you around Melchsee-Frutt
The lovely little train Frutt-Zug runs on the route from the old mountain station to Tannalp. Among the stops of the train are the following: Alte Bergstation, Dörfli, Panoramalift, Kapelle, Distelboden, Tannendamm, Tannensee, Fachshubel, and Tannalp.
This small train happily moves back and forth between the old mountain station and Tannalp. The route itself isn’t hard, but if you want to cut your journey short, you might want to ride it. There’s one every hour from Melchsee-Frutt and one every half hour from Tannalp.
You can buy your tickets from the train driver.
Reason # 7: Melchsee-Frutt offers Sports Activities
Melchsee-Frutt mountain resort has many summer activities such as hiking, cycling, rock climbing, paragliding, and fishing. There are also mountain trails marked as Viktor Röthlin trails available in Melchsee-Frutt. A mountain bike path runs separately from the hiking trail.
The Boni Climbing Garden has over 170 climbing routes for different levels. You can find it near the Panorama Lift. There are other climbing areas such as Staudamm Tannensee, Chringen, Hohmad, and Barglen.
Melchsee-Frutt also has many winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and ice fishing.
Although Melchsee-Frutt may not be a huge ski resort, it’s still a lovely place for beginners to learn. In addition to a ski rental shop, they also have a ski school. You have two ski areas – Balmeregghorn and Erzegg. There are also steeper slopes from Bonistock. Also available for little ones learning to ski is Fruittli-Land.
Reason # 8: Fishing is allowed in Melchsee-Frutt
There are four lakes you can fish at (Melchsee, Tannensee, Engstlenalpsee, Blausee). Especially in Melchsee, you can see many fishermen trying their luck. The parents or grandparents even bring their young kids there to learn how to fish.
You can ice fish on the frozen lakes of Melchsee or Tannensee during the winter. Fish can be caught if you drill a hole in the ice. Please note that ice fishing is only allowed on certain dates under expert supervision. It’s not like you can just drill holes randomly as you wish.
Reason # 9: There are many Hotels and Restaurants in Melchsee-Frutt
There are hotels, holiday apartments, and restaurants in this mountain resort. My favorite is Frutt Mountain Resort where we stayed for the weekend.
Frutt Mountain Resort is Europe’s highest-elevation 4-star* hotel. It is an upscale mountain resort offering fantastic views of Lake Melch and the surrounding mountains, a spa, swimming pool, cinema, bowling, and a play area for children. They also serve fantastic meals at Titschli, Special Cuts, and Lago. I highly recommend Frutt Mountain Resort.
Reason # 10: Beautiful Mountains Surround Melchsee-Frutt
Tannalp, Stöckalp, Bonistock, and Erzegg surround Frutt Village. From different viewing points around Melchsee-Frutt, you can also enjoy the views of Titlis (3,238 meters), Klein Titlis (3,032 meters), Wendenstöcke (3,042 meters), Mähren (2,970 meters), Tällistock (2,579 meters), Rotsandnollen (2,700 meters), and Graustock (2,662 meters).
Melchsee-Frutt is truly a beautiful region that you will enjoy visiting.
How to Get to Melchsee-Frutt
Melchsee-Frutt is easy to reach from Sarnen by bus. Simply take Bus 343 from Sarnen and this will bring you to Stöckalp Valley Station.
Is it possible to drive to Melchsee-Frutt? In summer, you are allowed to drive up to Melchsee-Frutt but you will have to leave the car in the parking lot. The car-free high plateau is free of cars and trucks. Please confirm the exact schedule, as it is every two hours per way. Melchsee-Frutt itself is car-free. In winter, you will not be allowed to drive up.
I highly recommend going by cable car, even if it means bringing your suitcase to the cable car. It is much easier to leave your car in the valley parking lot. Cable cars run without interruption, so you can simply get into the next cable car.
|By Car||Stöckalp Parking Lot or Dempfelsmatt Parking Lot|
Final Words: Melchsee-Frutt Mountain Resort
All ages and lifestyles can enjoy Melchsee-Frutt – whether you’re looking for something relaxing or action-packed. There’s so much to see and do in Melchsee-Frutt.
You cannot just pass up an opportunity to ride the cable car and enjoy this wonderful region. Have fun!
- Melchsee-Frutt. https://www.melchsee-frutt.com
- Frutt-Chronik: Melchsee-Frutt im Laufe der Jahrhunderte. Melchsee-Frutt.com. Accessed on 1 September 2022. https://www.melchsee-frutt.com/frutt-chronik
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.