These waterfalls are already visible from afar when you are in Lake Walen. One of Switzerland’s highest waterfalls is located near Betlis, not far from Zurich. I’m talking about the Seerenbach Waterfalls or Seerenbachfalls.
Near Betlis, a village in Amden, St. Gallen, are the Seerenbach waterfalls, a set of three cascading waterfalls. The upper cascade reaches a height of 50 meters. With a height of 305 meters, the middle one is the highest. The lowest cascade is 190 meters high. At the foot of the steep cliff, the waterfalls form a gorge that flows into Lake Walen.
In 2009, it was corrected for being wrongly referred to as Switzerland’s highest waterfalls. The highest waterfall in Switzerland is Mürrenbachfall in Lauterbrunnen.
In the Seerenbach Canyon, the Rin Spring (also known as Rinquelle) joins the Seerenbach Fall III. The Rin Spring is the largest karst spring in the Churfirsten-Säntis region. It is located at the bottom of the Seerenbach Fall.
Alternative Stop: Quinten
Some people head to the small, car-free hamlet of Quinten from Betlis and the Seerenbach Falls.
The quiet hamlet of Quinten is flanked by the steep walls of Churfirsten. You can reach it either by foot from Weesen or Walenstadt, or by boat. Due to its mild climate, it is reminiscent of Ticino and grows grapes, figs, kiwis, and other tropical fruits.
How do you get to the Seerenbach waterfalls?
Seerenbach waterfalls can be reached in several ways. The following are some options together with the estimated hiking time:
- You can walk to and from the Weesen parking lot near the lake (Parkplatz Weesen, See) – 1 hour 40 minutes to the Waterfalls
- You can walk to and from the Amden / Lago Mio parking lot – 80 minutes walk to the Waterfalls
- You can walk to and from Fli, Seestern bus stop – 85 minutes walk to the Waterfalls
- You can walk to Seerenbach Waterfalls, hike to Quinten, and take a boat from Quinten
- You can take the boat from Unterterzen to Betlis, walk to Quinten, and then take the boat back to Unterterzen
Parking is available in Weesen (Parkplatz Weesen See) and in Betliser Street (Parkplatz Amden | Lago Mio / Siten) near the restaurant Lago Mio.
One-way Street: Betlis – Weesen
From the beach bar Lago Mio, the street narrows to a one-way street. It is only accessible during specific times per hour.
- The direction to Betlis can only be accessed between HH:00 – HH:05 and HH:30 – HH:35
- The direction to Weesen can only be accessed between HH:15 – HH:20 and HH:45 – HH:50
Do not attempt to use it otherwise. There is an extremely narrow street on which two vehicles cannot fit side-by-side. Vehicles up to 2 meters wide and 2 meters high can pass through it. Several drivers have expressed concern about fitting through the tunnels as they are extremely narrow.
I would suggest you park your car near the restaurant Lago Mio and walk from there. The walking path is light and (mostly) paved up until the hill.
When is the best time to visit Seerenbach Falls?
The waterfalls can be visited any time for free, but the best time to visit them is right after winter when the snow-capped mountains are melting or following heavy rain.
The waterfalls will be at their most beautiful if you do this. When the precipitation is low or when the summer season is at its peak, you may not see as much water. During winter, the water will likely appear as snow.
As you approach the waterfalls, you will also pass by this cute little chapel with an amazing view of Lake Walen and the surrounding mountains.
Near the waterfalls and Rin Spring, there is a viewing platform.
Where can we eat near Seerenbach Falls?
There is an official grilling/barbeque station near the Seerenbach Falls in the forest on the way to the viewing platform. The area has enough space for around 16 people.
Near Betlis on Lake Walen is one of the highest waterfalls in the country – Seerenbachfalls. From Zurich, it’s a simple one-day excursion. A light and easy walk will get you to and from any parking lot or bus stop. There is room for strollers and bicycles as well as young children as the path is easy and wide enough to accommodate them. There were also many dog-walking families around. In most cases, it’s not the best idea to approach the waterfalls with a car. The best place to leave the car is in one of the parking lots Amden or Weesen before the street turns into a one-way street.
Once you are on the path leading to Seerenbach Falls, the views are spectacular. The color of Lake Walen is stunning, and the walk is peaceful and enjoyable. While the hike isn’t difficult, you should wear comfortable shoes. From Betlis, you can walk a forest trail all the way to this tall water spectacle. A viewing platform will allow you to get closer.
It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists from abroad. On busy days, parking will be scarce, so be prepared to turn around and park elsewhere. It was extremely crowded when we went there late in the spring. The parking lot was packed with cars, as well as people walking in the same direction.
As a whole, it is a destination that I would definitely recommend. The walk along the lake and through the tunnels is fascinating. The area is filled with scenic spots where you can take pictures. Seerenbach Falls is a wonderful sight to see.