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Beautiful Lake Arnisee in Uri, Switzerland

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lake Arnisee is located in the idyllic setting of Arnialp at an altitude of 1,368 meters in Uri, Switzerland. Its crystal clear waters are peaceful on a sunny day. The reflection of the rocky mountains behind it is stunning. Visitors often whip out their phones and cameras when they see the view.

Image of Lake Arnisee by

Overview: Lake Arnisee

Image of Lake Arnisee by
Altitude1,368 meters above sea level
Surface Area5.3 hectares
Length250 meters
Width200 meters
Maximum Depth10.5 meters
Catchment Area16 km2

Lake Arnisee is a small artificial lake located in Gurtnellen municipality in the Urner Reuss Valley in the highlands of Canton Uri. The Gurtnellen municipality also encompasses the neighboring valleys of Gorneren Valley to the left and Felli Valley to the right.

A cement pipeline feeds Lake Arnisee with dammed water from the Leitschach and Intschialp streams. Underwater flows into the Reuss.

There are many trails around Lake Arnisee that are perfect for walking and hiking. Tourists and locals alike enjoy this popular destination in the Uri Alps.

Image of Lake Arnisee Rules by

Lake Arnisee is quite scenic, and it is best suited to gazing than anything else. It is not intended for swimming, boating, camping, diving, or fishing since it is used by the local power plant EWA-energieUri.

The complete list of things that you are not allowed to do in Lake Arnisee is listed below:

  • Bathing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Grilling (except the official grilling place)
  • Fishing
  • Going on the frozen lake
  • Diving

Things to Do in Lake Arnisee, Uri

Walk around Lake Arnisee

Image of Lake Arnisee by

Among the most pleasant activities in Lake Arnisee in Uri is walking around the lake or hiking. This is a pleasant activity to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life since there aren’t many people here. There is no difficulty to the path, and it takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

With its short distances and easy walks, this trail is highly recommended for small children as well as dogs. Young children will be delighted to know that Arnisee also has a playground.

The recommended months to do this would be between mid-May and October.

Chänzeli and Vorder-Arni Vantage Points

Views of the Uri Alps by

Located only five minutes walk from Lake Arnisee, Chänzeli is a fantastic vantage point. Bristen, the Manderaner Valley, and the Uri Alps are visible from here.

Further walking for fifteen to twenty minutes will bring you to the Vorder-Arni vantage point. You can see both Reuss Valley and Lake Uri from here.

Hiking Trails from Lake Arnisee

Image of the Hiking Trail near Arnisee by

The hiking trails around Lake Arnisee are numerous. We have listed the most popular hiking trails along with their expected durations.

Hikes from Lake ArniseeEstimated Hiking Duration
Arnisee – Intschi1 hour 30 minutes
Arnisee – Heissigegg – Intschi2 hours
Arnisee – Gurtnellen Dorf2 hours 30 minutes
Arnisee – Leutschachhütte2 hours 30 minutes
Arnisee – Sunniggrat2 hours
Arnisee – Sunniggrat – Leutschachhütte – Arnisee6 hours
Arnisee – Schinlachtalhütte2 hours 30 minutes
Arnisee – Geissberg – Gurtnellen Dorf4 hours 30 minutes
Arnisee – Mittlepunkt Kt. Uri30 minutes

Children can also enjoy the hike from Arnisee to Gurtnellen Dorf as a themed forest trail. In this animal puzzle trail, children must guess which animal is being sought, and then in a dense forest, they must find it.

About 3 kilometers of hiking trails are prepared around Arnisee in winter.

Food, Drinks, and Lodging near Lake Arnisee

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There are two options nearby for food and drinks: Gasthaus Arnisee and Berggasthaus Alpenblick. Additionally, Sennhütte Arnisee sells fresh products.

The Berggasthaus Alpenblick can also accommodate 33 people in 6 rooms if they want to sleep. There are also three sleeping pods that can be rented if you want.

Grilling is also an option on the lake, although I have never done it nor seen anyone else do it. However, it should be allowed.

Climbing Park near Lake Arnisee

Climbing park marked by “Klettersteig-Routen”. Image by

There is a climbing park near Lake Arnisee that opened in 2020. There are different climbing routes on the Piel-Flue and the Adlerhorst. There is a fantastic view of the Reuss Valley and Lake Arni from this family-friendly climbing route.

In the climbing park, the opening dates are from the beginning of May until the end of November. You can rent climbing gear from Berggasthaus Alpenblick.

16 climbing routes are available in the climbing park in Arnisee. In Adlerhorst, the climb takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.

You can reach the climbing park by following the way “Sunniggrat” from Arnisee. Turn left after 20 minutes and follow the road to Piel-Flue.

How to Get to Lake Arnisee, Uri

Image of the Intschi – Arnisee Cable Car by

You can reach Lake Arnisee by cable car from Amsteg or Intschi. Taking the cable car from Intschi to Lake Arnisee is easier than from Amsteg because the cable car is very close to the lake.

Nevertheless, walking through Amsteg isn’t so difficult either. In fact, it is also a pleasure to admire the views of the Reuss Valley. The walk from the mountain station in Arni to Lake Arnisee takes about 20 minutes.

You can also combine by starting in Amsteg and ending in Intschi or the other way around.

Here are your options on how to get to Lake Arnisee in Uri.

How to Get to Lake Arnisee, Uri from Intschi

  1. Take the bus from Erstfeld or Göschenen to Intschi, Seilbahn. The bus arrives directly in front of the Intschi-Arnisee Valley Station.
  2. Take the cable car from Intschi to Arnisee.
  3. Walk around 3 minutes to Lake Arnisee.

How to Get to Lake Arnisee, Uri from Amsteg

  1. Take the bus from Erstfeld or Göschenen to Amsteg, Schulhaus.
  2. Walk around 14 minutes to the Amsteg-Arnisee Valley Station
  3. Take the cable car from Amsteg to Arnisee.
  4. Walk around 20 minutes to Lake Arnisee.

How to Get to Lake Arnisee, Uri by Car

There are free parking places for cars both in Amsteg and Intschi near the Valley stations.

Final Thoughts: Lake Arnisee

Image of Lake Arnisee by

It is a pleasant way to spend a day at Lake Arnisee. Due to its relative obscurity, this lake is almost always quiet. It has everything a mountain lake should have: rocky peaks behind, larch forests, and crystal-clear blue water. Aside from that, the lake is an excellent photography subject because no one can enter it.

Whether you are in Andermatt, Lake Lucerne, or somewhere else in Canton Uri, Arnisee is a worthwhile place to visit.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of 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.

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