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Beautiful Lake Obersee in Glarus, Switzerland

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Lake Obersee in the Canton of Glarus, Switzerland is a beautiful, quiet lake that mirrors the Brünnelistock mountain in its waters. Its waters are crystal clear and turquoise on a sunny day. The reflection of the rocky mountain behind it is absolutely picture-perfect. It is common to see most visitors whip out their mobile phones and cameras once they see the view.

Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com

Lake Obersee in Glarus is located in Oberseealp in Näfels – the largest of the eight villages in Glarus Nord. Sometimes, it is also referred to as Obersee bei Näfels (Obersee by Näfels) so as not to confuse it with Obersee (“Upper lake”) in Lake Zurich or Obersee in Arosa. The lake lies 983 meters above sea level. The water in the lake comes from the Sulzbach stream.

The Obersee valley in Glarus is the perfect place for walks and hikes. It has approximately 20 kilometers of hiking trails which range from easy (a round trip along the lake) to difficult (like alpine hiking to Rautispitz peak at 2,283 meters).

Things to Do in Lake Obersee, Glarus

Walk around Lake Obersee

Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com

The most common activity in Lake Obersee in Glarus is to walk around the lake. There are not a lot of people here so it is a good activity to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The path is very easy and takes roughly 90 minutes. It is an easy trek with small children and dogs, too. As the path is predominantly flat, strollers can be used if needed.

The recommended months to do this would be between mid-May and October. Start from the left side of the lake after coming in from the parking lot as this provides wonderful views of Brünnelistock mountain behind you.

The path goes around the lake and passes by the Sulzbach stream.

Image of Sulzbach Stream by TouringSwitzerland.com
Sulzbach Stream by TouringSwitzerland.com.

Hike the Ahornen Circular Trail near Lake Obersee

Length11 km
Ascent / Descent700 m / 700 m
Hiking Time3 hours 50 minutes
GradeMedium difficulty

Another hike near the lake is the Ahornen-Rundweg which is a circular trail that goes through the Niederseewald forest beside Lake Obersee. The start and end of the trail are Lake Obersee. It goes to Alp Enziunen – one of the last two Alps in Glarus, on which their soft cheese specialty called Ziger is produced. The path then leads to the highest point of the circular trail – Stäfeli – where you get a wonderful panorama of Wildasyl Rauti Troos – a nature reserve.

Hike to Klöntal Valley

Length21 km
Ascent / Descent1411 m / 998 m
Hiking Time7 hours 11 minutes
GradeDifficult

Hikers who are interested in taking a long trek can head over the Längenegg Pass to Klöntal Valley from Obersee Valley. The Lake Obersee – Lake Klöntal trail stretches over a distance of 21 kilometers. Starting in Näfels, the hike ascends to Lake Obersee. Afterward, it crosses the Lachenalp and the Sulzbach River. After that, it’s a gentle climb to Längenegg Pass. From there, the trail descends to Klöntalƒ Lake.  

Food, Drinks, and Lodging in Lake Obersee

For food, drinks, and lodging there is a hotel nearby called Berghotel Obersee. Among its amenities include a garden, terrace, and a playground for children.  Please check the opening times of the restaurant. It is not open every day.

There is also a possibility to grill on the lake, although I have personally never done it nor seen other people do it. But it is supposed to be allowed.

To the west of Lake Obersee, there is a Camping Area called Zelt- und Campingplatz Obersee, Näfels. There is also a renovated swimming area here for guests.

Fishing in Lake Obersee

Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com

Fishing is allowed on Lake Obersee. The lake is known to be the home of numerous pikes, trouts, and European perch.

How to Get to Lake Obersee, Glarus

Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com
Image of Lake Obersee by TouringSwitzerland.com

Unfortunately, there are no trains, cable cars, or buses that go directly to Lake Obersee in Glarus. The best way to reach it would be by car. And the drive is a narrow, winding road — be sure you are comfortable with this. The roads are not for beginners.

How to Get to Lake Obersee, Glarus by Car

To reach it by car, simply head to Näfels, Glarus. From Näfels, take the Oberseestrasse street going up the mountain until you reach the lake. You a small hotel called Berghotel Obersee. There is a parking lot adjacent to this hotel and you can park your car there. Parking is (currently) free of charge.

Lake Obersee is a beautiful lake less than an hour away from Zurich.

How to Get to Lake Obersee, Glarus by Foot

To reach it by foot from Näfels and back, you can estimate a total of five hours of hiking along the Näfels to Obersee Hiking Path. The hiking path begins at the Näfels-Mollis train station. After going through Näfels village, the hiking signs will lead you to a stream near the church, and from there the Oberseestrasse road to the Platten forest. The estimated hiking time is 2 hours going up to the lake and 1.15 hours going down from the lake back to Näfels.

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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.

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