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Fürenalp Engelberg: Hike in Beautiful Little Patagonia

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Hidden in Engelberg is the incredibly beautiful region of Fürenalp, surrounded by impressive rock formations, as well as diverse flora and fauna. It is a fantastic choice to hike in Fürenalp; alpine meadows, cascading waterfalls, and the impressive Big and Little Spannort on the other side of the valley will ensure a memorable outdoor experience for hikers of all abilities.

Image of Big and Little Spannort Mountains, Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

In this article, you will learn more about Fürenalp, Engelberg, especially hiking there in summer.

Overview: Fürenalp, Engelberg

Image of the Panoramic Views from Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

Fürenalp is a high mountain pasture 1,850 meters above sea level. It is easy to reach by cable car from the mountain town of Engelberg, Switzerland. Fürenalp is surrounded by many mountain peaks such as Engelberger Rotstock (2,818 meters), Blackenstock (2,930 meters), Uri-Rotstock (2,928 meters), Ruchstock (2,812 meters), and more.

From Fürenalp, you can easily see impressive mountains such as Gross Spannort (3,198 meters), Chli Spannort (3,140 meters), and Titlis (3,238 meters) on the other side of the valley.

In summer, Fürenalp is a popular hiking destination in Engelberg, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is a well-known place of power, referred to in German as Kraftort, attracting those interested in spirituality, energy vortexes, serenity, and alternative healing practices.

In winter, Fürenalp is a fantastic destination for winter hikes, snowshoeing, and tobogganing.

Little Patagonia

Image of Little Patagonia, Engelberg by TouringSwitzerland.com

I couldn’t believe how fascinated I was by Fürenalp, and I very highly recommend visiting it. This place was like a cross between the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Italian dolomites, but more lesser-known and tucked away in Engelberg like a hidden treasure.

The word Patagonia likely originated from the word patagón, referring to the indigenous Tehuelche encountered by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century. The word is now used to refer to the region in South America that encompasses Argentina and Chile. It has also been made popular by the clothing brand Patagonia.

Patagonia is a rugged landscape, with vast plains, glaciers, and breathtaking natural beauty. The word is also used by Fürenalp because this fascinating landscape also has rugged mountain peaks, endless expanses, and cascading waterfalls.


Fürenalp Hike: What to Expect

Fürenalp offers fantastic well-marked hiking trails that provide stunning mountain views in both summer and winter.

Most hikes in Fürenalp begin at the Fürenalp cable car mountain station. If you would rather hike up than down, you can start from the Fürenalp valley station as well. Cable car tickets can be purchased at the Valley Station. For those coming from Engelberg, there is a bus that runs from Engelberg to the Fürenalp Valley Station.

Recommended Hikes in Fürenalp

Image of the Hiking Trails, Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

The following are some recommended hikes you can take in Fürenalp:

Hiking TrailDistance (in kilometers)Description
Grotzli Walk3.4 kmA circular trail from Fürenalp that revolves around history, rocks, flora, and fauna.
Fürenalp Mountain – Stauber Waterfall – Fürenalp Valley9.19 kmHiking trail from Fürenalp to the Stäuber Waterfall
Fürenalp Mountain – Widderen – Fürenalp Valley3.7 kmHiking trail from Fürenalp to Tagenstall / Widderen
Places of Power3.7 kmHiking trail from Fürenalp to Tagenstall / Widderen focusing on Places of Power discovered and documented by Dr. Andrea Fischbacher.
Winter Walk2.0 kmPanoramic winter hiking trail on Fürenalp

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.


Grotzli Walk (Grotzliweg)

Image of Spiegelseeli, Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

The Grotzli Hiking Trail commences at the Fürenalp mountain station. Starting with a gentle descent through the Grotzli area adorned with flowers, you’ll then walk near a forest of spruce and fir trees. Afterward, you’ll encounter rockier terrain and begin ascending toward Surenen.

Grotzli is a term used by the locals to describe young spruce trees.

Instead of heading to Surenen, you will turn the other way, heading over to Fürenalp. You’ll pass by marble formations before reaching the panoramic path, which offers breathtaking views of the glaciers on the opposite side of the valley.

Continuing upwards through the pastures, you might encounter grazing cows (please be careful here) as you approach the hike’s highest point at approximately 1,930 meters above sea level.

Gradually descending on your way back to Fürenalp, you’ll come across a small pond known as Spiegelseeli. Just beyond the restaurant, there’s a brief trail leading to a second pond called Panoramaseeli, offering another picturesque view of the Engelberg Valley.

The Fürenalp Hike around the Grotzi is easy and rewarding, offering stunning alpine views and an educational component to it. After finishing your hike, you may stop by the mountain restaurant at the trailhead for a quick drink or snack.


Best Time to Hike in Fürenalp

Image of Fürenalp Views by TouringSwitzerland.com

Hiking is always best done when the weather conditions are favorable. I recommend checking the weather forecast before starting your hike. Mountains can be tricky in terms of weather; it is not uncommon for change to come quickly.

The best time to hike Fürenalp is during the summer months from June to September. During this time, the weather is warm and the snow has melted, making the trails clear. The waterfalls are always full of water in spring and after rainfall.

Winter hikes are also possible. A sunny, clear day with compact snow on the mountain is my favorite time to visit the mountains.


Nearby Attractions in Fürenalp

While the Fürenalp hike is a beautiful and rewarding experience on its own, there are also several nearby attractions that visitors may want to check out during their stay in the area.

Image of Fürenalp Bear’s Nest by TouringSwitzerland.com

The Fürenalp Bear’s Nest is a unique attraction in Fürenalp. It shows bones of brown bears (Ursus arctos) that were found in a cave 20 meters long and 6 meters deep.

The bear cave was reached by Rebecca Caspani and Martin Trüssel only recently, on the 25th of October 2021. The bones were from three bears, a young bear 2 years of age, an old bear, and a third bear of unknown age. The young bear lived 12,400 years ago and is one of the oldest ice-age bear remains in Switzerland.

Visitors can visit Fürenalp Bear’s Nest and see the bones for themselves. The path can be followed after exiting the Fürenalp mountain station.

Image of the Panoramic Views from Mount Titlis by TouringSwitzerland.com

Another nearby attraction is the mountain of Titlis, which is easily accessible via cable car from Engelberg. Mount Titlis is a mountain located in the Uri Alps, standing at 3,238 meters above sea level. It is a popular destination for many international tourists and locals alike, offering many things to do throughout the year.

One of the most popular things to do in Titlis is the rotating cable car ride to the summit. Known as the Titlis Rotair, it is the world’s first rotating cable car. While inside, you can enjoy a slow movement offering you changing views of the valley.

If you want to learn more about Titlis, you can check out the 10 Best Things to Do in Titlis Switzerland.

Image of Engelberg from Brunni Cable Car by TouringSwitzerland.com

Brunni is a popular destination in Engelberg known for its outdoor adventures and family-friendly attractions. It has a huge playground with a toboggan, themed hiking trails for young ones, a short tickle path, and a small lake. In winter months, Brunni also has opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.


Safety Tips for the Fürenalp Hike

Image of the Cows on Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • It is important to wear sturdy hiking shoes. Although the terrain is not difficult, it is also not as easy as it seems.
  • Stay on designated trails. These are well-marked and maintained.
  • You need to be careful with the cows that graze in the Alps. Calves are especially protected by their mothers.
  • Choose a hike that is suitable for your fitness level. High-altitude trails can be challenging.
  • Carry water and if necessary, enough snacks to keep you energized throughout the hike.
  • Other items to consider bringing include sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera to capture the stunning views along the Fürenalp Hiking Trail.

How to Get to Fürenalp

Image of the Fürenalp Cable Car by TouringSwitzerland.com

Getting to Fürenalp Valley Station from Engelberg is easy by bus (15 minutes) or car. You’ll find a parking lot right next to the Valley Station, where you can conveniently purchase your cable car tickets for the ride to Fürenalp.

From cities like Lucerne and Zurich, you can easily reach Engelberg by train or car.

AddressFürenalp
6390 Engelberg
BusEngelberg, Fürenalpbahn

Final Thoughts: Fürenalp, Engelberg

Image of Panorama Seeli, Fürenalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

Fürenalp in Engelberg is a remarkable destination due to its stunning natural features, including impressive rock formations and waterfalls. It has a tranquil atmosphere. Unlike more popular spots in Engelberg like Brunni and Titlis, Fürenalp remains a hidden gem, adding to its charm.

I recommend choosing one of the hiking trails when visiting Fürenalp. The trails are diverse, so you can choose the one that best suits you. We opted for the Grotzli Trail, which I believe is suitable for individuals with a decent level of fitness. Along the way, you can soak in beautiful views of the Spannort mountains and Titlis.

Be sure to make stops at the Bear’s Nest to see the bear bones as well as the two small lakes (or ponds). Enjoy your visit to Fürenalp!

Resources

  • Fürenalp Engelberg. Discovery. Bear’s Nest, Fürenalp.
  • Fürenalp Engelberg. Summer Full of Wonders, Fürenalp.
  • Fürenalp Engelberg. Winter Full of Mystique, Fürenalp.
  • Fürenalp Engelberg. Grotzliweg: Eintauchen in das Rauschen der Natur, Fürenalp.

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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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