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Winter Hiking and Skiing in Braunwald

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Braunwald in Winter offers skiing, hiking, toboggan runs, ice climbing, and more winter fun options for both young and old.


The car-free mountain village of Braunwald is in the southernmost part of Glarus canton. It is a tiny, little-known village of less than 400 year-round residents. It offers a breathtaking panorama of the Glarus Alps with Ortstock, Tödi, Biferten, and Hausstock.

The winter holiday region of Braunwald-Klausenpass covers the following areas:

  • Betschwanden
  • Braunwald
  • Diesbach
  • Hätzingen
  • Linthal
  • Luchsingen
  • Rüti

Image by Canton Glarus from Flickr

How To Get To Braunwald

To reach Braunwald, take the train going to Linthal Braunwaldbahn (1 hour and 30 minutes from Zurich). If you are driving a car, the address of the valley station is Stachelbergstrasse 2, 8783 Linthal. From Linthal Braunwald, take the funicular up to Braunwald. It is the only connection to Braunwald.

For more than 100 years, the car-free family village of Braunwald was only accessible with the funicular. In fact, in 1907, the entire journey took 20 minutes from the valley up to the mountain village. Nowadays, the ride going from Linthal to Braunwald 607 meters higher takes only roughly 6 to 7 minutes.

Image from Vasile Cotonavu from Flickr

From Braunwald, one can choose to take either the cable car from Hüttenberg to the Grotzenbüel area (1,561 meters) or Burstberg to the Gumen area.

  • The first option, riding the cable car from Hüttenberg to the Grotzenbüel area, will lead to amazing views of the Glarus border mountains Hausstock, Bifertenstock, Tödi, and Orstock. This ride takes guests 1,116 meters long and 259 meters high in four minutes
  • The second option to take the combination cableway includes alternating 4-person gondolas and 2-person chairlifts from Burstberg to Gumen (1,901 meters). This ride encompasses two kilometers with over 590 meters in height ascent. The combination cable ride takes roughly eight minutes from Braunwald to Gumen.

There is also a chairlift from Grotzenbüel to Seblengrat (1,897 meters).

Things To Do In Braunwald In Winter

The Things-To-Do List in Braunwald for winter is quite long – skiing, hiking, climbing, and horse-drawn carriage rides. Let’s start with the obvious first choice for most visitors during winter – skiing.

Image from braunwald.ch

To access the panorama map of Braunwald in Winter, download the PDF file from braunwald.ch.

Skiing in Braunwald

For skiers and snowboarders, there are 26 kilometers of machine-groomed slopes. These range from easy to challenging. The slopes consist of:

  • 6 kilometers of easy (blue)
  • 18 kilometers of medium (red)
  • 2 kilometers of difficult (black)
  • 2.5-kilometer long ski route on Eggstock yellow)
Image by Canton Glarus from Flickr

For those who wish to improve their skiing skills, they have a ski school in Braunwald as well. They provide private and group lessons for both skiing and snowboarding.

There is a snowpark in Grotzenbüel with freestyle conditions for snowboarders and freeskiers. A children’s ski park is also present in this area.

Toboggan Runs in Braunwald

There are two toboggan runs from Grotzenbüel.

  • The first toboggan run goes from Grotzenbüel via Gross-Syten to Hüttenberg. It is 3 kilometers long. This is reserved exclusively for toboggan runs and is the better choice between the two.
  • The second toboggan run goes from Grotzenbüel to Schwettiberg. It is also 3 kilometers long. This is only available when the conditions are favorable. It is not an official slope and therefore, should be used with caution. Tip: Be cautious of the people walking, the local taxis, and horse-drawn carriages, as it is not an exclusive slope for toboggan runs.

For those with no sledges, there is a possibility to rent one from the mountain station in Grotzenbüel for CHF 15. Kessler Sport Braunwald also has a supply of sledges (wood or plastic).

Winter Hiking in Braunwald

Surrounded by the impressive landscape and nature, hiking is a popular activity for small children and alpinists alike. There are well-marked winter and panorama hikes in Braunwald.

There is a beautiful winter hiking path from Braunwald to Grotzenbüel and back. It goes from the village to Schwettiberg on the way to Grotzenbüel. On the way back, you pass by Hüttenberg. This light winter tour is a 6-kilometer trail, which offers a view of the high alpine mountains at each step of the way.

A second winter tour is the Nussbüel tour. This 7.5-kilometer-long winter trail goes to Hüttenberg and Bräch-Unterstafel. It is an easy hike through the forest. In Nussbüel, you can go to a comfortable restaurant (Restaurant Nussbüel). It is even possible to do this with a children’s stroller.

A third winter tour is a circular panorama hike 404 starting from Grotzenbüel in the middle of the ski resort. It goes up to Seblengrat through the forest up until the viewpoint of Chnügrat. The higher it goes, the more impressive Ortstock Mountain comes into view. From up above awaits an impressive 3,000-meter view down to Linthal Valley.

Image by Vasile Cotonavu from Flickr

Cross-country skiing

For cross-country skiers, there is a 10-kilometer-long slope called Gulispur in Urnerboden. It is 1,400 above sea level and available daily.

Ice Climbing in Urnerboden

Ice climbing for beginners and advanced visitors is available in Urnerboden. There are lots of light and well-secured routes. It is also recommended for beginners and can be done even in bad weather. It is one of the best ice-climbing spots in Europe.

Horse-drawn carriages

Horse-drawn carriages wait right beside the train station in Braunwald. Even during winter, the horses belonging to the Schuler family wait near the village’s small store (kiosk) to bring guests around the village. The carriage moves in front of beautiful chalets, through the forests and alpine meadows and back. Guests will enjoy the fantastic views from the carriage and the carriage drivers know each peak and can always tell special stories about each one. The carriages run from morning until late in the evening, bringing guests from one point to another. They even offer to let you ride the carriage while having a snack, a glass of wine, or a fondue.

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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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