Breathtaking Murgseen with wild waterfalls (Eastern Switzerland)

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Duration:5h 30min.
Start:Merlen Parking
Target:Merlen Parking
Best TimeMay – October

3 breathtaking green and blue lakes, wildly romantic waterfalls, untouched pine forests and impressive moor landscapes and an imposing mountain landscape.

by Marc Gottwald
  • Starting point only by car or Alpine taxi (Taxi Walser Murg: +41 81 738 14 41 – reservation required). Parking fee CHF 10 and only payable in coins
  • The Murgseen is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Tectonic Arena Sardona
  • Sometimes you are almost alone
  • Take enough water with you, there is no refillable drinking water!
  • No cell phone reception the entire hike

Looking for another UNESCO World Heritiage Site Visit?
Browse our blog on Ausserberg here.

Natural experience above Lake Walen

Are you looking for a real insider tip?

Are you in love with beautiful green-blue shimmering mountain lakes?

And do you also like wildly romantic waterfalls and untouched stone pine forests?

A warm welcome to the Murgseen!

Arriving in Merlen

The starting point in Merlen (1098m above sea level) can only be reached by car or taxi.

So a first important tip: Be sure to take 10 francs in coins with you. The parking meter only takes coins. It does have payment slips, but that only entails additional work.

You start the unique circular hike at car park P1. If you want to hike directly to the Murgseen, it is best to park at the P2 car park to save 20 minutes on foot.

Pure wilderness of nature – stone pine forests, waterfalls, golden mountain peaks

With this moderately difficult circular hike, you enter the pure wilderness of nature, which I personally really loved (see pictures). This remoteness is also reflected in the fact that there is no mobile phone reception at all during the entire hike. Ideal for taking a break from everything!

In the first hour of the hike, the path leads you through a beautiful pine forest. There is a total of around 300 meters of ascent, although it definitely feels like more 😊.

You can then enjoy the view of the beautiful mountain panorama (e.g. the Leistchamm) again and again.

If you’re interested in visiting other waterfalls and natural hiking routes around Switzerland, check out some of our other blogs here:

  1. Panoramic dream walk in the Basel area (Basel)
  2. Foroglio – fairytale village (Ticino)

The Mürtschental – the first valley floor

Passing waterfalls and huge stones, which were once triggered by a landslide, you come to a valley, the so-called Mürtschental. The forest consists of stone pines, some of which are over 100 years old, as well as spruce, mountain pine and rowan berries.

After a short break, which you will definitely take and deserve, you continue hiking, accompanied by a wild and romantic stream.

Personally, I always find it impressive how plants can survive in extreme situations.

A number of moors can also be clearly recognized by the white Scheuchzerian cotton grass (Eriophorum scheuchzeri).

Unfortunately, all the pictures on my SLR camera were deleted, otherwise I could show you a first small pub to stop off (after about 1h30min), where you can get tea and other drinks, among other things.

For a nature photographer, this hike is one highlight after another as it has everything your heart desires. One of the most varied hikes in Switzerland.

The view of the “Hochmätteli” mountain, with its special aesthetics, is guaranteed to inspire you!

The upper and lower Murgsee – magical lakes with Swiss history

You continue hiking in the direction of Oberer Mürtschen and then another 1 hour and 15 minutes in the direction of Murgsee. We were accompanied by marmots. You could also see chamois and ibexes (rather early in the morning). It is noticeable that the soil is relatively red, which indicates ferrous soil. In fact, according to research, copper and silver were also mined at Murgsee for iron ore.

The Murgsee mountain restaurant, where you can stop off and even spend the night (upon reservation), was built by the ore workers. The Murgseedamm was also built by the workers. Again and again the hiking trails are paved with stones.

Unfortunately no scientific source could be found but I think these were built by the miners to transport the raw materials into the valley. You can swim and fish at the upper Murgsee. It is also an ideal photo subject.

The descent – back towards the parking lot It continues back with the approximately 1.5 hour descent into the valley to the parking lot.

Here you will clearly notice that you meet many more people. On the first part of the circular hike you are almost alone, but the second part is almost more aesthetically worthwhile. Past wildly romantic streams, a huge waterfall you see the lower Murgsee, embedded in an enchanting pine forest. By the way: A stone pine has 5 needles per tuft and is clearly distinguishable from other conifers. After about 5 hours you will reach the parking lot, well deserved. I really have to say, one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done and really easy to get to from Zurich. Highly recommended for a day trip!

For more information on Zurich Day Trips, check out our dedicated tours page.

Marc image, owner of Private Tours Switzerland
Image of Joshua, co-owner of Private Tours Switzerland

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