Easy hiking with older son incl. overnight stay

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yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2017 - 5:46 PM

Hi, and thanks for this forum!

I have visited several times in Switzerland and every time took some walking trails - and was never disappointed. I follow a yellow sign, get an idea of the time and distance, and the scenes are always great. Nevertheless, it was always going for a several hours and coming back to where I started.

This time I am going with my older son, and we want to make an overnight track. Hiking for 6-7 hours, spending the night at some inn or hut, and continuing the day after. And maybe another day.

What I wonder is how much planning does this need. I would love just to follow a yellow sign on a nice trail, but I am afraid to find out when evening arrives that there is nowhere to sleep - that we are in an empty area or among closed places. Is my fear reasonable?

To be more specific, I am talking about Lucerne area and mid-May. I look in the great maps in wanderland.ch, see trails but have no idea if there are inns or huts anywhere. Am I missing something? Do local maps have the details of accomodations on the map?

Sorry for being so long...

(PS. In the next thread I would like to ask about specific options in that area, but the general question is important also as it can bring the option of enjoying the trails without a lot of pre planning)

Thanks,

Yoav

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 27, 2017 - 6:16 PM

Hi Yoav,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Hikes like that do need careful planning, both in advance and while there. I'd recommend to make sure that the trails you have in mind are within your level of comfort. If you just start walking without preparation, the longer hikes may get you to really steep and exposed trails. Which is fine if you're up for it, but unpleasant if not. Also you indeed need to know about accommodation. Even in Switzerland you can be miles away from the nearest place to sleep, huts can be fully booked, etc. You can turn on the accommodation icons on the Wanderland map to get an idea of the options. I don't know if they show all options, but they show a lot. A list of hotels with really good views is here: myswissalps.com/hotels /mountaintops.

In remote areas you do need a map and not rely on signs only. A paper map is a good backup for all the electronic options available nowadays.

By planning "while there" I mostly mean to keep checking weather forecasts and adjust your plan if needed.

The Jakobsweg could be a trail to consider. Also, there are hiking holiday packages. Perhaps that's not what you're looking for, but it's worth knowing the options.

I hope this gets you started!

Last modified on Apr 27, 2017 - 6:31 PM by Arno
yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2017 - 9:15 PM

Thanks so much, Arno!

Since I posted this question I made some preparations and I will be happy to consult you in the specifics.

The time frame we have is short: We can leave Basel at Sunday morning and we should be back for Tuesday evening as we are flying from Basel airport right in the morning. In this short time frame I really want to reach out to one of the scenic areas and make a nice hike there.

1. My conclusion was that the best place to go is Luzern area: It has the alpine views (not the dramatic ones of the Bernese Oberland, but May is probably early for them and they are too far - am I right?), it is easily accessible from Basel (even with supersaver tickets!) and it is a beautiful city in which I never visited. Is that a good choice?

2. Looking for a trail to walk on in Luzern area, I checked two options: First was walking from Wolhusen to Napf on the Alpenpanorama Weg (but I found it hard to find accomodation: the inn on Napf itself is closing on Sundays at 18:00, and we will be probably late to catch it). Second was taking trail no. 57 from Pilatus to Lingus. I see there is a hotel in Lingus, but maybe it is too much to put on one day: arriving at Luzern, continuing to Alpnachstad, climbing to half way up and start walking west to Lingus. If there was anywhere to stop overnight in the way it would maybe be better. What do you think on these options? And would you like to offer something different?

Many thanks!

Yoav

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 28, 2017 - 6:43 PM

Hi Yoav,

1. Luzern and the whole Lake Lucerne area is an excellent choice. Also for May.

2. Mount Pilatus is not a friendly mountain to walk on; very steep. But if you start midway in Ämsigen it should be fine I think, and probably but not guaranteed clear of snow (the summit is still snow covered at the moment). I don't know where Lingus is. Are you sure you spelled that right?

yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2017 - 5:45 PM

Of course I misspelled it... It's Langis. Here: www.wanderland.ch/en/r outes/etappe-01144.html

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 29, 2017 - 7:43 PM in reply to yoavs

That looks like a pleasant route from the map. It end in the middle or nowhere sort of, so you should secure your accommodation if you plan to stay the night there. Personally I'd skip the steep descent from the peak of the Pilatus and start from Ämsigen. I haven't done that route, it might be perfectly doable (but hard on the knees). Make sure to bring hiking poles!

yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2017 - 7:57 PM

Actually my plan is to take the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Ämsigen and start the hike from there. I just fear that we will not reach Langis till dark, as we will arrive at Luzern at 9 AM...

Apart from that - should we expect any snow on the trail which is approx. 1500 m altitude? Should we expect low tempratures?

yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2017 - 8:01 PM

As for hiking poles - I will definitely love to have, but I don't want to make expenses on something I will probably not take back home. Are there cheap hiking poles for sale in Swiss cities?

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 29, 2017 - 8:14 PM in reply to yoavs

If you start from Ämsigen it might be fine without poles. Personally I even use them on flat trails quite frequently. Not because it's needed but because it's comfortable. I'm not sure about cheap ones, and searching for them once there may not fit your tight timeframe. I'd either bring them from home or not use them. I've seen wooden poles. They're more like souvenirs than serious poles. Not adjustable in length but better than nothing. Items like that should be cheaper.

As for snow and the temperatures: right now it's quite chilly and it's freezing at night even in the valleys. You will have to check the forecast a few days ahead of time. The staff at the cogwheel train valley station or your accommodation should know about trail conditions. Some snow is certainly possible at that altitude with a chilly spring, but you really need last minute local information and have a backup plan just in case.

Last modified on Apr 29, 2017 - 8:15 PM by Arno
yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2017 - 10:09 PM

Thanks so much. I will try to check accommodation with Schwendi Kaltbad (kaltbad.ch) and berghotel Langis (www.berghotellangis.ch). Thanks again!

yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2017 - 10:46 PM

As another option - what do you think about getting to Entlebuch and hiking up the Napf? this is shorter than from Wolhusen, so in this case we will be there before 6 PM and could stay there. Do you know this area? Is that a good hike as the Pilatus-Langis one?

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 30, 2017 - 7:21 PM

Hi Yoav,

I don't know the area but I heard it's a beautiful region. The trail is a bit lower than the other one you considered, so weather wise that could work out better.

yoavs
yoavs
12 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2017 - 7:52 PM in reply to Arno

OK, I hope this is my last nudging about this hike... thanks for your patients.

I got a little more into thes trail from Pilatus to Langis and I realized I have a good chance to find it much too chilly than is fun for hiking. Therefore I started looking around for other options... one that carched my eye was to hike from Stansstad to Engelberg, using trail no 40, spending the night around Engelberg and continuing the day after with hiking further on that trail or some other. Will this be a better choice weather-wise?

I wonder if this trek will give us the nature solitude we can get in the Pilatus-Langis option, as it seems a quite inhabitted area. What do you think?

Arno
Arno
11373 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 30, 2017 - 8:10 PM

No problem at all! Stansstad to Engelberg is on the valley floor. Apart from a section just before Engelberg you'll be hiking in a populated area with small villages and farms. It's lower so less chilly. But no nature solitude I'm afraid. After Engelberg the path to the Jochpass would be nice but it's too high and snowy right now.

Another area to consider is Mount Rigi. Lots of trails at various altitudes, and quite some transportation around if needed. Staying the night in Rigi-Kaltbad would be nice for the views (find hotels here). Here's a map: map.wanderland.ch/?lang=de&route=all&bgLa yer=pk.

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