Hiking to Stäubifall is a great way to spend half a day in the Swiss alp in an Idyllic and Picturesque location. On this hike, you will discover one of the most impressive and powerful Swiss Waterfalls.
This is also an easy hike, as the location can be accessed through a dirt road from the village of Unterschächen.
At a height of 180 mt, this impressive waterfall is one of Switzerland’s most scenic and powerful. The location is very picturesque, with green pastures and several mountain huts around the waterfall.
The Stäubifall waterfall
In summer, the green meadows are also pastures for cows. This means:
- Mind your step :)
- You may be able to include cows in your waterfall photos if that is to your liking.
How to get to Stäubifall & Outline of the Hike
- Getting there: If you are coming from the A2 or A3 highways, go to the Village of Altdorf and follow the signs to the Klausenpass. Keep driving toward Unterschächen, where you will find several well-marked parking areas. If you are coming from the East side of Switzerland, you can also reach Unterschächen from the Klausenpass, which offers a very scenic drive. If you are looking for car rental options, I’d recommend to search & compare the best deals on Discover Cars. Here you can compare the prices of all the major car rental companies and find the very best deals.
- Start of The Hike: Any of the available parking spaces in Unterschächen. Some parking may also be available by the Ribi-Wannelen cable car, but it may be not easy to find a parking spot there in the high season.
- Photography & Scenery value: one of the most powerful waterfalls in Switzerland and a very picturesque location with Several huts that make for a good foreground.
- Difficulty: easy, more of a long walk than a hike. Though keep in mind the hike is more than 8km long.
- Tip: The waterfall is in the shadow for most of the day when sunny. It briefly catches some light in the morning and is directly lit by the sun only in the afternoon. Also, the Restaurant-hotel Alpina in Unterschächen. Great food at a reasonable price, for Swiss standards. Also, if you are looking for other hikes nearby, check out the Klausenpass-Griesslisee hike here.
Overview of the Stäubifall Hiking Trail
Hiking to Stäubifall is straightforward since the location is accessible through a dirt road.
Looking back toward the start of the hike – drone shot
For this hike, I parked my car in the “centre” of Unterschächen. You can walk back to the main road and start heading uphill. You will soon see the white-red-white signs pointing toward Stäubifall.
At first, you will have to cross some fields and farms. As you proceed, you will then pass by the Ribi-Wannelen cable car. From there, you can follow the dirt road until you reach your destination.
Halfway through the hike, you will most likely come across some gnomes. It means you are on the right track :)!
Gnomes on the trail
Photos and Photography Tips for the Stäubifall Waterfall
A few things would need to be considered when planning to shoot this waterfall. Late autumn and early spring may be a miss since the volume of water going through the waterfall will be low. Winter can be excluded as there will be almost no water. So if you want to see the waterfall at its best in terms of volume of water, the best choice is early summer.
In terms of light: if it is overcast, light isn’t going to be a problem. The location is suitable for moody and atmospheric images. If it is sunny, the best light is to be had in Summer, later afternoon. This is because the waterfall will be in the shadows for most of the day, and it only catches light briefly in the morning and again from 2-3 pm in Summer.
These examples are from an early morning hike in early July. As you can see, the volume of water is quite impressive at that time of the year, but the waterfall is in dark shadows at that time of the day.
The Stäubifall in early Summer
The Stäubifall in early Summer – taken from the east side
As you can see in the next photos, from 2-3 pm, when these photos were taken, the light is much better and the volume of water is huge.
On the other hand, when the water volume is a bit lower, in early May, you will be able to get closer to the river or shoot the waterfall from it. Carefulness is required as there are many giant boulders and slippery rocks. Waterproof boots would be necessary too :)
Stäubifall from the river
Stäubifall from the river
It’s possible to fly drones here, but it can get crowded in high season. For this reason, I would recommend finding a place where the drone would not disturb other visitors or the animals. Finding a place for that would not be a problem, since there is plenty of space.
Here are some drone shots:
The Waterfall and the location are incredible for drone shoots and filming. Being that huge, the waterfall Stäubifall is a fantastic subject from every angle you look at it.
Staubifall Drone Video
Here is a short Drone Video from this location. Hopefully, you can get a feel for how powerful this waterfall is!
Map of the Hike
Here is the map of the hike from the parking area. If you need a GPS track, you can download the .GPX file from the Komoot activity.
Where to Stay
There are some accommodations available in Unterschächen you may stay at. There is also a hotel on the Klausenpass (only open from late spring to early autumn) if you plan to visit that location. However, hiking to Stäubifall only requires half a day, so you could easily integrate this hike into your itinerary while travelling from one place to another.
Got a question or your own experience to share? Let us know in the comments below!