The Grosser Mythen Hike, Switzerland
The Grosser Mythen Hike will reward you with spectacular views over the Alps to the south and the vast plains to the North. Whichever way you look, the views are amazing. Especially at Sunrise!
If you are planning to hike up the Grosser Mythen, I’d highly recommend you plan it for Sunrise. This is a very popular Sunrise hike in Switzerland, and it is so for an excellent reason. Watching the world waking up from up there is a unique experience.
The Hut on top of the Grosser Mythen
The Grosser Mythen has no higher mountains around it, so the views are open in any direction. Plus, there is a hut that sells food and drinks on t. Yes, even beers if you’d like one at 6 AM after your hike up. The mountain is easily accessible, and the views from the top are hard to beat in this part of Switzerland.
However, if you are afraid of heights, this hike may not be for you. The ascent is steep and often exposed, and the summit has almost vertical drops on each side.
Mountains in the distance during a colourful sunrise.
How to Get to the Grosser Mytehn & Outline of the Hike
- Getting there: from Zurich or Lucerne, you can drive directly to Brunni. Make sure your GPS destination is Brunni in the Schwyz Canton and not Brunni in the Obwanden canton. You can park the car at the Gondola station. Paid parking max 6 CHF (in 2022). By public transport, you can take the train to Einsiedeln and from there the bus to Brunni.
- Start of The Hike: From the Parking lot. If you want to skip the first part, you can take the cable car (for a fee). This would allow you to skip the first part of the hike. This option is not available if you are planning the hike for Sunrise since the first ride is usually at 9.00 AM.
- Photography & Scenery value: since there are no other big mountains in the immediate vicinities, the views are vast. This location is excellent, especially for both Sunrise and Sunset.
- Difficulty: medium/hard with steep and exposed sections.
- Tip: if you can, go during the week. This is a very popular hike, and during the week, it will not be as crowded as it is at weekends. Also: the hut on top, which serves food and drinks, supposedly has legendary almond and walnut croissants. I could not verify the claim myself since they did not have any ready yet before I had to start my descent. Still, this is a claim worth testing :)!
The Grosser Mythen Trail
From the parking lot, you can start heading toward the narrow paved road in the direction of the Grosser Mythen.
Start of the hike from the parking lot
The road will then turn into a gravel road. Keep following it until you see a sign pointing to a trail on your left. Take the left turn and follow the trail uphill.
Shortly after, the trail will fork into two again: left for the Grosser Mythen and right for the Kleiner Mythen. Keep left.
This is where the woods being
Next, you’ll have to cross a wood area. There’s only one trail here, and it’s easy to follow. As soon as you exit the woods, the trail will turn to the right. From here you will see the cable car’s mountain station. As soon as you reach it, the trail will turn right again. This is where the steep ascent to the Grosser Mythen begins.
It’s about 46 steep switchbacks to the top. Some sections are exposed but protected with chains. Practice caution and stay close to the mountainside.
The series of steep switchbacks
Looking back, almost arrived at the top.
The hut on top of the Grosser Mythen
Once you can spot the hut on the top, you are almost there. Keep going, and you will soon enjoy the views!
Photos and Photography Tips for the Grosser Mythen Hike
Yes, waking up in the middle of the night to go on a hike isn’t exactly fun. Starting your hike at 3 or 4 AM in complete darkness is equally as much fun. But, if you can push yourself to hike up the Grosser Mythen for Sunrise, you will understand why this is a very popular Sunrise hike.
If you hike up there for sunrise, I’d recommend you plan to be there for the blue hour. Watching the warm lights in the valley below is almost worth a trip. Yes, this means you would need to wake up even earlier ;).
Blue hour, looking toward lake Lucerne and Schwyz.
The Moon setting over Lake Lucern before sunrise.
Close-up of the setting moon over lake Lucerne.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a popular sunrise hike. Being there earlier will allow you to choose your preferred spot for sunrise. As more hikers make it to the top, all the sports closer to the ridge will be filled by sunrise gazers.
Silhouettes of the mountains before sunrise.
Colourful skies and misty mountains just before Sunrise
This is a good thing. Seeing so many people hiking up a steep mountain in the dark to watch the sunrise is one of those things that can make you feel there is still hope for humanity. This, to me, was also part of the experience that made this hike unique.
Sunrise over the Steep Cliffs of the Grosser Mythen.
Detail of the Sunrise.
..and the Sun is finally out.
If, however, you are hiking to also the some carefully composed photos, you may want to choose your spot early ;) On the other hand, this will also have the option to include some people in your shots.
Sunrise on the Grosser Mythen.
The Hut will now be open for business, and it will be possible to get a warm drink or a snack before descending back. Or you can chill a little longer by the hut :).
The Hut on top of the Grosser Mythen
It is not possible to fly drones here, as both the Grosser and Kleiner Mythen are part of a Nature reserve.
Map of the Grosser Mythen 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
Even though Brunni does have a hotel, there’s not much else apart from that. If you are looking for a quiet place to relax, this may work. A few more options are available in Einsiedeln and on the road in between the two.
This is, however, an easy day hike from Zurich. So you could consider doing this as a day trip or on your way to some other places.