The Kleiner Mythen Hike – Switzerland
The Kleiner Mythen Hike will lead you to the top of a relatively small and beautiful jagged peak that offers fantastic panoramic views toward Lake Lucerne and Lake Lauerz. This hike offers a variety of landscapes, one of the best lookouts for sunsets in summer and most importantly, a family-run hut where you can sit and enjoy a fresh beer on your way down.
Sunset from one of the lookouts on the way up to the Kleiner Mythen
This jagged peak is the smaller sibling of the Grosse(r) Mythen. Locals say the Kleiner Mythen is the one for locals, and the Grosser is where tourists go. Well, at least according to one of the locals I met on the top.
You can’t miss the Kleiner or Grosser Mythen from the parking lot. They’re just dominating the whole scene. When you first see them, you may wonder how you can get up there without climbing gear. Despite the first impression, you will soon realise that the hike is actually not really extreme.
Grosse Mythen (left) Kleiner Mythen (middle) and the Haggenspitz (right), as seen from the other side of the valley.
If you are looking for day hikes close to Zurich, the Kleiner Mythen Hike should definitely be on your list.
How to Get to the Kleiner Mythen and 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 Obwalden 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.
- Photography & Scenery value: vast panoramic views of almost 360 degrees, only blocked by the Grosser Mythen
- Difficulty: easy/medium as the last stretch is quite steep and on unstable terrain
- Tip: the Kleiner and Grosser Mythen trails are connected, and you could hike both on the same day. There is a trail just above the Alp Zwüschet-Mythen, the only hut you will encounter on this hike. So you could technically make a loop from Brunni.
The Kleiner Mythen Trail
The hike I’m describing here actually stops at the Kleiner Mythen Vorgipfel (presummit). Continuing forward from there is not recommended unless you have alpine and climbing experience on exposed terrain.
The Kleiner Mythen Vorgipfel
If you slip or fall, well, death awaits you at the bottom of the cliff. I have never proceeded further than the Vorgipfel (presummit); in terms of view, nothing really changes. At least nothing worth risking your life for.
Back to the Hike: from the parking lot, head toward the direction of the gondolas. Soon the road will turn into a dirt road and then into a trail. You will reach a fork: left for the Grosser Mythen, right for the Kleiner Mythen.
The trail here is well-worn and visible. Keep following it. You will pass by the Alp Zwüschet-Mythen, the place where a beer awaits you on your way back.
Within 10-15 minutes, you will reach the first vantage point, the Zwüschet-Mythen. There will be a few wooden benches and a cross to mark the spot.
You will need to follow the trail into the forest as you continue from there, but you will soon reach the second vantage point. This is the best and most scenic spot on the hike. The views from the top are fantastic, but this location is a little more camera-friendly. You can’t miss it on your way up, as it’s right on the trail.
Once you are out of the woods, the terrain will become rocky and unstable. You are now just a short steep climb away from the Vorgipfel, where you can sit and enjoy the vastness of the views toward Lucerne and Zug.
The Kleiner Mythen, viewed from the Grosser Mythen. A truly beautiful giant rock, isn’t it?
Photos and Photography Tips for the Kleiner Mythen Hike
The best spots are those on the ridge opposite where the hike starts. The first one would be the Zwüschet-Mythen, which will already offer fantastic views of Lake Zug and Lake Lucerne.
Here you will have several different compositional options, with trees and trunks that could be used as foreground or as leading lines pointing towards the panoramic view.
Next, halfway up between Zwüschet-Mythen and the Kleiner Mythen Vorgipfel, there is my favourite vantage point, the one I mentioned earlier. You will need a wide-angle here to include as much of the foreground and surrounding trees to frame the view. This location is perfect for sunset in summer. If the conditions are right, the plains and mountains will be bathing in light.
If you have a longer lens with you, around 70mm, you can also have fun focusing on some of the farther-away elements in the landscape.
The views from the top are fantastic, and there are several different possible compositions due to how vast the views are. The foreground also offers interesting shapes and rocks that could nicely frame the rest of the landscape.
View from the Zwüschet-Mythen
A beautiful sunset from the vantage point halfway up to the Vorgipfel
Panorama of the same sunset. Two rows of three horizontal frames at 14mm.
View from the Vorgipfel
It is not allowed to fly drones on either the Kleiner or Grosser Mythen, as the area is a natural reserve.
Got your shots? Congratulations! Now a well-deserved cold beer awaits you at the Alp Zwüschet-Mythen.
Map of the Kleiner 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 though, 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.