The Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Snowshoe Hike, Switzerland
The Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg trail is a moderately difficult Snowshoe Hike in the beautiful swiss village of Melchsee (1,921m). Located on a high plateau in central Switzerland, Melchsee is an excellent location for various winter activities. Skiing, Snowboarding, Nordic Skiing, Ice-fishing, Snowshoeing ..and I’m sure I forgot some.
Sunrise in Melchsee-Fruit
Anyways, Melchsee can only be reached by a 20 minutes cable car ride. Of course, this adds a lot to the experience since, in winter, the village is entirely car-free. Surrounded by mountains and with two frozen lakes on the plateau, Melchsee and Tannalpsee, this location also gets a lot of sunlight, provided the weather collaborates.
This is quite a charming location, and the whole plateau covered in snow is a beautiful sight. I guess this may be where it got its name from. Melch=Milk and See=Lake. Just a guess, but when you see the snow-covered plateau, this will make total sense :).
The Melchsee Chapel
Table of Content
Overview of the Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Snowshoe Hike
This snowshoe hike is a loop, so it can be done in both directions.p The one I will describe here is clockwise.
How to Get to Melchesee-Frutt and Parking
Melchsee can only be reached by cable car, and you can get to the valley station by car or bus.
- Driving Directions: There’s only one way to get to Melchsee, as the cable car is on a dead-end road in Stöckalp. So you should first go to the village of Kerns and follow the Road to Stöckalp until you reach the Cable Car station.
- Parking: there is ample, paid parking available in Stöckalp.
- Public Transport: this is quite an accessible location to get to by public transport. First, take a train to Sarnen. From there, bus 343 to Stöckalp. Then, hop on the cable car for the last 20-minute ride up to the gondola station.
Tip: you can purchase the Cable car ticket in the SBB app and pick it up at the counter.
Snowfishing is quite a popular activity in Melchsee-Frutt.
The Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Snowshoe Hike Trail
As you leave the cable car station following the road to your left, you will find the classing pink poles marking the trail. The first part is all on packed snow until the small village of Tannalp. The trail is also mostly flat and crosses the whole plateau, giving some good views of the surrounding mountains and landscape.
Once you reach Tannalp, the trail will turn to the right and start heading uphill. The ascent is slow and not very steep. As you gain elevation, the view will also gradually open up. On one side, you’ll get a good view of the whole plateau and, on the other, the multiple layers of the Bernese Alps and the valleys around the plateau.
Next, you’ll reach the top of a small hill on the plateau with a cross on it. Here you can continue to the gondola lift or turn down to close the loop on the Snowshoe trail. This part is steeper than the ascent from the Tannalp side, so keep that in mind if you plan to hike this trail counterclockwise.
The trail then turns toward Melchsee again. It follows one of the ski tracks down the mountain at a distance, back to the village. Here you can enjoy a warm drink, a snack or a meal in one of the huts or restaurants before heading back down the mountain with the cable car.
The impressive mountains around the Melchsee Plateau. The “little dots” are hikers enjoying a snowshoe trail.
The Melchsee-Frutt – Erzegg Snowshoe Hike Photos and Photography tips
The winter landscape here is pretty barren as there is no vegetation, and it is a plateau. However, this also means plenty of occasions for minimal landscape photography – one aspect I love most about snowshoeing with a camera.
Additionally, there are several different huts and houses along the trail, and they are all good subjects. Also, in terms of landscape, the mountains around the plateau are pretty impressive but a little far, so a telephoto lens will be useful here. Anything between 24 to 200mm would come in handy.
Lastly, flying your drone here is also possible, assuming you comply with Swiss regulations – and respect other visitors who enjoy the silence and solitude of the mountains.
A beautiful Ibex carved in wood.
One of the many beautiful huts along the trail.
Another beautiful hut.
The sun rising on the Plateau.
Clouds rising from a nearby valley
View from a ridge close o Erzegg.
The Chapelle in Mlechsee
Another beautifully isolated hut in Melchsee
Light and shadows on a nearby mountain.
One of the fences along the trail, close to Erzegg. Perfect subject for a minimal composition
Tip of a bush emerging from the snow. Plenty of similar minimal compositions along the trail.
One of the snowshoe trails around Melchsee
Map of the Hike
The trail is well-marked with the usual pint trail posts and is always easy to follow. You don’t need a GPS track here, but the map below can give you a good idea of the elevation profile and what to expect on the trail.
Where to stay
Plenty of accommodations, hotels and huts in Melchsse. I recommend spending a night here, if you can, vs down in the valley. On a clear night, the starry sky is just incredible.
If you want to stay in a relatively more isolated location, I recommend the Tannalp Berggasthaus in Tannalp.