Golzern - Hohenweg Maderanertal

Distance: 5.0 - 9.8 miles (loop)

Bernese Oberland, near Altdorf in The Bernese Oberland

Bristen (10,082-ft.)

Bristen (10,082-ft.)


This is another of Switzerland's wonderful high routes with almost nonstop views. The trail loops around the Maderanertal, a pristine valley surrounded by soaring mountains, visiting the Windgallen Hut along the way. Waterfalls, wildflowers and small hamlets add interest to the hike.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (one way) to Windgallen Hut
    9.8 miles (loop) to Bristen
  • Elevation: 4,577-ft. at Trailhead
    6,667-ft. at Windgallen Hut
    2,730-ft. at Bristen
  • Elevation Gain: 2,099-ft. to Windgallen Hut
    -3,937-ft. to Bristen
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Altdorf / The Bernese Oberland

Why Hike Golzern - Hohenweg Maderanertal

This enjoyable loop explores the beautiful Maderanertal (Maderaner Valley), the valley south of the Schachental. At Bristen a cable car carries hikers to Golzern and the start of the hike. After passing the Golzerensee, a pretty lake, the trail climbs above the timberline to Windgallen Hut with terrific views of the high peak rimming the valley. The path then descends toward the head of the valley to Tritt with more glorious views of the high peaks and several photogenic waterfalls.

At Tritt, the trail heads back, dropping down to the valley floor at Balmenegg before following the Charstelenbach River back to Bristen. This section of the trail travels through lovely meadows and clusters of trees with fine views stretching up and down the valley. Along the way the path passes delightful waterfalls cascading down steep, rock cliffs and visits a few small hamlets.

The beautiful Maderanertal is not on any tourist circuit, offering a degree of solitude not found in many valleys in Switzerland. The area is happily devoid of ski equipment, remaining relatively unspoiled and wild in it upper reaches.

From Altdorf it is an hour and 20 minute ride on two buses and a cable car with good connections to the start of the hike. Don’t let the length of the ride deter you. Pick a day full of promise and take your time hiking this lovely circuit.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile - Golzern - Hohenweg Maderanertal hiking trail near Altdorf

Best Hiking in Switzerland in the Valais, Bernese Alps, the Engadine and Davos

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Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:

Region Information:
The Bernese Oberland

Other Hiking Regions in: