Erstfeld - copyright Gotthard-Connects

Erstfeld - copyright Gotthard-Connects

Schipfentalbrücke - copyright Gotthard-Connects

Schipfentalbrücke - copyright Gotthard-Connects

Tour description

Gotthard Tunnel Trail - Tracking the world’s longest tunnel
57 kilometres and around 20 minutes separate train travellers from the North and South of Switzerland thanks to the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel. But it is more interesting to experience the trail from Erstfeld to Bodio, which lies above it, at walking pace. Because, rising to 2448 metres and extending for around 100 kilometres, you enter a mountain environment of exceptional allure. Enjoy the varied mountain scenery and immerse yourself in the culture of hospitality of Uri, Graubünden and Ticino. Again and again, you will be standing exactly above the tunnel, albeit up to 2000 m higher…

Stage 1 Erstfeld - Bristen

You can start directly from the North portal on a forest path to the main tunnel crossing. However, it’s really lovely to sway the 650 m from Erstfeld to Alp Schwandi in a little, red four-person cable car. That does require starting on a Saturday or Sunday, because on other days – or when the Föhn is blowing too strongly – the Schwandibahn doesn’t run, or only if there are at least eight people. The pace of this short journey might seem exceptionally slow if you have previously been reading up on the Gotthard Base Tunnel: 57 kilometres at up to 250 km an hour, 20 minutes to traverse 190,000 concrete sleepers, 65 passenger trains per day carrying up to 15,000 travellers. From Schwandi, you walk along the varied, panoramic Gotthard Tunnel Trail more or less following the contours southwards. It is a pleasant introduction, embellished with a hanging bridge and, shortly before Waldiberg, a viewing point that lies directly above the tunnel. And once again you are in a cable car, this time in the open air and firmly attached by a traction cable so that it tips forwards or backwards, depending on the direction of travel. You can stay in Bristen or on the picturesque Golzernsee, which is reached from Waldiberg via a varied and partly exposed mountain trail.


Variant A: from Erstfeld railwaystation up to obere Schwandi
Variant B: Accommodation in Golzernsee. The trail to Golzernsee is T3, partly exposed! The 2nd day from Golzern down with the gondela and then continue by foot to the Etzli cabin - Chrüzlipass - Sedrun.

Attention on the 2nd day the trail over the Chrüzlipass is closed because of a mountain slide. Take Route C via Mittelplatten and Val Mila.


You will cross the Gotthard Base Tunnel trajectory once.

Public transport is available in Erstfeld and Bristen.

Parking: Infocenter Erstfeld, Einstieg Bärenboden, Bahnhof Erstfeld.

Shorten your trip:
Option 1: With the Schwandiseilbahn from Erstfeld to obere Schwandi
Option 2: With the Chilcherbergeseilbahn from Silenenen to Chilcherberg
Option 3: With the Waldibergseilbahn down to Bristen.

Attention: In winter from midd october till midd june this trail is full of snow. In Summer it is also possible to pass through snowfields. Inform yourself before you start your tour.

Attention: the start from Infocenter Erstfeld first goes over the street and then up via a non marked forrestroad.

Further stages

Next stage: Bristen - Sedrun

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  • Etappe 1: Erstfeld - Bristen Erstfeld, das Abenteuer kann beginnen. Voller Tatendrang wollen wir zu Fuss nach Oberschwandi hoch, suchen den auf dem Tourenblatt rot eingezeichneten Weg. Beim grossen Parkplatz finden wir einen Pfad, der zick-zack den Berg hochgeht. Als dieser an einem Geröllfeld verschwindet, versuchen wir direkt hochzusteigen, und enden nach ca. 2 Stunden an einer Felswand. Zurück zum Start, 4 Stunden nach Ankunft geht es dann auf den richtigen Pfad, diesmal mit der Seilbahn nach Oberschwandi. Der Weg führt von hier aus durch Wald und über Wiesen, nach Hinterschwandi, Stegmatt und mehr oder weniger den Höhenlinien zur Bergstation von Kilcherberg mit der abenteuerlichen Seilbahn (Bild 1). Nach der spektakulären Überquerung des Schipfentalbachs über die schwankende Hängebrücke (Bild 2) verlassen wir den Trail und nehmen hier die Forststrasse direkt nach Bristen hinunter, wo wir eine Stunde später im Hotel Alpenblick herzliche empfangen werden.

Places along the route: Erstfeld - Obere Schwandi - Strängmatt - Waldiberg - Bristen


Key figures for the last 12 months (since November 2017)



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Tour history (U00183)

First published: Mittwoch, 30. September 2015

Last updated: Mittwoch, 13. September 2017

Tour published by: Presented by www.st-gotthard.com

Tour characteristics

Distance: 15 km | Time requirement: 5½ h
Ascent: 1162 m | Descent: 840 m
Highest point: 1324 m.a.s.l.

Printing, information

See also

Web: www.st-gotthard.com
Web: www.gotthard-tunnel-trail.ch - order your hiking guide here!

Uri Tourismus AG
Schützengasse 11
CH - 6460 Altdorf
Tel. +41 (0)41 874 80 00
Mail: info@uri.info
Web: www.uri.info

Infocenter Erstfeld
Web: www.alptransit.ch

Seilbahn Erstfeld-Schwandi (nur am Wochenende oder nach Absprache)
Tel. +41 79 363 37 20
Web: www.schwandibahn.ch

Seilbahn Silenen-Chilcherberge
Tel. +41 79 339 57 02
Web: www.seilbahnen-uri.ch

Seilbahn Bristen-Waldiberg (max. 4 people at a time, CHF 8.- in coins!)
Tel. +41 79 282 90 47
Web: www.seilbahnen-uri.ch

Seilbahn Bristen-Golzern
Tel. +41 41 883 12 70
Web: www.seilbahnen-uri.ch

Accommodations along the trail:
Bristen, Gasthaus Alpenblick
Tel. +41 41 883 1240
Web: www.gasthaus-alpenblick.ch

Golzern, Gasthaus Edelweiss
Tel. +41 41 883 13 46
Web: www.edelweiss.ch

Golzern, Gasthaus Golzernsee
Tel. +41 41 883 11 56
Web: www.golzernsee.ch

Guided tours:
Web: www.alpineschool-mammut.ch
Web: www.montanara.ch

Tel. 41 79 413 91 15

Luggage Transport: