At about 1 hour from Zurich using public transport or 45 minutes by car, Lake Walen is an excellent day trip idea for the weekend.
Walensee(Lake Walen) is one of the larger lakes in Switzerland situated in the eastern part of the country, in close proximity to Lake Zurich and Liechtenstein.
There are many options for hikers and nature lovers around the lake, but I guess the main attraction of the lake is Seerenbachfälle, the tallest free-falling waterfall in Switzerland.
Road to Betlis
We started our hike from the parking lot near Weesen, which costs 1.5 CHF / hour and can get crowded pretty quickly especially in the summer.
Right next to the parking place there is a small restaurant called Lago Mio, which offers great views over the surroundings and has a small playground for children.
Also in the close proximity of the restaurant, there are some picnic benches, fire pits, beach volleyball, and places to swim.
If you can’t find a parking space free here, you can drive all the way to Betlis. But keep in mind that the road to Betlis is a one-way road, through a couple of tunnels, and there are some parts on the road which gets pretty narrow. Traffic on this road is guided, switching direction every 15 minutes.
From Betlis, until you reach the waterfalls, the path takes an even more picturesque turn, no more cars run beside you, and the scenery becomes more rustic with gorgeous swiss wooden chalets, small farms with goats and cows, delicious fruit trees, and a beautiful panorama over the lake. Make sure to stop by the Kapelle Betlis, which either way cannot be missed since it’s easily noticeable from the main road.
Most of the route is not difficult, but starting from Betlis you slowly climb up to the waterfall.
The path to the waterfall continues on a small rocky path through the forest. The fall runs the biggest in the springtime during the snowmelt, or after rain storms.
Here is a picture from August:
When we returned in September, the waterfall was barely noticeable, only a fine string of water could be seen, but nevertheless, we enjoyed the views and continued our way to Quinten.
Klöntalersee is a gorgeous natural lake in the canton of Glarus, at about 30 minutes by car from Lake Walen. It’s a lovely place to stop to cool off, especially after a hot day in the summer months.
Having an elevation of about 850 m, the lake is surrounded by breathtaking alpine panorama.
It’s a great place for a picnic and a slow walk around the lake. There are two campgrounds, numerous places to bathe, and barbeque areas.
The water can go up to 22 degrees in the summer and since this is a less crowded place, you can relax all day by the lake without getting too crowded.
The lake is accessible by car or bus.
There still remains the hike to Quinten from Seerenbach waterfalls which we skipped at that time.
The hike from the falls to Quinten is a bit more difficult and steeper in some places. There is also a ferry that can be taken from Weesen to Quinten and then you can come back to Weesen on foot.
In the meantime here are more photos from beautiful Lake Walen