All year at Fronalpstock – our favorite scenic route in Switzerland
Fronalpstock is among the TOP places you can visit in Switzerland. Not far from Zurich, close to Lucerne, it gives splendid vistas, 360-degree view on the Swiss Alps. And if you stay there a little bit longer you will encounter the most magical and spectacular sunset.
I asked a colleague, a native Swiss:
– Edi, where can I go for a nice, short hiking trip with nice views?
– Have you been to Stoos and to Fronalpstock? – he answered without a second thought.
– Well… no…
A year had passed since then. And now I can say proudly:
– Yes, I have been to Fronalpstock… about five times.
Our sisters, our parents and friends walked the trail between Fronalpstock and Klingenstock. We’ll take our grandmothers on this route, too, when they come to Switzerland, they will have no choice! Why? Because the main viewpoint is accessible to everyone. If you don’t feel like climbing, you take the cable car first and then the chairlift. A stroller and little kids? They can also take a ride… and at the top they’ll run after little goats or play on a huge playground. This place is for everyone and makes a stunning impression on everyone.
Below Fronalpstock lies the village of Stoos – it is a small settlement focused on winter sports and tourism. You can reach it by cable car from Mutothal or by funicular from Schwyz (it is the steepest funicular in Europe). Stoos is a good accommodation and catering base. Bah! There is even a late open store. You can also take the chair lifts up or simply go on a hiking trip on the trail…
The trail between Fronalpstock and Klingenstock
Gratwanderweg Stoos literally means a “trail on the ridge”. The proper 4 km route runs along the precipice or on the ridge, about 1,500 m above Lake Lucerne. During the trip you need to climb 400m and descend roughly the same to pass the section between the mentioned peaks. You take a chair to Fronalpstock and you ride down from Klinenstock. Comfortable, right? This does not mean, however, that you will not get tired… I bet you will. Passing this route in the middle of summer at noon can be difficult, because there is no shade. Same with the toilet and water intake – you’ve been warned!
However, it is better to start and end the trip in Stoos, where the climb to Fronalpstock is really pleasant. The descent from Klinenstock, on the other hand, is really boring. It’s up to you.
The place’s charm lies also in its proximity from Zurich and Lucerne – in an hour you can get here by car, and the funicular (the one from Schwyz) rides from early morning until late evening. Unfortunately, the parking lot is too small here, so if you arrive after 11:00 a.m. you may be unpleasantly surprised.
A place for landscape photos
The hotel at the top of Fronalpstock is a brilliant place to stay for landscape photographers – you get up in the morning to see the sunrise (just 15 minutes before) and… just step outside the threshold to find the subject for photos. Are you coming with your family? You couldn’t find a better place – when you finish taking pictures, the children will wake up just in time for breakfast. And the sunsets are simply brilliant here, they are served for dessert – right after a hearty dinner.
Fronalpstock or Rigi
Rigi Kulmhas been an infallible classic of Swiss tourism since the 19th century. In addition to the beautiful panorama of the Alpine peaks and two lakes, here you can experience a cross-section of all human races and languages. In short, Rigi at the peak of holiday season is trampled by hordes of tourists. This is the first of the disadvantages. The second one are views – they are simply less spectacular. The third one is the price. Riding up to Rigi and taking the cable car down (no matter if it is from Vitznau, Weggis or Goldau) costs around CHF 72 to the top or CHF 33 to the intermediate station at Kaltbad-First. For comparison, Stoos and Fronalpstock are 44 CHF for a one-day ticket with ascent to the top.
Rigi is better in terms of the number of trails and opportunities to spend time. There are places for a bonfire or barbecue and a huge variety of routes.
Not to be groundless… here are the pictures:
Stoos and Fronalpstock – useful tips
- Parking at the lower station is small. After 11:00 a.m. it is hard to find a free spot.
- The funicular goes every 15-20 min. Return ticket to Stoos is 22 CHF (halb-tax gives 50% discount), Day ticket that covers chairlifts to Klingenstock and Fronalpstock costs 44 CHF
- In Stoos you can find plenty of hotels and private accommodations – check Booking.com for more
- The best place to stay is Gipfelrestaurant Fronalpstock – you need to make the booking weeks upfront. It is not cheap, but the sunsets there are worth the price!
- Check Stoos timetable – during weekends you can stay there till late night https://stoos-muotatal.ch/en/train/stoos-railways/