Experience a leisurely hike to the power spot “Risleten Gorge” at Lake Lucerne. A beautiful mountain-lake panorama and a picturesque waterfall await you.
Short summary of the hike to the Risleten Gorge
- Breathtaking hike to a place of power on Lake Lucerne
- Arrival by public transport to Beckenried Boden or Emmetten Schöneck (hiking time approx. 1h20min each way).
- Arrival by car to Rütenen (walking time approx. 45min each way). Parking costs 2CHF/h.
- 5 minutes before the Risleten Gorge, there is a picnic area with barbecue facilities, table and benches and swimming opportunities in summer. Even dinosaur tracks can be discovered there.
- If you want, you can even hike on to Seelisberg or Emmetten.
From Rütenen NW to the Risleten Gorge
The hike has a few possible starting points. If you are travelling by public transport, we recommend starting either from “Beckenried Boden” or “Emmetten Schöneck”. If you want to travel by car, you will find parking spaces for 2CHF/h in Rütenen.
We start from Beckenried and march along the beautiful lakeside path to Rütenen. There is a port of the gravel works where you will find many dinosaur tracks during the hike.
If you want to swim in summer, there is a free bath in Rütenen. There is even a small restaurant open during the summer weekends. Passing a park with an art figure, the trail leads through the forest in the direction of the Risleten Gorge. It is relatively easy to reach this place in about 40 minutes from Rütenen. From Beckenried it is then about 1h and 20 minutes. Please be aware, however, that the path is not pram-friendly.
Dinosaur tracks, picnic and swimming spot 5 minutes before the gorge
About 5 minutes before you reach your destination “Risletenschlucht”, you will come to a beautiful picnic area with bathing facilities. Not only a fireplace awaits you, but also two newly made tables with benches (as of 2021). With the green-blue water of Lake Lucerne and the unique mountain panorama of the Vitzauner and Gersauerstock, this is the perfect spot to enjoy the peace and idyll.
Behind the seaside resort is a huge flat rock face from a former quarry. This is often used for climbing. When a geologist noticed tracks while climbing in 2000, it was clear that these were dinosaur tracks. According to the Basel Natural History Museum, the footprints are typical of bird-beak dinosaurs that lived about 120 million years ago. At that time, the region around Beckenried was still covered by a tropical sea. Since the tracks are difficult to see with the naked eye, at least for a layman, I recommend taking binoculars with you.
Dream place Risleten Gorge
Only 5 minutes from the said picnic spot, the Risleten Gorge is already waiting. The closer you get to the gorge, the louder the sound of the water. Especially in spring after the snow has melted or after heavy rainfall, the gorge is well worth a visit. Please be aware, however, that it can be slippery then.
When you arrive at the Risleten Gorge, you quickly realise what a breathtaking place of power it is. The rush and the beauty of the water trigger an indescribable feeling of happiness. Many people hike straight on without enjoying the waterfall. A big mistake, because the bridge crossing alone is adventurous and lets you marvel at the waterfall from a different angle.
Famous in the Belle Époque
Incidentally, the people of the Belle Époque also knew about the healing effect and beauty of the gorge. For the guests of the Schöneck spa hotel in Emmetten walked there in numbers.
When it rains too much, the stream carries an enormous amount of water and is breathtaking to behold. But the risk of natural hazards, such as landslides and debris flows, has haunted people for over 600 years. In this wet summer of 2021, we also see how strong the power of nature is due to all the water.
Since the forest is a great protection against avalanches, landslides due to its stabilising function, a law against unhindered deforestation was enacted very early in the affected areas of Switzerland. This was also the case in Seelisberg in 1365, for example.
Various possibilities to continue hiking
Now there are various options for continuing the hike. On the one hand, you can take the same path back to Beckenried or Rütenen. On the other hand, you can hike up through the Gruebi valley to Emmetten. There is a bus every hour back to Stans.
But if you want, you can also take the path in the direction of Seelisberg. A breathtaking insider tip hike that I can recommend to everyone. The view of Lake Lucerne and the two myths (Mythen) is indescribably beautiful. Especially in autumn with the coloured leaves, the hike is an absolute highlight. This top hike takes about 3h 30 minutes from Beckenried to Seelisberg and is one of the most beautiful gorge hikes to do in Switzerland besides the Areuse Gorge.