Let yourself immerse into a dream world at the 5 Lake Hike Pizol with the beautiful light blue Schottensee and four other mountain lakes.
Text and Pictures by Marc Gottwald
Short summary of the 5-Lake-Hike Pizol
– No restaurants during the hike (but at the start and end), take enough food and drinks with you.
– A lot of people at the weekends, it is recommended to go during the week. Easy to reach from Bad Ragaz and a great day trip.
– The highlight and most beautiful place for a picnic is the Schottensee with its light blue milky colour. One of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Switzerland, if not Europe.
– The colour of Schottensee is constantly changing. It is light blue in summer, especially when it is hot and it gets a lot of glacial melt water.
Time: 4h20min, physically difficult, technically medium
Journey 5 Lake Hike Pizol
Do you want to visit one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland? Looking for a place of magic?
Then you have to check out the “5 Lake Hike” at Pizol.
Take the bus from Sargans to the bus stop Wangs, Pizolbahnen. There are also parking spaces if you come by car. You can easily reach this cable car station from Zurich or Bad Ragaz. It is recommended to buy a 5-lake round trip ticket, which includes all the cable cars.
The starting point of the hike is then either the Pizol hut at the top with two chairlift rides (more leisurely option) or a chairlift ride to Alpe Gaffia. We go all the way to the top and start at the Pizolhütte.
The Pizol area is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sardona.
Let’s start the Swiss hiking dream
The first hour of the 5 Lake Pizol hike takes you to the Wildseeluggen. Passing cows and small moorland areas with white cotton grass, the rather steep ascent offers a breathtaking view over the Rhine valley and even Lake Constance.
Once you have reached the Wildseelugge (2493m), you can enjoy the breathtaking view over the Wildsee and the Pizol glacier. Yes, this hike in Switzerland is a dream.
The Pizol Glacier
Unfortunately, the Pizol Glacier has already almost disappeared and will probably not exist for very much longer. The glacier recedes about three metres per year. Today it is still about 300 metres long (2021). Researchers say that it will have disappeared completely in 20 years.
After a short rest you hike 20 minutes down to the Schottensee (2335m).
The light blue glacial meltwater catches the eye. It is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Switzerland and perhaps even in Europe. And for me, the gem on the “5 Lake Hike Pizol”. A truly magical moment! It looks like a lagoon, but is a little colder.
It is also important to know that the colour of the Schottensee changes. In summer the lake appears light blue, especially when it is hot and it gets a lot of meltwater. As soon as the sediments contained in the glacial water settle, the water appears darker blue. This happens when the lake receives little meltwater (autumn, spring).
Tip for the best 5-Lake-Hike picture
Photo tip: This lake is the highlight of the hike. I would spend a lot of time here. It is also the best place for unique photo memories or a cosy picnic. You can even take a bath in it, but the water is really cold.
After the rest, the hike continues with an ascent towards Schwarzsee (approx. 1h). This part of the hike offers you an impressive view over the mountain panorama of the Sardona region.
In addition, once you have made the 30-minute ascent, you can see the Schwarzsee (2372m) from the plain. It is also a very beautiful mountain lake with a completely different colour than the previous Schottensee. What a hiking tip in Switzerland, this 5-lake hike in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sardona!
The last 1.5h of the hike takes you to Lake Baschalve (which was very brown) and on to a colony of cairns. On the descent you can once again enjoy the impressive view of the Rhine valley plain.
For me, the “5 Lake Hike Pizol” is one of the most beautiful hikes in Switzerland. You can reach the area very easily from Zurich or Bad Ragaz and get on the top oft he mountain quickly with a comfortable cable car ride. Then it’s your time for the hike off to the beautiful mountain lakes like the Schottensee.