ThThe canton of Glarus has a lot to offer. Besides imposing mountains, endless glaciers and beautiful mountain lakes, the people of Glarus are also very warm people and good hosts.
Text and pictures by Marc Gottwald
The canton of Glarus is a very diverse canton and is one of my favorite destinations. Due to the proximity to Zurich, the friendly people and the incredible landscapes, the canton has more to offer than you might think.
I’m happy to present you with eight of my top favorites that you shouldn’t miss either.
1). Berglistüber Waterfall
The Berglistüber above Linthal in Glarus is one of the most magical waterfalls in Switzerland and located in the Tectonic Arena Sardona (UNESCO World Heritage). The canton of Glarus has noticed this as well. They improved the path and built a small “viewing platform” in front of the waterfall.
The impressive experience is to see and feel the power of the waterfall from behind at your own risk. Yes, you can really walk behind the waterfall! It is special that older limestone (estimated 200 million years old) is above younger shale (50 million years old). Actually, this should be the other way around, but the reason is the rock overthrust, which was caused by forces of the continental plates drifting together.
Access to the Berglistüber is free of charge and the waterfall can be reached in only 5 minutes from the official parking lot at the Bergli restaurant. The excursion can be perfectly combined with a further trip to Klausenpass and Unterschächen.
2). Lake Oberblegisee
Another pearl in the canton of Glarus is the lake Oberblegisee. Reachable in about 1.5 hours with a hike from Braunwald, the Swiss lake now attracts many nature lovers in summer and autumn. We have seen especially families on this hike, because the village has positioned itself as a place for families.
By the way, on the way to the lake there is a farm where you can buy cheese and only about 10 minutes further a mountain restaurant to stop for a bite to eat. If you don’t want to return the same way to Braunwald, you can take the shorter way to Brunnenberg, where the cable car is waiting for you.
A great hike, but which is now also well run on summer days. Therefore, I have an insider tip ready for those seeking peace and quiet. Only about 30 minutes away from the Oberblegisee is another gem in Glarus: the Guppenseeli. Few people stray here even on weekends.
3). Fronalpstock Glarus
If you want to get really high in Glarus, you have to see the view from Fronalpstock. From Mollis you can drive up to almost 1400 meters and park your car near the restaurant Unterstafel. The parking spaces are often gone quickly on weekends, so it’s worth arriving early.
Alternatively, you can park 500 meters further down. Afterwards you hike about 800 meters in altitude to the Fronalpstock. The last part of the hike is an alpine hiking trail, where you also have to climb in parts. Therefore, the hike is only recommended for experienced hikers who are free from giddiness. In early summer you will see protected orchids in the meadows next to the path.
Once on the mountain, you will be treated to an incredible panoramic view of Glarus, Lake Spannegg as well as the Swiss Alps.
Braunwald is a mountain village above Linthal in the canton of Glarus. The word “Braunwald” means as much as that the surrounding area is rich in springs and forests. Already in the 14th century people are said to have lived here, who mainly kept sheep, goats and cattle.
Although you can still find mountain farmers, the main economic activity today is directed to tourism. Because Braunwald is considered a health resort near Zurich and also praises itself as a family paradise. The village with the beautiful houses and the fantastic view of the surrounding mountains is highly recommended for a day trip as well as for a few days of wellness.
If you want to climb peaks or simply have a shorter way to the Oberblegisee, you can take the cable car from Braunwald.
5). Diesbach Falls
Almost directly from the main road, a beautiful three-tiered waterfall can be observed: the Diesbach Falls. Especially during the snowmelt, a lot of water flows here. It is worth to make this stop during a trip in the canton of Glarus.
The Swiss waterfall can be well combined with the Oberblegisee as well as the Berglistüber and the Klausen Pass. In early summer, sheep also graze in front of the waterfall.
6). Lake Klöntalersee
Only a little more than 1 hour away from Zurich, the Lake Klöntalersee is called by many the most beautiful lake in Switzerland. Let’s also be honest, the blue-green color of the lake, which is surrounded by impressive mountains, is fantastically beautiful.
The Klöntalersee is a paradise for everyone. For hikers, the hike around the lake during the week is especially recommended. One side of the hike leads along the road and the traffic volume is then partly very high.
But the Swiss lake also attracts with a campsite, where beautiful moments can be spent in the mountains. Even day trippers can enjoy a warm summer day cooling off in the lake at one of the bathing establishments.
In summer, the Klöntalersee is very well accessible by public transport (parking spaces are limited).
The canton of Glarus has a lot to offer but this is definitely one of the most breathtaking hikes. From the Tierfed to the Claridenhütte it goes about 1600 meters in altitude up into a mountain paradise. Into an alpine world that is simply indescribable. Endless glaciers, crystal clear mountain lakes and with a little luck a whole herd of chamois can be encountered here. If you look to the left and right of the path during the hike, you can even discover rare orchids such as the Nigritella rhellicani.
Arrived at the Claridenhütte SAC, a delicious meal and a cool (respectively warm) drink is waiting for you.
By the way, another and a little more leisurely option is to take the cable car from Urnerboden to 2000 meters and then start the approximately 2.5-hour hike to the SAC hut. Nevertheless, a lot of altitude meters are made here as well.
8). Legler Hut & Garichti Reservoir (Engisee & Chammseeli)
I was very surprised when I did the hike on a weekend in 2020. It felt like more than 100 people were waiting at the cable car station that takes you to the Garichti reservoir.
So we spontaneously decided to hike this trail as well, which was a very good decision. But instead of first going to Garichtisee, we took the hiking trail to Chammseeli and Engisee. On the way we met almost no people and could enjoy the perfect cloud reflection after about 2.5h at the lake. For me, one of the most idyllic lakes in the canton of Glarus. Especially with the grazing cows it is also an ideal photo motif.
The Leglerhütte SAC is then still about half an hour away. There you will meet the crowd again. After a refreshment (the kitchen cooks really delicious), we marched to the almost deserted Milchspüelersee, where a huge ibex walked impressively across our path.
By the way, it takes another 1.5 hours from the Legler hut back to the cable car station. Those who want to spend the night in the SAC hut should book early especially during the weekends.