7 ViaGottardo
7 ViaGottardo
7 ViaGottardo
7 ViaGottardo
7 ViaGottardo
7 ViaGottardo

Hiking

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ViaGottardo

Stage 8, Altdorf–Wassen

Route report
126 photos

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ViaGottardo

The interplay of medieval towers, transport structures, churches and chapels, the NEAT, motorway, railway tracks, engineered roads and pack-animal trails make the hike through the Urner Reusstal valley a fascinating journey through eight centuries of history.
The long stage to Wassen starts at Altdorf, capital of the Canton of Uri, with the omnipresent legend of Switzerland's national hero, Tell. Leave the old town via the market square with its Tell monument. On the way past the armoury and through residential neighbourhoods, the beautiful dry-stone walls catch the eye. At the confluence with the Schächen, the route crosses the Reuss river. Following the river and past the truck parking before the Gotthard Tunnel, you reach Erstfeld. The way then passes a beautiful pilgrimage chapel before gently ascending to Buchholz, again lines with dry-stone walls. Next comes the village of Silenen, where you can find several Gotthard log houses dating back to the Bergherren (mountain gentry) period (late 16th to early 17th century). The Stone House near the church is the oldest still-inhabited home. The noble gentry of Silenen's Meier or village tower is located in Obersilenen. It was built as a private and official residence by the noble families of Silenen in the mid-13th century. Those who want can take a detour to the Zwing-Uri ruins immediately after.

The route now leads downhill and past lovely, flower-decorated houses to Amsteg. The town has been characterized by north-south traffic over the Alps from time immemorial. It also serves as the gateway to the Maderanertal valley, one of Switzerland's most unspoilt mountain valleys. After crossing the Chärstelenbach stream, you are in front of the old SBB power plant building. It was commissioned in 1922 as part of the Gotthard line's electrification and was completely renovated for the NEAT project in 1990. A slightly steeper path leads from Vorderried to Hinterried. Straight across, the Intschitobelbrücke bridge symbolizes Switzerland's role as a connection between the German north and the Italian south.

What a contrast after that! At your back, the Chli Windgällen soars high above the Reuss Valley, whereas, a little later, you find yourself directly above the Gotthard motorway near Meitschingen. On the opposite side, you can see a part of the Secken viaduct. It is the last of around 100 bridges still preserved in its original design. Arriving at Gurtnellen, you have already been en route for 7 hours. Near the Pfaffensprung, the water is caught and then conducted to the Amsteg power plant through a 7-kilometre tunnel. After a long 8-hour hike, you finally made it: The stage ends in Wassen's lovely village centre with its pretty stone and wooden houses.
The interplay of medieval towers, transport structures, churches and chapels, the NEAT, motorway, railway tracks, engineered roads and pack-animal trails make the hike through the Urner Reusstal valley a fascinating journey through eight centuries of history.
The long stage to Wassen starts at Altdorf, capital of the Canton of Uri, with the omnipresent legend of Switzerland's national hero, Tell. Leave the old town via the market square with its Tell monument. On the way past the armoury and through residential neighbourhoods, the beautiful dry-stone walls catch the eye. At the confluence with the Schächen, the route crosses the Reuss river. Following the river and past the truck parking before the Gotthard Tunnel, you reach Erstfeld. The way then passes a beautiful pilgrimage chapel before gently ascending to Buchholz, again lines with dry-stone walls. Next comes the village of Silenen, where you can find several Gotthard log houses dating back to the Bergherren (mountain gentry) period (late 16th to early 17th century). The Stone House near the church is the oldest still-inhabited home. The noble gentry of Silenen's Meier or village tower is located in Obersilenen. It was built as a private and official residence by the noble families of Silenen in the mid-13th century. Those who want can take a detour to the Zwing-Uri ruins immediately after.

The route now leads downhill and past lovely, flower-decorated houses to Amsteg. The town has been characterized by north-south traffic over the Alps from time immemorial. It also serves as the gateway to the Maderanertal valley, one of Switzerland's most unspoilt mountain valleys. After crossing the Chärstelenbach stream, you are in front of the old SBB power plant building. It was commissioned in 1922 as part of the Gotthard line's electrification and was completely renovated for the NEAT project in 1990. A slightly steeper path leads from Vorderried to Hinterried. Straight across, the Intschitobelbrücke bridge symbolizes Switzerland's role as a connection between the German north and the Italian south.

What a contrast after that! At your back, the Chli Windgällen soars high above the Reuss Valley, whereas, a little later, you find yourself directly above the Gotthard motorway near Meitschingen. On the opposite side, you can see a part of the Secken viaduct. It is the last of around 100 bridges still preserved in its original design. Arriving at Gurtnellen, you have already been en route for 7 hours. Near the Pfaffensprung, the water is caught and then conducted to the Amsteg power plant through a 7-kilometre tunnel. After a long 8-hour hike, you finally made it: The stage ends in Wassen's lovely village centre with its pretty stone and wooden houses.
28 km
1100 m | 620 m
8 h 00 min
easy (hiking trail) | difficult

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Altdorf
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Hints

More information Gottardo Hiking Trail
Hike in the Urner Reusstal valley along the Gotthard mountain route between Altdorf and Göschenen. Several viewing platforms and information panels provide surprising and interesting facts about Switzerland’s most important railway line. More information:
www.gottardo-wanderweg.ch

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Wassen, Dorf
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Signpost management
Signposting is managed by the cantonal hiking trail organisation on behalf of the canton and the communities. Lend a hand by becoming a member in your canton.
Become a member
Urner Wanderwege
Rathausplatz 4
6460 Altdorf
info@urnerwanderwege.ch
www.urnerwanderwege.ch

Services

Accommodation

Hotel Zum Schwarzen Löwen
Hotel Zum Schwarzen Löwen
Altdorf UR
Hotel Stern und Post
Hotel Stern und Post
Amsteg
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Places

Altdorf
Altdorf
Erstfeld
Erstfeld
Amsteg
Amsteg
Wassen
Wassen
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Places of interest

Monument of Wiliam Tell
Monument of Wiliam Tell
Tell museum
Tell museum
Pumptrack Schattdorf
Pumptrack Schattdorf
Attinghausen, Mettlen–Berg (Surenenpass)
Attinghausen, Mettlen–Berg (Surenenpass)
InfoCenter Alptransit Gotthard AG
InfoCenter Alptransit Gotthard AG
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Swimming

Swimming baths Altdorf
Swimming baths Altdorf
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization