Grosser Mythen Hike: Switzerland’s Best Short Hike

By Oriana Pauli ∘ Posted 21st May, 2024 ∘

If there’s only one hike you do in Switzerland it should be the Grosser Mythen Hike. It’s tough but short- it’ll only set you back an hour or so up and the reward at the top far outweighs the effort you put in. (Think 360° view over lakes, alps- classic Switzerland!)


How long is the Grosser Mythen Hike? Is it dangerous?

The Grosser Mythen Hike is only 3.5 km return- pretty short. It’ll only take around 2 hours to walk up and down. The peak is at 1898m.

The catch is that you literally walk 500m straight up the mountain on skinny hairpin paths so the ascent can feel brutal. The path is also narrow and there are steep exposed drop offs almost all the way along the trail, as you can see in the picture below.

The Grosser Mythen hike can be dangerous and people have died- it’s even been called the deadliest hike in Switzerland.

That being said, consider that it is still one of the most popular hikes here and thousands of people successfully climb it each year. If you’re careful and you have good hiking shoes you’ll be fine. There’s also ropes and metal chains attached to the rocks in some of the trickier sections which you can hold on to.

I wouldn’t recommend this hike for children younger than 10 or so though, for obvious reasons. When we hiked, there were a couple of young kids who were hiking, around 5-6 years old, but the parents seemed stressed the whole time just keeping them away from the edge.


Where is the Grosser Mythen? – and How to Get There

The Grosser Mythen is in central Switzerland, Canton Schwyz close to Luzern.

The trail to climb Grosser Mythen begins in Holzegg, which means you have to get to Holzegg first. There are 3 different ways to get there:

How to get to the trailhead at Holzegg

  • Option 1- Direct cablecar from Brunni
  • Option 2- 3.2km walk from Iberegg
  • Option 3- Cablecar from Richenbach to Rotenflue + extra 1.4km walk

Have a look at the table below, to find out which option is best for you. We did Option 2 and walked from Iberegg. I recommend it, because it’s free!

I also enjoyed the walk from Iberegg to Holzegg. It’s a gentle trail which makes it a good warm-up before the relentless uphill on the Grosser Mythen.

Option 1:
From Brunni
Option 2:
From Iberegg
Option 3:
From Rickenbach
Best for
Travelling from Zürich Sunrise Hike
FREE 
(no cable car costs)
Travelling from Lucerne
How to get there by car
45 min from Lucerne or Zürich. 
Drive to Brunnistrasse 14, 8849 Alpthal
1 hour from Zürich, 55 min from Lucerne. 
* Drive to Ibergeregg, Passhöhe, 8843 Schwyz 
46 min from Zürich, 40 min from Lucerne . 
Drive to Rickenbachstrasse 163, 6432 Rickenbach
How to get there by train/bus
1 hour 15 min from Lucerne or Zürich.
Bus stop: Brunni SZ, Talstation LBH.
1 hour 40 min from Zürich, 1 hour 30 min from Lucerne. 
Bus stop:  Ibergeregg, Passhöhe
1 hour 20 min from Zürich, 1 hour 5 min from Lucerne
Bus stop:  Rickenbach SZ, Rotenfluebahn
Cable Car Price (2024)
Cable car RETURN ticket: 
Kids up to 15: 10 chf
Adult: 20 chf
No discounts
none
Cable car RETURN ticket:
Kids 6-16: 18 chf
Adult: 46
Half price with halbtax, free with a GA/Tell Pass
Discounts for online booking- cheaper the earlier you book
Cable car opening times
08:00 am - 5:15 pm
Runs every half hour
none
08:30 am - 5:30 pm
Runs continuously
Tips
  • * If you choose Option 2 and drive to Iberegg, make sure you're confident driving up winding, one way mountain roads
  • If you're going via public transport, make sure you check the bus schedules! During off-peak hours the Post Auto bus might only run hourly or finish early.  

Good to knows: Info & Tips for the Grosser Mythen Hike

  • The trail is open from May to October. Exact times vary, depending on the weather. They will also shut it for a day or so if the weather is bad. We did the hike in the middle of May and parts of the path were still snowed in, which we weren’t anticipating! Check out the weather and webcam on the mountain at www.mythenregion.ch
  • I’m repeating myself, but again: Always check the weather. It seems to be ever changing in Switzerland and around mountains especially. When we went, it was perfectly sunny the whole week, except on the day we went and we saw nothing but clouds at the top. Maybe have a couple days buffer in your itinerary so you have time to wait for good weather!
  • The Grosser Mythen hike is popular, especially when the weather is nice. If you can, avoid going during holiday periods or weekends. I’ve seen some complaints online of the trail being too crowded…not a deal breaker in my opinion, but something to be aware of.
  • It’s also popular to climb the Grosser Mythen early in the morning so you can catch the sunrise at the top, which would be spectacular! You’d have to have a car to do this or stay at the hotel in Iberegg. I’d allow around 2 hours to get there before sunrise- so for a a 5.30am sunrise, you’d want to start walking at 3.30am.
  • There are 46 hairpin bends in the Grosser Mythen trail and each turn is numbered, so that in the event of an emergency you can give them your exact location.
  • There’s a little mountain-hut restaurant at the peak, which is open from sunrise to sunset. Their almond croissants are famous! They also have simple food, like soup and cheese and meat platters (10-20 chf), all locally sourced, as well as snacks. Big food deliveries are flown in by helicopter, which is crazy! Check out their website for more info.
  • Apparently, there’s a post box at the peak too where you can even send a postcard! I didn’t know about this when I went otherwise I would’ve looked for it.
  • The difficulty rating is for the hike is T3: Challenging. Don’t let that put you off though, I have an average level of fitness and I made it without trouble.
  • There are two sets of signs along the trail, brown and yellow, which look like this:

I was a bit confused at first about the difference between. The brown signs only show restaurants along the trail, but they’re useful because they show the distance left to go. The yellow signs are the official hiking trail signs and they’re useful because they show you how much time roughly you have left to hike. Either way, just follow the ones that say Grosser Mythen or Gr.Mythen.

  • Lots of people use hiking apps which show all the trails in Switzerland like swisstopo or komoot. You shouldn’t need them for this though.
  • Dogs are permitted on a leash
  • Maybe slightly irrelevant, but just in case you were wondering: You can’t climb the Kleiner Mythen unless you have proper climbing gear. It’s more dangerous than the Grosser Mythen.

Our experience: The trail from Iberegg to the Grosser Mythen peak

The trail from Iberegg to Holzegg was a breeze. It’s flat most of the way, partly through farms and forests. There are three restaurants along the way as well. If you wanted to stop, I would recommend stopping at the last one before Holzegg- it has the best views.

After that comes the tough part- the climb up the Mythen. Here are some more examples of what the path looks like up the mountain. You can see that there is lots of loose rock and shale on the path and also lots of ropes and chains to hold on to.

One of the most famous parts of the trail is this one: an exposed ridge with a steep drop off on either side. Maybe it was a good thing it was foggy so I couldn’t see how high up it was!

I wish I could finish this off with some pictures of the amazing views at the top- but we didn’t see any because of the cloud cover. Here’s a stock photo instead of what you can expect:


Unique Accommodation option

We saw this little tree house on the path from Iberegg to Holzegg and you can stay in it which would be really fun for kids or couples! Perfect for a sunrise hike too. Their website is https://www.baumhuette.ch/.


Hope this hiking guide up the Grosser Mythen was useful! If you’re looking for another crazy thing to do in Switzerland, check out this post I wrote:

7 Crazy Things to do in Switzerland


Oriana

Oriana was born in Zürich and is currently working as an English Teacher in Basel, in northern Switzerland.

This travel blog is is her newest project with her twin sister. Their mission is to give everyone the confidence to travel Switzerland with ease.