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Mountain Biking recommended route

Etzel

· 3 reviews · Mountain Biking · Switzerland
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  • The climb after Feusisberg
    / The climb after Feusisberg
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / "The Wall"
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / "The Wall"
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Arriving at the top of Etzel
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / The view towards Sihlsee and Mythen
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / The descent
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Parts of the descent are quite technical
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
  • / Almost back in Pfäffikon SZ
    Photo: Dave O'Riordan, Swiss Alpine Adventure
m 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Pfäffikon SZ Pfäffikon SZ
A very pleasant half day or evening tour. 
moderate
Distance 18.2 km
3:02 h
753 m
757 m
An enjoyable afterwork or half day tour in the lake Zurich region. From the top there are stunning views over Lake Zurich, the Sihl lake and the whole Mythen region and the descent offers a good mix of singltrail. 

Author’s recommendation

A great afterwork or half day ride close to Zurich. Best avoided on busy weekends as there will be a lot of hikers in the area. 
Profile picture of Dave O'Riordan
Author
Dave O'Riordan
Update: May 31, 2015
Difficulty
S2 moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1,100 m
Lowest point
413 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

There are no extra risks associated with this tour. Some short sections of trail are a little more than S1 on the singletrail scale but there is usually an option to either go around or walk. The lower part of the tour contains many steps and can be avoided by staying on the road to Pfäffikon. 

Tips and hints

For more of our favourite tours remember to check out www.swissalpineadventure.com - tours. 

Start

Pfäffikon SZ (413 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'701'531E 1'228'838N
DD
47.202686, 8.778697
DMS
47°12'09.7"N 8°46'43.3"E
UTM
32T 483239 5227712
w3w 
///learn.chats.furniture

Destination

Pfäffikon SZ

Turn-by-turn directions

From the train station in Pfaffikon SZ ride towards the main street and turn left towards Altendorf. A short distance up the street there is a sign for the mountain bike route to Einsiedeln. The road quickly heads uphill and is quite steep. Keep following this road towards Feusisberg and Schindellegi. 

 

Before Schindeleggi turn left and follow signposts towards Etzel. The road is paved for more then half of the climb but it remains just as steep once it becomes unpaved. There is one section shortly before the top that is VERY steep (affectionately known by Swiss Alpine Adventure members as "The Wall") and in many cases you will need to get off and push the bike here. 


Once on top you can enjoy the views over Lake Zurich and the Sihl Lake (Sihlsee). There is also a restaurant here where you can get something to eat and/or drink. 

 

There are a number of options for the descent, but our prefered one is to head back down the road you rode up and just near the top of "The Wall" there will be a singletrail going down to the left. Take this trail until it joins a gravel singletrail traversing Etzel. Turn left and follow this trail to St. Meinrad. 

 

Once down in St, Meinrad take the main pass road towards Pfaffikon and after about 50m there are some steps descending to your left with a trail to the side of them. At the bottom of this trail it crosses the road again and then goes down the right hand side of the road. At the next Y in the trail you need to stay left or you will end up descending towards Altendorf instead of Pfaffikon. A number of sections of this trail exit on a main road with some technical features or steps at the end of the section. Care should be taken as you approach each junction. 

 

Take the left hand trail and follow it almost the whole way back down to Pfaffikon SZ. The trail crosses the road a few times but in general you can keep following it and the wanderweg signs for Pfaffikon.

 

In the lower part of the tour (after passing the road junction where the road from Pfäffikon to Feusisberg meets the road to St. Meinrad) the trail contains many steps. Some of these steps are quite difficult to ride and it is safer for those who are not comfortable riding tricky steps to take the road down to Pfäffikon. There are in particular two or three places where most people will need to briefly get off the bike. 

 

On a sunny weekend day there may be a lot of hikers on the descent. Please respectful. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

There are multiple connections every hour from Zurich HB to Pfäffikon SZ. Check www.sbb.ch for further details. 

Getting there

From Zurich take the A3 and exit Pfäffikon. Follow signposts for the train station. 

Parking

Parking is available at Pfäffikon SZ train station. 

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'701'531E 1'228'838N
DD
47.202686, 8.778697
DMS
47°12'09.7"N 8°46'43.3"E
UTM
32T 483239 5227712
w3w 
///learn.chats.furniture
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Singletrail Map - Einsiedeln/Rigi

Equipment

Any kind of mountain bike is suitable for this ride, but some sections can be quite technical. 

Questions and answers

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Rating

3.3
(3)
C Michel
June 01, 2015 · Community
OK, OK, I may have exaggerated a bit, but the most ridiculous part is at the end, making overall a bad impression. The way up is fine apart from 2 sections designated as "forbidden for all vehicles": the first one above Feusisberg can be avoided by walking 100m, the second one concerns the last part until the top, though it seems there is kind of a tolerance. Below St Meinrad, the annoying thing are these fences every 20m (we had to cross 6 or 7) definitely not adapted to bikers but I guess you cannot avoid this. There are very nice single trail sections there. Then some sections would allow a S2 ranking. Below the Lüegeten, your proposition to follow the walking path is very uncomfortable, by the way no one seems to do that. Without this part, the trail gains 2 stars from my side.
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Reviews
Difficulty
S2 moderate
Distance
18.2 km
Duration
3:02 h
Ascent
753 m
Descent
757 m
Out and back Circular route Scenic Refreshment stops available Summit route Singletrail/Free ride

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