Mountain ridge close to Rigi Hochflue
Ridge walk between Rigi Hochflue summit and Egg

When you think of Rigi probably a lake cruise, casual walking and overpriced lunch sandwich wrapped in plastic comes into mind first. Rigi Hochflue is as far from that as possible. Especially when you head there when there is still snow blocking the route every now and then. It is the most adventurous peak of the Rigi summits.

There are basically three routes to the summit:

  1. steep path from the north with only last meters are with fixed ladder,
  2. steep ridge from east with plenty of ladders, ropes, and other supports
  3. and for me the unknown approach from south. Probably steep.

As we started from Arth-Goldau, we went up from north side, enjoyed the nice view with visibility of 15 meters and went down to east to Brunnen. The path up is very steep but it is still completely walkable, with only the last 15 or vertical meters are with ladder. The summit is broad and has plenty of space to have lunch and hang around, and the cross.

Rigi Hochflue summit cross
Rigi Hochflue summit cross, there is supposedly fantastic view from here

We were here on the first weekend of June and to our surprise there were plenty of snow still. This caused a little bit of trouble as the ropes and the like, plus the most obvious and safest path was sometimes under a thick snow blanket.

Starting pointArt-Goldau
End pointBrunnen
Length13.5 km (various routes)
Highest point1698 m
Ascent1261 m
Descent1336 m
GradeT5- (less demanding routes available also)
Food optionsGätterlipass
Link to SAC Tour PortalLink
SleepingNone on the way, but plenty around Rigi

This route is part of the Weekend Mountaineer day trip collection, ensure you check the full list here.

Planning considerations

Route options

There are obviously many starting points, we decided to start from Arth-Goldau as it is so easy to reach from Zurich. And we went down to Brunnen as we wanted to have a post hike beer on a ferry to Luzern (which we missed as the way down was so much slower than we anticipated. The third summit approach starts from Gersau.

View to Vierwaldstättersee
View to Vierwaldstättersee on the way to Brunnen

There are few gondolas that can take some ascent meter out (or descent). From Brunnen to Timpel, and I guess also it helps if starting point is Rigi Scheidegg.

Ladder up to Rigi Hochflue
Ladder up to Rigi Hochflue

Food options

We had our stoves with us so no restaurant visits but we found out that there would have been two restaurants:

  • Gätterlipass – just before the steep part starts on the north side of Rigi Hochflue
  • Urmiberg – on the top station of the Brunnen – Timpel gondola

What I would do differently?

This tour once again highlighted the weather factor. The views were naturally missing, and the moist air increased the challenge of coming down (together with snow). Also it was a surprise to us how challenging the route from summit to Egg was, it took us 1.5 hours to overcome this 1.4 kilometer part, looking at the map this looks nothing like it was.

Steep path from Rigi Hochflue to Egg
Steep path from Rigi Hochflue to Egg

Rigi Hochflue is nothing like you would expect from Rigi – it is wild, no tourists, and you need to work hard to get up. Everything that a great hike needs to have. The most adventurous peak of the Rigi summits and a highly recommendable day trip from Zürich

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