Backpacking to Lake Seealpsee | Switzerland

Switzerland is my favorite place I have travelled to so far! The country is teeming with life, crystal clear water, dramatic mountains, hiking for dayssss, and true adventure. During the summer of 2019 I travelled with some friends around Europe and I am so glad I included Switzerland as one of the stops. Look for my other post for how to budget and afford the expensive country, because it is a necessary aspect to backpacking the amazing place. 

One of the best places I went was Lake Seealpsee, a massive alpine lake that sits just below the Wasserauen peaks. We found out about this place from a random Instagram picture that one of us had just happened to see in a random ad. The post got deleted shortly after we had added it to our list of things to see, and there really is not much information about it online, so we were a bit suspicious about its actual existence. I think I only found one other blogger who had been to this lake, and it seems like it is more off the beaten path for the country’s tourists.

View from the front of the lake, with a small mountain restaurant on the left.

We drove towards our supposed destination with the little bit of information we were able to obtain on this illusive lake. Driving into the valley below the lake you really feel like you are in the boons of Switzerland. The area is rural and people seem to be spread about loosely in the surrounding hills. We traversed onto a dirt road for a while, until reaching a dead end where there were some facilities and maybe a pub or two.

The beginning of the trail to the lake begins at the parking lot at the base of the mountains, at the end of the road. When we arrived there were only a couple of cars in the lot, and there were a few people landing paragliders which is common on many of the Swiss peaks. The parking lot also serviced a cable car up Bommel mountain where there are also a variety trails up the summits of Sāntis, Schāfler, and Ōhrli peaks. I would gladly venture back to do these mountains because the scenery is breathtaking, and not average tourism destinations. We continued to the trailhead which began after crosses a small stream at the base of the valley, passing through a gate at the other end of a cow pasture. Another amazing thing about Switzerland is the quality of their fresh mountain water. There was a spigot at the base of trail, diverting fresh mountain water for you to fill up on.

A trail map to Lake Seealpsee from the base of the Wasserauen cable car parking lot.

The hike begins on a completely flat gravel road crossing next to cows and a bunch of manure. After the cows it immediately ascends getting increasingly steeper as you continue. We did not see anyone else on the trail, giving us a bit of trepidation as we were not even sure the lake actually existed at this point. We continued up burning our calves to death! After a week of hiking in Switzerland your legs will be wrecked!

As we continued up the steep road it began to level out when we were greeted with one of the jaw dropping view of this pristine lake. The lake is set back in a picturesque bowl shaped valley with a dramatic mountain backdrop and spectacular blue water. You will know you are at Seealpsee by the iconic blue row boat moored to the front of the lake. The water in lake is extremely reflective and perfectly mirrors the surroundings. It really looks fake, and we were all in shock that we actually found it, it actually existed, and it is INSANE!

Dive In!!

From the blue boat at the front of the lake we continued around the right side on a flat dirt trail. The views continue around the lake giving you 360 degree views of the valley and the high mountain peaks. People live at the back of the lake and I can only imagine the kind of serenity their lives entail. Make sure to visit a small store run by a local farmer, selling fresh milk and pastries.

Of course as we continued the water became to enticing and I had to jump in, like all of the water in Switzerland it begs you to. The water feels so rejuvenating after the steep climb and afternoon sun. Later I watched a documentary about the lake and apparently there are large catfish that live in it, and it actually supports quite a diverse ecosystem. 

Lake Seealpsee is definitely one of my favorite lakes and destinations I have gone to in Switzerland. This area is well off the beaten path, and hopefully it stays that way so people can enjoy the serene environment and calming atmosphere. I am certainly going to go back because I want to climb more of the peaks and maybe even get to swim in the lake another time.

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