With an area of ​​13.6 hectares, the picturesque Seealpsee is one of the most photographed lakes in Switzerland. Find the lake at an altitude of 1,143 meters, surrounded with enormous mountains of the Alps. There are more than 1000 km of hiking trails in the vicinity. From the nearby Ebenalp, you can reach popular attractions, such as Wildkirchli and the Santis mountain.

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Tip: the lake can be reached in 2 hours with a hike of easy difficulty. Many people come here to relax and have a picnic - spending hours at the shore of the lake. Let's bravely embark on the adventure with children.

Overview

Lake Seealpsee Details
Country Switzerland, Canton of Appenzell
Location Wasserauen, Alpstein region
Parking Wasserauen, cable car parking lot
Can you swim in the lake? Yes
Boat rental CHF 5/30 mins
Hiking route 6 km | 280 m level | kid-friendly
Cable car No direct lift (only nearby)
Parameters 13,6 hectare | 15 m depth | 630 m length
Restaurant Gasthausforelle
Dog-friendly? Yes
Barrier-free? No
Seealpsee lake, Switzerland

Map - Where is Seealpsee located?

The Seealpsee is located near the border in the northeastern tip of Switzerland. Lichtenstein, Austria and Germany's Lake Constance are just a few kilometres away. You are in the canton of Appenzell, in the province of Alpstein. The lake belongs to the area of ​​Schwende and can be reached from the town of Wasserauen.

It is located at the end of a wild valley, surrounded by mountains on three sides, you can only approach it on foot.

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Map of Lake Seealpsee 
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Attention! In Germany, at Oberstdorf, we also find a more famous Seealpsee. When planning our trip, be careful not to confuse the two, as they are located at a relatively small distance from each other.

More about the lake

  • On the shore of the lake, you find the famous Berggasthause Forelle, run by the local Fritsch family. Here, you can have lunch in the open-air restaurant and stay, as the family also rents out rooms.
  • At the lake, find the Bruderklausenkapelle, which the locals built in 1967. During the summer season, weddings are kept in the chapel.
  • One of the most exciting pieces of information about the area is that the cheese called Seealpkäse is made here. It owes its unique taste to the milk of the cows that graze here. The grass and herbs here have special flavour due to the unique microclimate of the lake. As the weather warms up, so does the cheese-making starts. You can visit the "cheese factory" run by Hans and Daniela Gmünder if you register in advance by phone (+41 77 468 04 90). If you want to taste the cheese, you could do so at Forelle.
Seealpsee lake - Cheese "factory"
Lake Seealpsee and its surrounding 
Forelle Inn with a restaurant

Can you swim in the lake?

Yes, swimming in the lake is free, but it is only recommended for experienced and good swimmers. The locals do not recommend swimming around the entire lake but rather encourage you to rent a boat.

Boat rental

You can rent a rowing boat at the Forelle restaurant, the price of which (in 2023) is CHF 5/30 minutes. You can also request a life jacket if you want - but wearing it is not mandatory. It is worth testing your muscles and rowing a little in the idyllic environment.

Boating on the lake

Hiking

The lake can be approached on a hiking trail (red) or on foot on the service road (yellow) used by the locals (No8). The hiking trail is 6 km long, and the difference in level is 280 meters up and the same down. It is a child-friendly and easy route that can be accomplished even with kids. It is trendy in summer when you can expect many hikers on the marked paths.

Hiking map to Lake Seealpsee

During your tour, the highest point will be 1040 meters. It is worth counting 3 hours for the entire program - plus the stops you want to spend on the shore of the lake. You can go around the lake on an easy hiking trail. If you come with kids, calculate plus one hour or the hike.

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The classic route approaches the lake from below, from the settlement of Wasserauen. However, if you wish, you can also take the cable car from Wasserauen to the Ebenalp upper station, descend to the lake and continue to Wasserauen. In this case, the route does not include any climb.
Seealpsee hike Details
Starting point and endpoint Wasserauen car park (next to the cable car)
Type Loop trail
Length 5.5 km (2 hours)
Further options +1.5 km lake loop (30 mins)
Difficulty Easy, kid-friendly
Level difference 280 m
Duration (with no stops) 2.5 - 3 hours
Loop trail around the lake
Easy hiking trail to Seealpsee 
2-3 hours, kid-friendly hiking path

Hiking trails around the lake

The area has approximately 1,200 km of marked routes, several of which are start near the lake. For many enthusiastic hikers, the Seealpsee is not the final destination but only an intermediate stop.

Hiking routes near Seealpseee Duration
The loop trail around the lake 45 mins
Hüttentobel 1.5 hours
Ebenalp 1.5 hours
Mesmer 1.5 hours
Mesmer-Wagenlücke-Säntis 4 hours
Meglisalp–Rotsteinpass 2.5 hours
Meglisalp-Rotsteinpass-Säntis 4 hours
Meglisalp-Wagenlücke-Säntis 4 hours
Schaffler 2.5 hours
There are over 1000 km hiking trail near the lake

Video

Seealpsee hike video

Dog friendly?

Yes, the lake and its surroundings are also accessible to dogs. As far as we know, the Forelle Inn is also dog-friendly.

Barrier-free?

Unfortunately, those who want to approach the lake by hiking should expect that it is not barrier-free - so you cannot stroll along it either with a wheelchair or a stroller. There is a service road leading to the lake (yellow road No8), which the employees of the local restaurant use. We can't go here with a stroller because it's very steep.

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