4 months after our return to Switzerland, it was time to take out the camping gear and hiking shoes! (Well, we never really put them away 😉 ) Why? Well, to enjoy a sunny weekend in the beautiful swiss mountains!
It must be said that with the crazy temperatures of this summer, we had been itching for some time to enjoy some fresh mountain air and sleep outside.
So we looked for a nice mountain hike with the possibility to camp not too far from the start! After some research, we decided to go for the classic five lakes hike. A hike that has the reputation of offering some of the most magnificent panoramas in Switzerland. Imagine for a second, 5 clear mountain lakes, the Pizol and its glacier, a breathtaking view of the Alps of eastern Switzerland! A promising menu, isn’t it? And I swear to you that we were not disappointed 🙂
Bad Ragaz: ideal base for hiking and relaxing
This small village is only an hour’s train ride from the city of Zürich. It is an ideal base for hiking in the surroundings (there is a campsite and some small hotels). But Bad Ragaz’s little bonus is its thermal spring. So when you return from your hike you can enjoy the thermal baths or the magnificent outdoor swimming pool of the town.
But you’ve known us since the beginning, we like camping quite a bit. So we didn’t hesitate for long before we pulled out our faithful tent. This same tent that still made 15 of the 18 months of travel around the world with us;). It was time to finally introduce it to Switzerland. Besides, there’s nothing like sleeping outside in this heat wave.
Camping Bad Ragaz
About the Bad Ragaz campsite, there is not much to complain about. A fully equipped kitchen is at your disposal. The sanitary facilities are immaculate and entry to the pool is free for the people of the campsite. There’s even a wifi that actually works. We feel that we are in Switzerland! (for the price also unfortunately ahah… more info at the end of the article). I promise that the free swimming pool after the hike feels good!!!!
The 5 lakes hike and its dream landscapes
After a good night’s sleep, we set off for the station to take the bus that will take us to the first stage of the day, the Pizol cable car. (The departure point of the cabins is 10 minutes by bus from Bad Ragaz). Yes we know, taking the cabin is a bit of cheating but the thing is that the village of Bad Ragaz is located at 500m altitude while the beginning of the hike him at 2200m.
Considering that it already takes a good 4-5 hours of walking to do the tour, we could not see ourselves hiking up and down on foot (or at least not in one day).
Beginning of the five lakes hike
After a long ascent to the cabin (or rather a cabin and a chairlift), we arrive in Laufböden. This will be the starting point of our hike. We walk for about 20 minutes towards the Pizol hut which is located on the 1st of the 5 lakes of the day: the Wangsersee.
Already there, it sets the level as they say. 😉 We take an extended photo break before continuing (at the same time you will understand when you see the pictures)…. We still have 4 lakes and more than 10 km to walk 😉
View on the Pizol and the glacier
Then we start a climb of about 1 hour to the “Wildseeluggen” (it is the name of a pass). Even though it is already July and the heat wave is at its maximum, there is still snow on the trail and we cross snow several times. But nothing dramatic, we did the whole hike in trail running shoes despite the snow.
Once you get to the pass, it’s just a big WOUAHHHHHH!!!!! We have a magnificent view of the Pizol, its glacier and the “Wildsee” which is still largely frozen.
After a short contemplative break, we head back on track to the “Schottensee“, the 3rd of the 5 lakes of the day. The descent is a bit “more complicated” because of the snow… I even try skiing in sneaker. And you guessed it, I ended up with my butt in the snow. Once by the lake, we feel “obliged” to take a picnic break…
At the same time, just in front of us, the mountains are reflected in the deep blue of the lake. The show is incredible and it is for me one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in Switzerland.
Schwarzsee and Bachalvasee
The rest of the hike takes us to the “Schwarzsee” (the black lake) and then to the “Baschalvasee” via an impressive group of cairns (you know, these small stone mounds that are often found in the mountains????. Besides, these piles of stones are quite imposing here! Some of them are even much taller than me. 😉 The path is pleasant.
It goes up and down quietly through pretty meadows full of flowers (if it is paradise I tell you).
We finish the walk by a good descent to the alpine pasture of Gaffia where we can have a well-deserved drink on the terrace of a small bistro, which also offers alpine specialities (cheese, sausage etc….). Then we only needed to take the chairlift and then the cabin to the village of Wangs, located a few minutes by train from Bad Ragaz.
- distance: 11km
- elevation gain : 750m
- elevation loss : 1100m
- to get the hike map, it over here
- Price of the cabin/télésiège du Pizol round trip: 20fr if you have half price and 40 without
- If you come with your tent, there is no need to book the campsite in advance. The campsite costs 17fr per person all inclusive (wifi, swimming pool, kitchen…). more information
- To get to Bad Ragaz, you will have to take the train to Sargans and then change to the regional train to Bad Ragaz (1 stop in Sargans)
Hiking Map – 5 lakes Bad Ragaz
Review of our hike to Pizol
You will have noticed, we LOVE this hike!!!!! The scenery is absolutely incredible and on a clear day, you will have a breathtaking view of the Glarus and even Austrian Alps. On the other hand, we advise you to come during the week because this route is very popular (and we understand why). On weekends, you may not be alone on the trails. But well, it’s not unbearable either and for such a show, it’s well worth it.
Have you ever hiked in Switzerland? If so, what is your favorite hike?