1 Activities

9 Highlights on the Ebenalp

  • Ebenalp is located in the popular Alpstein hiking area at 1644 m above sea level.
  • From the panorama terrace you have a spectacular panoramic view of the Alpstein massif and the Seealpsee at 1590 m above sea level.
  • Ebenalp is considered the sun terrace of the Alpstein and often lies above the valley fog.
  • The aerial cableway covers 723 meters in altitude in 6 min between Wasserauen and the mountain station.
  • Ebenalp is a climber's paradise with over 200 climbing routes.
  • Paraglider and delta pilots experience a height difference of about 770 meters on their flight back to Wasserauen.
  • The Wildkirchli with several karst caves, the Bärenhöhle and the Äscher mountain inn can be reached in summer via a hiking trail from the Ebenalp mountain station.
  • A beautiful hike leads from Ebenalp to the crystal clear Seealpsee.
  • In winter you will find three ski lifts and a children's area with practice area and magic carpet in the Ebenalp-Horn ski region.

Ebenalp is a paradise for nature lovers, hikers and adventurers and has something to offer for everyone. Ebenalp offers a breathtaking mountain landscape with steep rock faces, green alpine meadows and imposing peaks all around.

Ebenalp WildkirchliWildkirchli (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus, Christof Sonderegger)
Ebenalp Berggasthaus ÄscherBerggasthaus Äscher (Foto: Pixabay)

Places of interest on Ebenalp

Ebenalp is considered to be particularly sunny. The viewing terrace at 1590 m above sea level is located above the fog carpet. Very worth seeing are the karst caves below Ebenalp.

Wildkirchli caves

The power of water has created a total of four karst caves over millions of years. Not only bears lived here, traces of the Neanderthal man have also been found. A well-maintained path leads from the Ebenalp mountain station on a hike (15 min) through the caves. You can also admire a hermit's hut. In one cave there is a small cave chapel. The caves are only accessible during the summer months.

Mountain inn Äscher

The Äscher mountain inn is one of the oldest mountain inns in Switzerland. Guests were catered for here as early as 1800. It has a very idyllic location and is partly in a cave, partly nestled against the mountain. The inn is open between May and October. The Äscher became world famous through a mention in National Geographic and is visited by tourists from all over the world.

EbenalpEbenalp (Foto: Unsplash)
EbenalpEbenalp (Foto: Unsplash)

Natural alpine garden

On an area of about 2000 m² you will find well-known alpine flowers. Among them you can also see endangered species. The natural alpine garden is crossed with paved paths, so you can admire the flowers comfortably.

Mountain railroad to Ebenalp

The mountain railroad is an aerial cableway that climbs 723 meters in altitude from Wasserauen in 6 min. The cable car holds 40 people and runs about every 15 min all year round.

Maintenance times are from the end of March to the beginning of May and from the end of November to the end of December.

*Offer at Swiss Activities:+

Ebenalp LuftseilbahnLuftseilbahn Ebenalp (Foto: Pixabay)
Ebenalp Luftseilbahn WildkirchliLuftseilbahn Wildkirchli (Foto: Pia Zellweger)

Activities on the Ebenalp

Besides hiking and paragliding, climbing tours are very popular on Ebenalp. In winter you can ski and snowboard on Ebenalp with two lifts. The Ebenalp-Horn ski area has a third lift. There are practice areas for children and ski beginners. However, the focus of winter sports is more on ski touring opportunities for experienced skiers. Snowshoeing is also very popular.

Climbing on Ebenalp

Ebenalp has a lot of climbing routes. You can climb on the north walls and on the south walls. The north walls are often wet and only good in summer, when the south walls are too hot to climb during the day. The south walls are climbed mainly in spring and autumn.

All walls have been divided into sectors. At least 110 routes have been drilled on the north walls, and 160 on the south walls. They start at difficulty 5 and the majority are above that, up to difficulty 9. The routes on the south walls are up to 80 m high and extend over a length of 1.5 km.

Beginners will find climbing routes in the climbing garden at Zisler.

Hikes around Ebenalp

The hikes are easy to difficult mountain hikes. Footwear suitable for mountain use is essential here. You should secure children with a rope on steep trails. Below are the 11 best-known routes:

route length (km) time (hr) difficulty meters of altitude↑ meters of altitude↓
Ebenalp - Wildkirchli - Äscher - Ebenalp 1.5 0:30 moderately difficult 169 181
Ebenalp - Chlus - Ebenalp 2.8 1:00 easy 153 153
Ebenalp - Chlus - Schäfler - Ebenalp 4.6 1:45 medium 349 23
Ebenalp - Gartenalp - Wildkirchli - Ebenalp 2.7 1:45 medium-difficult 321 321
Ebenalp - Wildkirchli - Bommenalp - Blättliweg - Wasserauen 3.7 1:30 challenging 13 737
Ebenalp - Wildkirchli - Bommenalp - Schwende - Wasserauen 6.0 2:00 moderately difficult 13 756
Ebenalp - Chlus - Zisler - Äscher - Wildkirchli - Ebenalp 4.0 1:30 challenging 267 267
Ebenalp - Wildkirchli - Seealpsee - Wasserauen 5.4 2:15 challenging 64 794
Ebenalp - Füssler - Altenalp - Mesmer - Seealpsee - Wasserauen 11.7 4:00 challenging 430 1149
Ebenalp - Füssler - Altenalp - Mesmer - Meglisalp - Seealpsee - Wasserauen 14.4 5:30 challenging 750 1475
Ebenalp - Schäfler - Öhrligrueb - Säntis - Lisengrat - Rotstein - Meglisalp - Wasserauen 19.5 8:00 alpine 1248 1977
EbenalpEbenalp (Foto: Pixabay)
EbenalpBerggasthaus Äscher (Foto: Pixabay)

Paragliding from Ebenalp

It's not only paragliders who are always drawn to Ebenalp. A large number of delta pilots can also be observed here. Delta fliers go down to the north of the Ebenalp cable car, while the paragliders go south of the cable car. The wind direction at Ebenalp varies between northwest and east. Föhn conditions are extremely dangerous here and can lead to turbulence. However, the flying area is basically considered easy, as it has good takeoff and landing sites. The altitude difference is 770 meters. Paragliders may be transported by mountain railroad. You need a ticket "Flugsport" for this.

Five flight schools offer tandem flights at Ebenalp.

How to get to Ebenalp

Wasserauen is a village in the district Schwende-Rüte, which can be easily reached by car as well as by public transport.

By public transport

The Appenzell railroads go to the Wasserauen train station. From there it's only a two-minute walk to the Ebenalp valley station. The trains have regular connections with the SBB in Gossau SG.

By car

By car you can reach Wasserauen via Appenzell - Steinegg - Weissbad. There is paid parking at the valley station. Only coins (EUR + CHF) or local parking apps are accepted. Ebenalp has a picturesque landscape with alternating meadows and jagged rocks, which you will marvel at already during your arrival.

Ebenalp Berggasthaus ÄscherBerggasthaus Aescher (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus, Ernst Christen)
Ebenalp Kinder und Ziegen AppenzellAppenzell Kinder und Ziegen (Foto: Schweiz Tourismus, Christof Sonderegger)