Total distance: 9km return
Elevation gain: ~900m
Total time: 4-5hs return
One of the closest and shortest mountain hikes from Zurich must be the Mt Leistchamm hike that starts from Arvenbüel, Amden. The peak is 2101m high and offers views to the Appenzell Alps, Walensee (or Lake Walen) and the surrounding region.
Starting point: Arvenbüel, Amden
Distance from Zurich: under 1hr driving or 1.5hs on a train + bus.
The hike starts in Arvenbüel from either the car park or from the bus stop right next to it.
Initially the trail follows Leistkammstrasse, a street that goes through a few farms. Already from the beginning you can see the top of Leistchamm and it’s very hard to get lost. Along the first half of the hike there are a couple of water taps offering drinking water.
Once you leave the farms behind, the trail becomes steeper and can be slippery when wet. This is the hardest part of the hike especially on a warm day. It is recommended to do this hike early in the morning on a hot day.
From the top you can appreciate 360 degree views and the beautiful colours of Walensee where it’s a good idea to take a dip after the hike down.