Attinghausen - Engelberg
Distance: 26 km (Attinghausen)
10 hrs- from Attinghausen
6-7 hrs- from Brusti
***Close to Altdorf/Attinghausen is the incredibly large & gorgeous Lake Lucern and the small town of Fluelen. In 2007 we spent a short day in Fluelen and highly recommend it as an overnight stop or take several days to explore the town and rent a canoe or boat to explore the lake.
As you can see from the slideshow, this section is one of the most stunning days on the trail filled with natural alpine beauty of central Switzerland, and so I've heard, of the entire APR. The traditional starting point is Altdorf (447 meters) or Attinghausen (470 meters) however many people elect to take a cable car ride from Attinghausen to Brusti (1525 meters) to avoid the very steep mostly wooded section, saving about 3 hours and more than 1000 meters in elevation gain. The Attinghausen cable car is located next to the main Postbus stop (Seilbahn). It is a two stage lift so take the cable car to the very top station (paying at the middle). To call the cable car simply press the button located in the station. You hike past the lodge at Brusti and almost immediately start climbing along scrub brush and pine angling up a ridge climbing up past two huts at Grat. Avoid the side trail going to the right (down hill) and continue up the hill following the red/white blazes. There are a few false summits on this section, so don't get discouraged. About halfway from Brusti to the Surenenpass there will be a water spicket, which is welcome sight. Remember to fill up on water. To the left there are beautiful views of surrounding peaks and cascading streams flowing down to the River Ruess. From here you notice the obvious saddle of the Surrenen Pass. Continue past the junction of Langschee continue ahead over small boulders as the path traverses up hill coming the Surenenpass (2291 meters). Look around and you are treated to wonderful and rewarding views of Titlis to the southwest & Blackenstock to your immediate north. Descend, traversing down a path that swings left then right past farm and pasture land another 1 -1 1/2 hour until you reach the sheep & cow farm of Alpenhutte Blackenalp. We highly recommend breaking here for a delicious home cooked lunch. Blackenalp also has accommodation for those wanting to spend a night in the mountains. Continue past the gate, either visiting the tiny white chapel or make a left to continue slightly downhill on the trail. About 20 minutes down from Blackenalp is one of our favorite sections of the trail surrounded by Swiss cows, steep waterfalls, and lush alpine scenery. Continue past a waterfall and you eventually come to Berggasthaus Stafeli with accommodation & a restaurant. Below you pass another restaurant where the path goes to the left crossing the river and entering woods and grazing fields near Titlis. You then recross the river and follow the pat which eventually leads to a paved road. You can either walk down the road, take a cable-car about 1/4 mile from the paved road, or follow a riverside path to the left which rounds a golf course to Engelberg (1001 meters).
***Note: We pre-booked a train to take us from Engelberg to Meiringen at the end of this long day as our time was limited. However, if you have time, we recommend hiking the Engelberg-Meiringen section. The Engelberg train station is located very close to the town center.