A hike to three beautiful Swiss mountain lakes: Urdensee, Äplisee and Schwellisee in Arosa.

If you love to hike to beautiful mountain lakes I bet you will love to hike to Urdensee, Äplisee and Schwellisee ! Not only are they crystal clear and intensively blue or green, the hike is pretty easy but most important of all..there is hardly any people there!

What to love about this hike is that you get to see not only one but three beautiful mountain lakes on the same day! But if you want, you can hike to these three lakes in Arosa separately and you can even hike from Hörnli Express to Schwellisee with a stroller!

Here is a Link if you are interested of other hikes in Arosa region.

Starting point: Cable car from Hörnli express to Hörnli hutte.

Time of the hike: 3-4 hours

Elevation gain: Maximum 270 m


To Urdensee

According to us, Urdensee is the most beautiful lake of these three mountain lakes you are about to see! If you don’t want to do the whole trail to the three lakes I suggest you to skip the other two and hike down only to Urdensee. It might be a steep and slippery for smaller kids but with parents help I belive the hike is not too difficult!

The day starts by taking a cable car ride with Hörnli Express to Hörnlihutte. We rode the cable car for free! If you camp in the only and very simple camping site in Arosa there are many things included for free, just don’t forget to keep the recipe! Unfortunately the website is only in German.

Once up at Hörnli hutte it is not difficult to find the post sign to Urdensee. It only takes 20 minutes down but as I mention above, the trail is steep and very rocky at some parts. Another important thing to mention are the mountain bikers! We have never encounter so many mountain bikers on a trail before and it was a bit annoying to share the trail with them as they often come in big group and on high-speed. How do we even bike down is a mystery to me who is not a very good biker.

Another WARNING : Mother cows are protecting their calves! Please maintain the distance!

It won’t last long before you have the first glimpse at Urdensee, one of the many beautiful Swiss mountain lakes!

From above Urdensee has shade of blue…

The closer we got to the lake, the more the water seems green…

Urdensee is more beautiful from above but we really appreciated to have the small Swiss alpine lake for ourself . We were having lunch and wondered for how long this lake will exist?! Will it dry out in 20 years? David told me that there will be more mountain lakes in the future because the glaciers are melting and are forming lakes….(he read about it somewhere)!

It is a steep walk back to Hörnli hutte where you will have to share the trail not only with other hikers and bikers but also with cows. David and I are both afraid of cows? (David most!) so we were taking the warning sign very seriously!

If you need to go to the loo, I highly recommend taking your time in one of Hörnli hutte’s toilet. While doing your thing there is a binocular provided on your left with a huge window in front of you.

If you want to fill your water bottle, do it on the front of the restaurant by a water fountain!

To Äplisee…

From Hörnli hutte to Äplisee should take about an hour. It’s a walk downhill till you see Schwellisee from above and from there continue the path to your right and over the short but very steep pass to the other side.

Schwellisee not very pretty from above but much prettier up-close.

This is the last uphill of the hike to the three lakes.

It will not last long before you will have Äplisee in front of you. As David and Mirabelle walked down to Schwellisee, I didn’t have much time to explore Äplisee. I found the lake a bit dry?! Summer 2018 was very hot and it might explain the dryness of the lake? That said, it was still a beautiful sight.

To Schwellisee…

Hiking down from Äplisee to Schwellisee takes about 30 min. It was an easy walk down.

I wasn’t impress of Schwellisee when we saw it from above but the closer I got to the lake the more I got awestricken by the color of the water and of how clear it is. There were many nice picnic and swimming spots by the lake but that day many were rather fishing. I was tempted to have a swim…but I didn’t!?

Look how blue and clear Schwellisee is!

From Schwellisee to Hörni Express is another 30 minutes of walking on a gravel road.

If you come with a stroller, this is the way to reach Schwellisee.

If you ever get to try the hike, please let me know if I missed out on something!



Family Earth Trek


  1. The lakes look ethereal as if dropped from the skies above. The last time I saw lakes of this kind was in Jiuzhaigou, China. The turquoise and blue waters are just too pretty. I am not a big hiker but would definitely make this hike to get some great pictures of the lakes and mountains.

  2. The waters look so azure..just wow. Your captures do complete justice to the eternal beauty of the place. Yes, it indeed is logical that there gonna be more lakes due to global warming but I wonder how long will they last! O man…those binoculars inside the loo is such a thoughtful one..haha.I am sure the view must have been mesmerizing in real. You are lucky to have done this hike!

  3. You always surprise us in bringing the eternal shots from beautiful Switzerland. These lakes look heavenly as they are very peaceful, truly enchanting, and no words can describe their beauty. Urdensee though a small lake from the top it looks very beautiful and you have taken a great shot of reflections in this lake. I agree with your husband David that many new lakes are forming due to the melting of glaciers. Though you were not very impressed by Schwellisee from the top but from closer view it has perfect shades of azure. Thanks for sharing an offbeat destination in Switzerland.

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