Stunning views over the heart of Switzerland
Medium and strenuous options (T2-T3 ) | Enjoy lunch at a mountain restaurant | Skiing nearby
The twin pyramid peaks of Grosser Mythen and Kleiner Mythen form a striking backdrop to the town of Schwyz in central Switzerland. The larger, Grosser Mythen (also called Grosse Mythen), is a very popular summer day hike. It’s a steep climb up, but well rewarded with views of Lake Lucerne and Lake Lauerz — plus the option of a refreshing drink or meal at the restaurant on the top.
The Grosser Mythen hike has two starting points — Schwyz and the small village of Brunni, on opposite sides of the mountain — and many options to make the hike longer, shorter, harder or easier. Three trails are described below: the shortest route up, taking the Holzegg cable car from Brunni; a longer route taking the Rotenfluebahn from Schwyz then walking down; and one that circumnavigates the peak instead of climbing it.
Other possibilities include taking either cable car, enjoying lunch at one of the restaurants at their top stations, and walking down — or for the more adventurous, climbing both the Grosser and Kleiner Mythen in one day.
►Strenuous Grosser Mythen return hike from Holzegg | 3.7 km | 490 m ↑↓ | T3
►Strenuous Grosser Mythen half-loop from Rotenflue | 12.6 km | 715 m↑ 1,680 m↓ | T1–T3
►Medium Grosse Mythen base loop | 5.9 km | 600 m ↑↓ | T1–T2
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Getting there & away
You can reach the Grosser Mythen hike from either the town of Schwyz or the village of Brunni. Schwyz is easier to get to from Luzern, while Brunni is easier to get to from Zurich.
Each has a cable car to the base of the Grosse Mythen, and both cable car stations are served by public transport. The Rotenfluebahn starts in Rickenbach above Schwyz, running to Rotenflue, while the Luftseilbahn Brunni-Holzegg from Brunni arrives a little closer to Grosser Mythen, at Holzegg.
What to bring
You don’t need any special equipment to do these hikes in summer or early autumn. You will need snowshoes, skis or mountaineering gear when there’s a lot of snow — but note the trail to the summit is closed in the winter months. Whatever the season, be prepared for sudden changes in weather, take enough to eat and drink, and don’t forget sun protection.
You can park at the bottom of the Rotenfluebahn and Luftseilbahn Brunni-Holzegg cable cars.
There are a number of places to eat along the trails: the Gipfelstubli at the the top of the Rotenfluebahn and the Berggasthaus Rotenfluh nearby; the Berggasthaus Skihaus Holzegg near Holzegg; the Restaurant Grosser Mythen at the summit (May-October, when the flag is up), and the Alpwirtschaft Zwueschet Mythen between the Grosser und Kleiner Mythen.
You can also sleep at the Berggasthaus Rotenfluh and Berggasthaus Skihaus Holzegg.
Dangers & annoyances
The trails described here are not particularly dangerous, but note the path to the summit is exposed in places with steep drop offs. Also guard against:
- Heat stroke/dehydration
Trail descriptions and maps – Grosser Mythen hike
The hike to the Grosser Mythen summit is only open during the summer months. The trail to the top (T3) is wide and very obvious; those around the base (T1 and T2) are also obvious and well marked. The path to the summit is quite steep and also exposed in places with steep drop offs. The most exposed sections have guard rails; other sections have chains.
Strenuous Grosser Mythen hike from Holzegg
Holzegg – Grosser Mythen – Holzegg
Highest point: 1,890 m (Grosser Mythen)
Height gain: 490 m
Trail level: T3
Distance: 3.7 km return
From the top Holzegg cable car station, follow the marked trail (“829 Mythenweg”). The path starts out fairly flat to the base of the Grosser Mythen, then climbs steeply up via a series of switchbacks cut into the rocky mountain face. Return the same way.
Strenuous Grosser Mythen half-loop from Rotenflue
Rotenflue – Holzegg – Grosser Mythen – Zwischen Mythen – Schwyz
Take the Rotenfluebahn, then follow the marked trail (“829 Mythenweg”) to Holzegg and then up the Grosser Mythen, as described above. Return to Holzegg, and take the path to the left running around the base of the Grosse Mythen. Keep to the left at the Alp-Wirtschaft Zwüschet Mythen. The trail passes between the Grosser und Kleiner Mythen at Zwischen Mythen, then descends through forest to a T1 road down to Schwyz.
Medium Grosser Mythen base loop
Holzegg – Grosser Mythen – Zwischen Mythen – Hasli – Holzweid – Holzegg
From Holzegg take the path running around the base of the Grosse Mythen to Zwischen Mythen, as described above. After descending through forest, traverse in front of the Grosser Mythen on the T1 trail/road to Hasli and Holzweid then back to Holzegg.
Nearby mountain fun
Eating & sleeping
You’ll find many eating and sleeping options in Schwyz and neighboring towns like Ibach, Seewen and Brunnen.
Other hiking options
For other trails in the area, see SwissMobility.
Two trails of note are:
- The regional long-distance “63 Schwyzer Panoramaweg” , which passes under the eastern side of the Grosser Mythen
- The national long-distance “4 ViaJacobi” which runs along the western side at a lower altitude
You can ski on both sides of the Grosser Mythen: the Skilift Brunni ski resort above Brunni, and under the Rotenfluebahn. These ski areas are part of the larger Mythenregion ski area, most of which is on the Brunni side.