The Achseli tour is a great tour for a well rounded mountain biker who enjoys the ascent as much as the descent. The climb to the Alp in Achseli (and a little after) is steep and unrelenting, be prepared. All but the very fittest will have to get off and push on a couple of occasions near the top of the climb. There is a short undulating traverse before the trail starts to descend. Those who can comfortably ride switchbacks will enjoy this trail the most.
Don't go hard at the start of the climb. Take it easy and you will suffer less towards the top.
Please respect the trail and don't cut corners or ride with a locked back wheel.
Update: April 16, 2015
Best time of year
The hillside this route descends is quite steep with some minor exposure at a number of points.
Tips and hints
There are no restaurants on the route, make sure you bring enough to drink and eat with you.
Leave the train station in Schwanden and ride up the main street. Turn left after about 200m along the side of the Eletrolux building. At the end of this street the road veers to the right and starts going uphill immediately. Climb up through the village of Sool veering right as you exit the village towards the hamlet of Büel.
At Büel the road veers right and continues climbing for about 400m until you come to a switchback to the right climbing relatively steeply. Take this right turn and follow the dirt road uphill (approx 700m vertical averaging 16% gradient) until you get to the alp at Achseli.
At Achseli turn right and keep following the dirt road until it becomes singletrail. Eventually you will come to the junction where a singletrail veers off to the right signposted for Gheist-Sool. Take this trail and ride the switchbacks down until you rejoin a dirt road. (At this point most of the tours turn right and follow the dirt road back down to Schwanden)
Once you get to the dirt road turn left and ride slighly uphill across the bridge where you will find a trail descending to the right into the woods. Take this trail. (The first two switchbacks are tight and people have started to cut them, please respect the trail and if you can't ride these switchbacks get off rather than cut the corner). After the switchbacks there is a non-bridged river crossing which requires getting off the bike. The trail then continues completely rideable until it rejoins a dirt road.
Turn right cross a bridge and take the trail that drops into the woods on the left. Follow this trail until it joins another dirt road which you can follow around to Sool and descend once more back to Schwanden.
all notes on protected areas
There are two train services an hour from Zurich HB to Schwanden. Connections are at 12 and 43 minutes past the hour (the 12 minutes past connection requires a change in Ziegelbrücke). Further information available on www.sbb.ch.
Take the A3 heading south, exit Glarus and drive through Netstal and Glarus. Turn off for Elm and shortly after the turn off you will go through a tunnel. The train station at Schwanden is on the right shortly after the tunnel as you enter the town.
Parking is available at the train station in Schwanden.
32T 505908 5204810
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Author’s map recommendations
Singletrail Map - Glarus/Heidiland
A relatively light "All Mountain" bike is probably best suited to this tour.
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Out and backCircular routeScenicInsider tipSingletrail/Free ride