Car-free, family-friendly Braunwald above the Linth Valley in the Glarus Alps is one of the easiest resorts to get to from Zurich, and is ideal for day out or a short break. The Garner Express, with trains from Ziegelbrücke and sometimes direct from Zürich, stops at Linthal Braunwald from where a funicular railway (one of the steepest in the world) takes you into the heart of the village and a couple of hundred metres ski from the bottom gondola station. The gondola system in Braunwald is quite unique - one section has pairs of gondolas and the next has quads of gondolas that move around in a pack. Further up the mountain a couple of antique chairlifts are supplemented by a bizarre but effective system of combined gondolas and sideways-facing chairlifts. Small and relatively low, the mostly South-facing pistes are good for beginners and intermediates but there is plenty to keep the more experienced occupied off-piste provided the snow cover is good. And despite being relatively low, snow cover is generally good, since Braunwald reputedly gets the most annual snowfall of anywhere in Switzerland. The resort attracts a lot of snowboarders and for good reason: it is possible to get around the resort without using surface lifts, the lift pass is very competitively priced, there are virtually no flat sections, it has acres of excellent off-piste and there is a popular backpacker hostel in the village. The family hotel in the village is highly regarded too. The resort is also very popular with tobogganists, with two dedicated, 3km toboggan runs. Despite the beautiful views across Glarnerland towards the Tödi and Ortstock mountains and the extensive range of winter sports activities available so close to Zürich, Braunwald is rarely crowded, even at weekends.
In the seminal "Ski Runs of Switzerland" written by James Riddell in 1957, Braunwald is described as "one of the less well-known, small ski centres, and it deserves to be better known . In its modest, small way, in a very gemütlich manner, Braunwald provides everything from gentle to steep ski-ing... There is touring as well."
Best of the Slopes
From Gumen there is an 8k run back into Braunwald with lots of off-piste variants along the route down.
By Public Transport
The best destination to access the downhill slopes by public transport in this ski area is Linthal Braunwaldbahn. Station adjacent to cable car into Braunwald. The resort operates the Snow'n'Rail scheme, providing a 20% discount on the combined travel ticket and lift pass.
- From Zurich the least travel time is 1 hr 30 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Ziegelbrucke. Typically, an adult one day combined ticket is 79.80 SFr, reduced to 59.20 SFr with a Half-Price card.
- From Basel the least travel time is 2 hrs 37 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Ziegelbrucke. Typically, an adult one day combined ticket is 129.60 SFr, reduced to 84.00 SFr with a Half-Price card.
- From Berne the least travel time is 2 hrs 42 mins with as few as 2 changes going via Zurich / Ziegelbrucke. Typically, an adult one day combined ticket is 148.80 SFr, reduced to 93.60 SFr with a Half-Price card.
- From Luzern an adult one day combined ticket is 97.60 SFr, or 68.00 SFr with a Half-Price card.
Indicative prices are for travel to Linthal Braunwaldbahn. Click here to find prices for other destinations. Under the combined ticket scheme the additional charge for a two day pass is 35.20 SFr.
Park at Linthal for car-free Braunwald.
Please refer to a map and check local conditions for accurate routing information.
- The road distance from Zurich is around 87 km and the journey time is roughly 1 hr 15 mins.
- The road distance from Basel is around 172 km and the journey time is roughly 2 hrs.
- The road distance from Berne is around 213 km and the journey time is roughly 2 hrs 30 mins.
- The road distance from Geneva is around 376 km and the journey time is roughly 4 hrs 15 mins.
Destinations in the region include Elm.
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- Märchenhotel Bellevue, Braunwald (4*) Family hotel.
$$$$ Tel: +41 556537171 http://www.maerchenhotel.ch/
- Adrenalin Backpackers Hostel, Braunwald (Hostel)
$ Tel: +41 793472905 http://www.swissbackpackers.ch
See Where to Stay for more details on accommodation options.