Starting point: Sontheim’s Naturhotel & SPA
Difference in altitude: 99 m
Elevation: 219 m
Length: 7.00 km
Walking time: 3:00 h
The unique nature reserve Eistobel can be easily reached from Maierhöfen on hiking trails. If you take to the road, you will arrive at the 200 meter long Argentobel Bridge, 2 kilometers away. From there you can look down more than 50 meters and hear the water crashing down the rocks. A path leads into the gorge and 3 kilometers upstream, along an unique natural phenomenon.
The forest supplies sume desperately needed shade in the summer and lines the banks of the Argen-river. Upstream you will spot the first waterfall, which thunders down into an emerald-green basin surrounded by rocks. A little further you get to the “Zwinger” – a tangle of gigantic Conglomerate blocks which the entire flood rushes through. The subsequent part of the Eistobel has an almost alpine character. Keep your eyes open to spot the erosion of thousands of years by the meltwater of the Rhine glacier, which created the romantic gorge of the Eistobel.
The Eistobel offers interesting things not only for geologists, but also for animal and plant lovers. Rare animal and plant species have made this reserve their home and wait to be discovered.
From the hotel, turn left towards Steinmetz, continue on the asphalt road towards Argentobel Bridge, past the ticket office and then go steeply downhill. Once at the bottom, you walk upstream on comfortable footpaths through a mixed forest. After about 15 minutes you reach the “Zwinger”, a collection of huge Conglomerate blocks. From here the path narrows as it was partly blown out of the rock. Now the gorge is widened, which is marked by a high, yellow sandstone wall.
The adjoining rock claw is easily accessible through a secured rock path. Soon you will reach the top waterfall. Above it, a footbridge leads to the other side of the river at a lofty height and allows you to fully enjoy the grandeur of the scenery. After crossing the footbridge, we keep to the left and walk through the forest, then along the edge of the forest on a field path towards Riedholz from the direction of the Staatsstraße / Eistobel, cross the road towards Steinmetz and back to the hotel.