Summer hike to Bonistock

This summer my husband and I spent some of our weekends exploring Swiss Alps. One of our trips brought us back to one of our favourite destinations in Central Switzerland – to Melchsee Frutt. We’ve enjoy visiting this high plateau above Kerns in canton Obwalden in all seasons. On a warm August day, we returned to there to hike.

Enroute to Bonistock

This was our third hike around the area. First two hikes included four lakes hike and hike from Melchsee-Frutt to Stöckalp. This time we’ve chosen the trail Melchsee-Frutt – Bonistock – Bettenalp – Stöckalp, a trail we’ve never hiked before.

Hiking trail to Bonistock

Our journey began in the valley, at Stöckalp, where we took gondola that took us to Melchsee-Frutt. At the plateau, 1,920 meters above sea level we admired the stunning scenery and remembered once again why we love this place.

Lake Melch (Melchsee)

We followed the hiking trail through alpine pastures to Bonistock at altitude 2160 meters above sea level. At the top, we’ve bumped into a surprisingly large crowd of people. We soon found out, they were there for a church ceremony. It was interesting to see the priest preformed his ceremony in nature under the open sky, accompanied by voices of traditionally dressed singers and the ringing of the cow bells from the nearby pastures.

Holly mass at the mountain

After we observed the ceremony for few minutes, we continued our hike. We started our descent by taking the trail at the other side of the Bonistock mountain.

At Bonistock

The terrain at this side of Bonistock mountain was much steeper and harder than at side of ascent. At some point we lost track of the hiking route, finding our way to the valley through the pastures and meadows, meeting just cows. As the weather changed  to worse surprisingly fast, was descent quite challenging.

Cows at alpine pastures of Bonistock

Luckily, we still remembered the area from our skiing trips, so we’ve manage to get to the Bettenalp, a mountain cottage at the crossroads of hiking routes, without problems.

Approaching the Bettenalp

When we arrived to the Bettenalp, it started to rain. We took a break and order some warm refreshments, hoping the rain would stop soon. The weather forecast didn’t predict any rain, so we weren’t really equipped to hike in the rain. Seeing our worried faces, owner of the hut cheered us up, saying it is just a summer shower and it will stop soon. He was right. After app. half an hour it stopped raining. Though the visibility was rather bad, we continued our descent to the valley, hoping not the get lost in the fog. Although we could hardly see 10 meters in front of us, we’ve managed to stay at the well marked trail. We didn’t get lost. We’ve reached Stöckalp safe and sound.

Cow of Melchsee-Frutt


How to get to Melchsee-Frutt: 

  • By car: At A8 road take the exit Sarnen/Kerns. Follow the road to Kerns – Melchtal – Stöckalp
  • By public transport: take train to Sarnen and change for bus (Postauto) to Stöckalp.
  • Free parking is available at Stöckalp


  • One way gondola ticket Stöckalp – Melchsee-Frutt: 19 CHF / 9,50 CHF with Halbtax and GA
  • 2 cappuccinos at Bettenalp cottage: 8 CHF

3,039 thoughts on “Summer hike to Bonistock

    • Urska says:

      Hi John! The scenery is stunning and definitely helps you to overcome physical challenges you’re face while walking up- and downhill. It is indeed ideal way to stay fit. 🙂

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