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Stoos hike with Kids?

Has anyone done the Stoos hike with Children?

My husband just passed away in October so our trip to Switzerland this summer will now be just me, my parents (67 and 70 and in good shape) and my 3 kiddos (6, 9 and 2.5).

The 6 and 9 year old are great listeners and I plan on putting the 2.5 year old in a hiking backpack

We walk and hike a lot here in PA where we live but obviously the Stoos hike looks MUCH more intense in terms of cliff falls, etc
Just wondering if anyone else has done it with a 2 or 3 year old?

Is it doable? How long should we plan on it taking with young kids?

If need be, I could send one of the grandparents directly to the end point of the hike - at Fronalpstock - and have them wait at the restaurant/petting zoo etc while just the big kids do the hike

Any tips would be so appreciated!


Posted by
11130 posts

No personal experience, but the info here may be helpful

I did not read the entirety of it but did find this on the site;
This is a narrow alpine trail, with lots of up and down climbs with stairs and switchbacks. It has many areas with steep drop-offs, which require secure footing. It is suitable for older children with hiking experience.

You will be at elevation and the hike is ~3 miles. The referenced site has a '2 hr' time estimate. My guess is that with the 2 older kids, 3 hrs is a reasonable estimate and if you are packing the youngest, even longer should be allowed.

The idea to send the youngest ahead with the grandparents is a good one.

Posted by
481 posts

The link that Joe provided above is a good one to read all of the way through. It is written by a family that hikes in Switzerland a lot, as you can see by their website. Here is a quote from their description of the hike.

this trail is safe for your child. You must inform yourself about the
trail and make that decision for yourself, based on your experience
with your specific child. For my children, who had a lot of experience
hiking at a young age, I would have felt comfortable taking them on
this trail around age 10.

This trail does have many steep slopes on the sides of the trail without safety railings. If you fell off the
trail on these sections, you would definitely get seriously injured
and likely die. However, the path is mostly a wide dirt path so you
don’t have to walk near the edge. Most experienced hikers would
probably not consider this trail particularly dangerous.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi Samantha, I have nothing to add but to say how sorry I am for your loss. I truly hope you have a great trip.

Posted by
481 posts

Hi again,

I will share a bit more detail about hiking in Switzerland that might help you to choose wonderful and appropriate hikes for your family.

First of all, @hand.unknown.Ob is right, and I should have said it the first time I wrote, so very sorry for your loss. It must be quite difficult for you to be planning a trip at this time.

The Swiss love to hike, and start doing so at a young age. I find that when they rate a hike ‘difficult’ on any official website, as this one is rated, then be prepared for it to be quite a challenge for the average person.

Switzerland has over 65,000km of marked hiking trails. You will certainly find many very scenic ones to suit the needs of your family.

When I am looking for a new hike to do the first thing I check is the elevation gain/loss. For the Stoos hike it is:

Ascent 920m (this is almost 3,000 feet)
Descent 924m

Compare this with the hikes that your family likes to do. What kind of elevation gain are you used to?

Then I look to see if it is what is classified as a “Mountain Hiking Trail”, as this one is. For that each hiker needs to have proper hiking equipment, should be sure-footed and free from vertigo.

There is a simple online test to help you see if this kind of a hike is for you. It is in German, but for your own safety it is good to do the test. Just translate it as you go.

They ask Questions such as:

General fitness - how often in a week do you exercise enough to work up a sweat?

How long you can stand on one leg (up to 1 minute), hands on hips. Time yourself.

Can you walk slowly along a straight line in small steps (one foot in front of the other)?

Alternately lunge forward to the left and the right and come back to the starting position (hands out in front of you). Can you do 10 repetitions?

Can you stand on a viewing platform that juts out from the mountain edge, with metal grating to stand on so that you can see through it, looking way down, without feeling nervous or holding on to the railing?

There are also questions regarding general knowledge of trail signage, hiking safety, etc.

Switzerland has a lot of beautiful ‘wanderweg’ trails, many in the mountains with stunning views. You can ask at your hotel or the tourist office for recommendations in the area(s) that you are staying. These trails do not have dangerous exposed sections and thus are easier and safer to navigate.