Silene Cable Car
Silene Cable Car
June – October

With a spectacular cable car ride and a unique hike, on which you can see many wild animals, you can reach one of the most deserted and beautiful places in Switzerland.

by Marc Gottwald

Pure adventure

Yes, you really shouldn’t be afraid of heights. Especially not when there is a strong storm while driving. Just like we experienced, the cable car swaying back and forth a lot. Below us about 500 meters abyss!

But adventurers love such challenges. And let’s be honest. Often there is no wind, especially in summer, when the hike is most recommended.

Either you travel by car (park directly in front of the cable car) or by public transport (bus station Silenen Dörfli) to Silenen Uri.

You come to the cable car station and see a wooden box hanging on the steel cable. Yes, this is your mode of transport now. Some start to smile, others lose their fun at this point at the latest. But for everyone it is ultimately a pure adventure.

You give Alois, the cable car master, a signal over the phone that you and your maximum of three companions are ready for the journey. The cable car can transport a maximum of four people at the same time.

The motor in the valley station starts to rattle. The cable car slowly rises into the air, taking you on a breathtaking and exhilarating ride. You can already see the beautiful mountain panorama for the first time, for example the imposing mountain called Bristen to the left of the cable car.

At the top of the valley station, the ride is only 6 Fr per person. By the way, you can strengthen yourself before the start of the hike at the coffee house with tea and coffee. Because from now on there are no more catering options, except for the three summer months on the alp in Uf den Büelen.

The cable car operator Alois not only operates the cable car but also has a calf farm, which remains at this altitude all year round. The cows migrate to the valley for the winter.

Steep and strenuous climb

Now: the 800 meters in altitude and 2.5 hours of ascent begins. After about 30 minutes you will reach a fireplace with seating.

Again and again you can hear wild animals rustling in the forest. “There are no more deer, the lynx ate them all,” Alois told us after the hike.

We didn’t see any either, but chamois. And at least 15. One at the tree line and the rest on the steep mountain meadows. Really fascinating animals. How they rushed down the icy slopes at breakneck speed is impressive. So that the wild animals survive in winter, large haystacks are always visible.

The ascent is steep and strenuous. But the reward awaits at the top: a spectacular panoramic view of the Uri Alps and the valleys. The Gotthardautobahnstrasse is also nice to see.

Rewarding destination with a magical mountain lake

And then comes the magical view of the farming village of Uf den Büelen with Lake Seewli. The lake shines in a royal blue, as if it wanted to wave to you for a swim.
Since the narrow path, only 50 cm wide, was icy and there was a 600-metre abyss to the left, we hiked up the ridge instead and enjoyed an unrestricted panorama there. Safety always comes first. In summer, however, Uf den Büelen is highly recommended.

«In Uf den Büelen the cows graze during the three summer months. Several farmers have joined forces and take care of the cattle. There is a small hotel with a dormitory where you can, of course, have a snack or lunch,” Alois told us. “But this is closed from autumn to spring and the farmers are back in the valley,” he added.

After a while, you too will return to the mountain station, where the adventurous gondola will be waiting for the descent.

To make it even easier to find