The Muota valley is a green, drawn-out and mountain-encircled Schwyz mountain valley that has its valley entrance close to the cantonal capital and which borders Uri Canton in the south and Glarus Canton in the east. Extending across 172 square kilometres, the Muota valley ranks among Switzerland’s ten largest communes in respect of area, and is nearly as large as the entire canton of Zug.
The commune region is home to one of the longest caves in the world. According to the latest research, the labyrinth of Höllloch caves which was discovered in 1875 extends across 195 kilometres (!) and lies under the karst terrain of the primeval forest-like Bödmeren forest and the Silberen.
In contrast to other caves, the ‘Höllloch’ (hell-hole) has hardly been tamed for visitors with the likes of concreted pathways or electric lighting. Tours into the Höllloch – ranging from 1½-hour short guided tours through to expeditions of several days with bivouac – are therefore conducted by trained guides. In this underground world the stalagmites and stalactites, but also the deep gorges, enchanting rock formations, ‘glacial mills’ and fossilizations are all spectacular to see.
The secluded geographical location has helped the folk in the valley to retain their down-to-earth character and their staid sense of calmness. Also famous far and wide is their dry sense of humour, which forms the theme for an explanatory ‘humour walking trail’. A unique, much-loved style of folk music has also been retained. The Muota valley weathermen, also named “Wetterschmöcker” in Swiss German, are much celebrated. Twice yearly these prophets present annual weather forecasts with much humour; the forecasts are strongly underpinned by outdoor observations.
Spray-infused waterfalls, rushing white water streams, colour-bedecked wildflower meadows and bizarre karst landforms all belong to the overground natural beauties of the Muota valley. Visitors seeking tranquillity will find an extensive network of rambling trails. At Muotathal village, the valley forks: the Bisistal leads southwards where a cableway ultimately takes visitors up onto the Glattalp (mountain restaurant). In an easterly direction, the Muota valley rises up to the Pragel pass, the link to the Klöntalersee in the canton of Glarus.
See the sledge dogs in action during the summer half year. Learn the right way to deal with the huskies and enjoy a trip with your new four-legged friends. For more information see www.erlebniswelt.ch
Ski tours can be undertaken until well into May, with the Blüemberg, the Glatten and the Twärenen being the most popular destinations. Easily accessible Schwyz ski areas are Stoos-Fronalpstock-Klingenstock (above the entrance to the Muota valley) und Sattel-Hochstuckli near Rothenturm.
- Höllloch karst cave system in the Muota valley – Europe’s longest cave (at nearly 200 km in length) and one of the world’s most extensive cave systems. Viewing only by way of guided cave expeditions.
- Limestone pavements – these karst landforms in the Bödmeren, Silbern and Twären areas above the Höllloch, but also in the vicinity of the Glattalpsee, constitute the largest region of karst in Switzerland.
- "Muotathal world of adventure" – memorable experiences providing adventure, information and culture, with good food, appropriate entertainment and some unique accommodation.
- Muota valley weathermen – down-to-earth and with an affinity for nature’s way, these weather sages deliver their humour-laced forecasts twice yearly.
- “Stoosschwinget” – every year this folk festival which has been held since 1921 leads off the mountain wresting festivals; clearly laid out wrestling ring for spectators offering magnificent views (June).
- “Bisisthaler Schafmärcht” (sheep market in the Bisis valley) – one of the most important folk festivals in the Muota valley’s annual event calendar (August).
- Mountains of Death Open Air – staged every year at the end of August, this open-air festival has since become famous beyond Swiss borders in the Death Metal scene (August).
- “Muotital Alpchäsmärcht”, Muota valley – cheese market, folk festival, music etc. (end of October/start of November).