The Rappenloch and Alploch gorges
These two gorges, situated above and below the Staufen lake, are endowed with wild crags and incredible natural rock formations which attract huge number of visitors every year. The impressive Rappenloch gorge is one of the largest in central Europe, and is situated a mere five kilometres from the centre of Dornbirn, at the access point to the Walser village of Ebnit. With impressive rock walls closing in on both sides, narrow stairways, dark tunnels and fascinating cascades, exploring the gorge is an exciting adventure.
Starting out from the 41 metre high Californian redwood in Gütle, you will need a good hour to walk through the Rappenloch and Alploch gorges as far as the Ebnit road. If you’re still keen, you can add on a trip to the „chapel“. This is the name given to an overhanging rock formation formed towards the end of the last Ice Age.
By the way: Right at the beginning of the track through the gorge, walkers will follow the hydro-electric water pipeline of the Finnish-owned power station which fuels the F.M. Hämmerle textile factory. These old riveted sheet iron pipes have already become something of a technical showpiece. The Ebensand power station, which has been supplying Dornbirn with electric lighting since 1901, is still in service today. The path along the Staufen lake (Staufenseeweg), walkable in either directions, going up or downhill, provides an enjoyable way of seeing these features: