The Swiss National Park and its Biosfera Val Müstair are protected areas in the canton of Graubünden on the Swiss–Italian border. They’re wild, pristine and remote. Majestic high mountains, mixed alpine forests and fragrant alpine meadows alternate, offering a home to a multitude of rare plants and animals.
For more than 100 kilometres (62 mi), the National Park Panorama Trail roams through the fascinating landscapes of the Grisons Dolomites. It also gives you insights into the different cultural areas outside the park’s boundaries.
On six stages, you enjoy a foray through natural landscapes that’s hard to beat in terms of diversity and sheer life. Starting in Scuol in the Inn Valley, you hike through the rocky Uina Gorge to the Italian South Tyrol, where you spend the first night at the Sesvenna Hut. The second stage takes you back into Switzerland through the idyllic Val Sesvenna to S-charl.
On day three, highlights such as the Cruschetta Pass and the St. Johann Monastery in Müstair await you, before you continue the next day via the mystical Val Mora to Buffalora. On the fifth and sixth stages, you finally get to know the wilderness of the Swiss National Park up close: untouched alpine pastures, narrow valleys and vast forests where wolves and lynx roam. You then reach your destination in the mountain village of Zernez.
The national park, founded in 1914, has some rules to protect the wild landscape: you mustn’t stray away from the hiking trails and rest areas. There are only two places to stop in the entire protected area as well, so bring enough food and water. I also recommend that you always keep an eye on the weather for the sections in the high mountains and bring waterproof layers as the conditions can be changeable. You can easily reach the starting and finishing points by train, so driving isn’t necessary. You can find out more about the wonderful Swiss National Park at nationalpark.ch/de.
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Last updated: May 31, 2022
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The train station in Scuol is the starting point for the National Park Panorama Trail. From there it goes directly to the banks of the Inn, which you immediately cross on the spectacular Punt da Gurlaina. Since the bridge is currently (January 2022) closed, it is best to switch to the nearby La Tuor…
The second stage starts with an idyllic view of the Pforzheimersee from the Sesvennahütte. After a delicious breakfast, the first ascent of the day is already on the agenda: you hike up to the small Sesvennasee, which shines in an intense light blue.
If the Sesvennasee can't convince you of a refreshing…
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The idyllic mountain village of S-charl is the starting point of the third stage of the National Park Panorama Trail. The first section takes you along the Clemgia stream to the Plan d'Immez rest area. There you turn slightly left to Alp Plazer and hike through the picturesque Val S-charl.
The path begins…
At the beginning of the fourth stage, you leave Santa Maria and the Müstair Valley to tackle the longest climb of the day. At the Aua da Vau stream you always hike uphill in the forest, crossing bridges and smaller alpine meadows. At 2,000 meters you reach the tree line and then walk over Alp Praveder…
After a night in the Buffalora mountain inn, you take the route you already know back over Alp Buffalora. Then turn right towards Munt Chavagl and then you will pass an old iron ore mine. If you are not claustrophobic, you can venture into the narrow passage with a flashlight.
On the meadows below the…
At the beginning of the final stage, you hike back the same way from Ova Spin to the south bank of the Lai da Ova Spin, which you walked yesterday. Then it goes steeply up to the Murter Pass - first through shady forest, the last section over wide meadow slopes. At the top, at 2,545 meters, you can enjoy…
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