Hiking vs mountain biking in the Engadin

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69 posts
active member
Jul 23, 2016 - 11:06 PM

I've no desire to trigger a hiker/mountain biker flame fest, particularly since I do both activities, but my wife and I are planning a 2 week hiking trip in the Upper and Lower Engadin in September (Pontresina, Guarda, Scuol areas in particular). I've noticed that all the big hotels are pushing mountain biking special deals, which concerns me, as I have little interest spending my precious hiking days in the Alps dodging speeding mountain bikes. My last hiking trip to Switzerland was 20 years ago, before the mountain bike rage hit, and I don't recall seeing any bikes on the trails. I fear it may be a very different experience now. I also noted that Bern was considering banning MBs on single track trails, suggesting that the issue is heating up.

So, my question for anyone who has hiked recently in the Engadin-- how bad is the MB traffic on the trails? And, how pervasive is it? Any areas to avoid?

Many thanks.

6757 posts
Jul 24, 2016 - 12:04 AM in reply to Nevertoolate

Hi Nevertoolate: welcome to My Swiss Alps.

Nice to see your interest in our favorite area in Switzerland...the Engadine near Scuol. That is "our" favorite...my own is the Emmentall, but my wife likes the Engadine a lot, so we average.

I don't think that you are too late.

I've not been on many of these trails in the last 3 or 4 years, but I believe that the density of interest that you see is more a matter of vendors trying to make money, than it is of trail overload.

I base my opinion on remembering substantial emphasis on bike opportunities several years ago, which had no apparent effect on the bike density upon the trails

I hope that others can add to his impression, which certainly is totally unreliable. ;-(


14075 posts
expert &
Jul 24, 2016 - 9:54 AM

Hello Nevertoolate,

Last time I was there, about a year ago, I didn't notice that many mountain bikers. A few on the easier wider trails. It was more than several years ago, but not disturbing. As soon as you hit the "real" hiking trails (steeper, rockier), there won't be that many people attempting to bike there. There are exceptions of course, mostly locals I think, who don't mind carrying their bike on their back on technically challenging sections, but this isn't for the masses. Things may vary by the day, location and weather. September is after high season, so that's good.

If you can, please let us know what your experience is once you're back. There is a trip reports section here.

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