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My only chance to hike in the Alps? please advise

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new member
Aug 9, 2010 - 1:59 AM

I am an American yogini focused on healing our world this lifetime. I am about to embark on my first journey to Europe, landing in the Black Forest in Germany for a little work, then I would like to spend a week hiking in the Alps. I need some advice on where to go if this is my only chance to hike in the Alps this lifetime.

I am 44, in good shape (it's the yoga, silly!) but I have a slight injury in one knee that slows me down a bit. I have been a technical rock climber in years past and done a fair bit of mountain hiking (several peaks, 13,000 ft.). I love to get up high, take a challenge to reach a peak or a view, rough it, hike where the crowds don't go. I love to be alone in nature. Maybe that is not possible here but I don't mind taking a difficult route to get away from the crowds. I love water -- waterfalls, lakes and mountain meadows full of wildflowers. I wouldn't mind hiking in some snow (have good boots) to reach a peak but don't want to spend the whole week in snow. I don't mind sheep, I love animals but getting away from human structures is a goal. I'd love to hike 2 solid days, set up camp, and spend 1 1/2 to 2 days day hiking a high-ish remote-ish area and then return.

Any ideas of where to go?

Thanks for your help.


7180 posts
expert &
Aug 10, 2010 - 2:35 AM
Hello Ashanti and welcome to the forum. There are lots of options for a 2 day hike outside of the crowded tourist areas. It's wise though to follow routes set out by the Swiss hiking network, which will be well indicated by signs in red and white or blue and white. It's safer to follow such routes than to get off the paths and figure out your own route. But this also means that you may encounter some other hikers, although crowds aren't likely. It also depends on the time of the year in which you'll be traveling. Outside of the tourist seasons, the challenging routes at higher altitude will be rather quiet. And although you are experienced in hiking and climbing, I'd still like to point out some safety tips, redundant as they may seem :-).

Please note that camping in the wild isn't commonly allowed in Switzerland. Several cantons (provinces) may have their own rules. This topic provides some more information. Make sure to be informed whether camping is allowed on your preferred trip. If not, pick a route with a mountain hut (there are lots of them) and stay overnight there.

As for possible routes: my first guess would be that the vast canton of Graubünden in the south-east offers the best chances of remote hikes outside of human structures, although you'll find these routes in the Bernese Oberland and Wallis as well. The great website of Wanderland Schweiz allows you to search for regional and local trails. Just click 'Search by map' at the homepage and fill out St. Moritz for example. You could combine a few local hikes and parts of regional/national routes in the Upper Engadine area around St. Moritz and its lakes, which is an absolutely amazing region. Even more quiet would be the Lower Engadine around Zuoz and Zernez. This may include some trails in Switzerland's National Park as well. Clicking on the green line by which the routes are indicated will get you to a page with extensive information, including length of the trail, a height profile, accommodation options and an indication of the grade. I hope you'll find some trails that appeal to you this way. Good luck and have fun preparing for your trip!


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