This wonderful panorama trail near St. Moritz has spectacular views, with spiky peaks behind us, lush meadows all around us, and below us, the whole Engadin valley with icy blue Silvaplana lake. On our Engadin trip at the end of July, we spent a day hiking the panorama trail from the Corvatschbahn middle station to Furtschellas cable car station. The hike wasn’t super hard, but it was a real hike with some up and down in elevation. Our boys were a little lazy this week and complained quite a bit on the uphill parts. But we made it and it was definitely worth it. There are playgrounds and cafes at both cable car stations. There are a couple grill pits on the second half of the trail. Part of the trail follows the “Wasserweg,” which is a children’s theme trail with an accompanying magazine. Keep reading to learn more.
|Address:||Via dal Corvatsch 76, 7513 Silvaplana
GPS: 46°27’17.7″N 9°48’48.8″E
|Car:||2hr45 from Zurich|
|Transit:||3hr40 from Zurich|
|Trail:||6 km one way, about 2hr30|
|Open:||mid June thru October|
|Prices 2017:||Adult CHF 43, Child CHF 21.50, under 6 free
SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted.
This trail starts at the Murtel, the middle station on the Surlej – Corvatsch lifts. The trail meanders across the mountain to the Furtschellas-Sils lift, where you can ride down and catch a bus back to your starting point.
The trail is mostly a narrow dirt alpine trail, not suitable for strollers. It’s not difficult, but it is long at 6 km, a bit of a challenge for our 5 year old, but he did fine. The views are fantastic and the trail very beautiful.
This is not a day trip from Zurich, better if you are staying in the Engadin area.
By car: Drive to Surlej, about 10 mins south of St. Moritz, and park in the paid lot near the Corvatschbahn.
By transit: Take a train to Bever, then a bus to Surlej, Corvatschbahn.
Buy the “Wanderticket” or Hiking Ticket, which means up from Surlej to the Murtel middle station on the Corvatschbahn, then a return ticket at the other end of the trail from the Furtschellas station to Sils. This does not include the bus ticket to return to your starting point at Surlej.
In 2017, this hiking ticket costs: Adult CHF 43, Child CHF 21.50, SBB Half-fare and Junior cards accepted. With these discounts, it costs a family of four CHF 43 total.
Here we are at the Murtèl middle station, looking up at the Corvatsch peak. For a few more francs, you can go to the very top and have a look around before coming back to Murtèl to start your hike. There’s a cafe with outdoor seating with this same view, facing the Corvatch peak. There’s also a playground with swings, teeter-totter, person-sized chessboard. Sorry for not getting a pic of that.
Here’s what it looks like the other direction from the Murtèl middle station, still rocky, but with some green mixed in.
The trail is advertised as 2:30 long and it took us about 3hrs, with a super slow 5YO, lots of breaks, and picnic time. Here’s the start of the trail directly below the Murtèl station.
The first 20 mins or so is down some rocky switchbacks as shown here. No strollers on this hike – too rocky. Not particularly difficult or dangerous but very little ones will need a hand to hold.
Then the trail goes back up into the meadows. It was a little discouraging for our boys to go down only to have to go back up again. But such is life and important life lessons are taught on the trail, right?
Here’s what you’ll be looking at most of the time. The lake really is that color – super cool, especially because the other lakes are not this color.
The rest of the trail meanders through lush meadows like this one, full of wildflowers at the end of July.
After about 1hr30min, we came to this river which made a perfect picnic spot. Everyone in our family is happier near water.
Here is our picnic spot on the rocks by the river. We ate a cold lunch that day. But if you want to grill, you can hike a bit further to the little lakes shown below where there were a least two Feuerstellen with grills, wood, and tables.
The later part of the panorama trail joins up with the second half of the Wasserweg trail, a children’s theme trail that passes by six little lakes. The full loop trail starts and ends at the Furtschellas station. The panorama trail joins at lake #4 and continues past #5 & #6 on the way to Furtschellas. The lakes were nice, but perhaps nicer in the sun. We considered doing the Wasserweg instead, but in retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t because it starts with a long steep elevation gain from the Furtschellas station. That would have discouraged our little hikers right from the start. So hitting the second half of the Wasserweg trail was a much better option for us. This Wasserweg brochure has more detailed trail information in English.
When you buy your cable car tickets, they will give you a little “Plitsch Platsch” book (shown below) for each child with fairytale stories about the area. It’s only in German, which got a little annoying for me as the kids wanted me to translate the super long stories.
More the trail before it dips down to the Furtschellas station.
We were running to catch the cable car that matched up with bus so I didn’t get more pics of the descent to Furtschellas (the part I was glad we didn’t have to hike up). The Furtschellasbahn every 30 mins, and the bus runs once an hour, so check the schedules before you go so you don’t miss the bus. There’s not much to do at the bottom of the Furtschellasbahn while you wait for the bus. Better to stay up top at the playground and take the cable car that matches up with the bus time.
The Furtschellas playground has swings, slides, teeter-totter, and water play. There are some animals nearby in a mini “petting zoo.” There is a cafe and sun chairs so adults can lounge while the kids play.