Swimming in the Caumasee is one of our beloved summer traditions. It’s a beautiful alpine lake near Flims, with swimming, rock jumping, and paddle boats. This lake is a little warmer than other alpine lakes because it’s fed by an underground spring, but it’s still chilly at about 16C. So you need to wait for a hot day in the height of summer. It’s not a secret but there’s plenty of room around the lake for the crowds to spread out. Put this on the top of your list for next summer!
Caumasee is about a 10 minute walk from Flims Waldhaus, about 1hr30 by car from Zurich.
By car: drive to Flims. Drive through town, past the gondola, and turn left on Rudi Dadens. There are a couple metered car parks, one near the bus stop and one around the corner closer to the forest. For GPS, put in Rudi Dadens 10, 7018 Flims Waldhaus, which takes you to one of the car parks.
By public transport: take a train to Chur, then a bus to Flims Waldhaus, Caumasee.
Walking to the lake
From the car parks and bus stop, follow signs to Caumasee, following a well traveled path into the forest. It is about a 10 minute walk to the top of a short funicular that takes you down to the lake.
Here’s one of the trail signs and the forest path to the lake.
The funicular runs constantly and is self-service. Just push the button to call it up. It only holds about 8 people so on a busy day there can be a wait, especially on the way back up. There is also a path leading down to the lake if you feel like walking. The path is suitable for strollers and strollers will also will fit inside the lift.
Prices and Opening Times
In 2017, entrance to the lake cost CHF 12 Adult, CHF 6 Child 6-16, under 6 free. The restaurant is open from mid-May to mid-October, daily from 8:00 to 17:00, in July and August it stays open until 21:00 when the weather is nice. You can eat at the restaurant without paying entrance to the lake. The lake swimming opening times are not listed separately, so let’s assume the same as the restaurant. But realistically, you do not want to swim unless it’s hot enough to justify swimming in 16C water.
What to do and see
The main activity here is swimming and sun bathing. But there are also boats and paddle boards to rent, diving platforms and a big playground. Let’s take a look.
All along the lake shore, there are places to lounge and swim. Even on a crowded day, you can usually find a little spot of your own. FYI, the path along the lake shore does not go all the way around; the south side of the lake is blocked by a fence.
In most areas, the water depth starts shallow but some areas have a steeper drop off than others. So with non-swimmers, pick a place near the playground that has bigger shallow swimming areas.
Swimming with little kids & playground
At the west side of the lake, there is big grassy area where most families with kids hang out. The water is very shallow here and the playground and bathrooms are right there.
Behind this area is a playground with a swing, slide, bouncy stuff and water play. There are also sand volleyball courts and grassy areas for kicking a ball around.
Our favorite part in the big rock in the middle that you can jump off. The kids usually don’t jump off, but just climb around the rock and watch their parents jump off. The drop is about three meters, but the spot you jump from is small and a little precarious. Be careful!
Usually we rent a paddle boat and paddle over to the back of the rock, so the kids don’t have to swim all the way out.
There are a couple floating platforms in the middle of the lake. They are quite far out to swim to for smaller kids, but with a boat, they are easy to reach.
There are paddle boats, row boats and paddleboards to rent, cash only. I can’t remember the exact prices. It was something like 15 CHF for an hour for a paddleboat.
There is an island in the middle that you can paddle or swim to. There’s nothing to do on the island except walk from one side to the other, about 20 seconds, and get bit by biting ants. But we always go out there anyway.
Food & Services
There is a self-service restaurant and ice cream stand near the entrance. There is also a full-service restaurant that takes reservations, with a patio deck overlooking the lake, shown below on the left. There is also a kiosk near the playground. There are bathrooms with changing rooms and lockers near the playground.
Picnics are allowed and you’ll see people bringing in big bags and even coolers full of food. I don’t remember seeing any grill pits. I don’t think fires are allowed. If I’m wrong, please let me know.