Val Roseg Gletscher

Is a hike into Val Roseg worth it?

The Val Roseg near Pontresina is one of the most beautiful high valleys in the Engadine. And best of all, it can be discovered in many different ways. Be it on foot during a relaxed stroll or on the way to an even higher hiking destination, by bike or horse-drawn carriage. But is a detour to Val Roseg really worth it? We investigated this question last weekend and took a closer look at the hiking trail into Val Roseg, which was already slightly autumnal.

The Val Roseg near Pontresina

The approximately 12 kilometer long Val Roseg stretches from Pontresina train station to the northern slope of the Bernina group. There is the Roseg Glacier, which, together with the Tschierc Glacier, reached almost to today’s Hotel Restaurant Roseg Glacier in the Little Ice Age. The ice mass has since retreated, leaving behind a lake. The Lej da Vadret is located at an altitude of 2,160 m above sea level. M. and can be reached from the Hotel Restaurant Val Roseg in about an hour’s walk.

The Val Roseg is mostly car-free and is crossed by two paths: a narrow nature path that is reserved for pedestrians, and a road that takes horse-drawn carriages and cyclists into the valley.

Hike through larch and pine forests into Val Roseg

We start our hike into Val Roseg directly at Pontresina train station. There we follow the signpost over the Ova da Roseg and turn off onto the forest path at the parking lot after the bridge. After just a few minutes we are surrounded by tall pines, larches and pines and breathe in the fragrant scent of the forest. Unfortunately we cannot cover the entire route on this idyllic forest path. Shortly before the first bridge, a road closure redirects us to the road on the other side of the valley. We were a bit dismayed at the beginning and asked ourselves whether this hike was actually the right decision?

Von Pontresina ins Val Roseg wandern
Wald bei Pontresina
Pferdekutsche im Val Roseg

But the low point in mood was quickly overcome. Parallel to the wide gravel path, a narrow footpath running along the river revives the feeling of nature a second time. In addition, there are only a few people out and about here and after the first horse-drawn carriages have overtaken us, peace returns.

Der Ova da Roseg entlang wandern
Wanderung im Val Roseg

Die Wanderung ist dank des langsam ansteigenden Weges konditionell nicht besonders anspruchsvoll. Wir haben aber ein recht zügiges Grundtempo angeschlagen und kommen daher mit der Zeit schon auch ins Schwitzen. Nach knapp 1.5 Stunden haben wir den bewaldeten Abschnitt des Val Rosegs durchquert und blicken über die eindrucksvolle Hochebene in Richtung des gletscherbedeckten Talabschlusses.

Wegweiser Val Roseg
Val Roseg

Zwischenstopp im Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher

Here you could immerse yourself even further in the fascinating mountain world or treat yourself to a well-deserved break on the sun terrace of the Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher. And that’s exactly what we do. If you stop by here before the general lunch rush, you will have no problem finding a spot, even on busy weekend days.

Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher

The menu includes seasonal game dishes (unfortunately without a declaration as to where the meat comes from and the answer to my query was also not satisfactory “from New Zealand or from here – depending”) as well as Graubünden specialties. I decide on a chestnut soup (very tasty!) and my friend orders the hunter’s plate (nicely presented and also good). The extensive cake buffet is a real stunner. But here, too, I unintentionally hit the “soft spot”. Unfortunately, the Black Forest cake on the menu was not among the twenty cakes and tarts to choose from on the day of our visit. So we share a piece of Sachertorte for dessert instead. Overall, an absolutely enjoyable stopover that perfectly rounds off the leisurely hiking trip.

Der Ova da Roseg entlang retour nach Pontresina

We then head back down the valley to Pontresina along the same path. Even if there is a little more activity on the way at times, the march remains within a manageable range. I’m also very impressed by the forest paths – they’re wonderfully grounding (and pleasantly shady on warm days!).

Ova da Roseg Flusslauf
Wandern im Val Roseg
Wanderweg im Val Roseg

And so after our detour I can confidently confirm: Yes, a hike to Val Roseg is worth it! On the one hand, if you simply want to spend a few active hours in nature without any special sporting ambitions. But especially in October – when the larches present themselves in their golden autumn dress. We were just a little too early for this – but it’s only a matter of time.

Key details of the hike Pontresina – Val Roseg – Surovas

You can see the route of our hike from Pontresina train station to Val Roseg and back on the following hiking map. Basically, on the orographic right side of the Ova da Roseg, a mostly white-red-white marked mountain hiking trail (T2) leads from Pontresina to the Hotel Restaurant Roseg Glacier. It is a well-maintained forest path that leads from Pontresina to the Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher through the forest without any major bumps or inclines. The Val Roseg adventure trail, which offers children educational entertainment with 10 stamp stations.

Unfortunately, parts of this actual hiking trail are closed until further notice due to a rock fall. The hiking trail is therefore redirected in sections to the wide gravel path on the left side of the river. This is shared with the horse-drawn carriages and cyclists. By the way, you can easily get around this route even with a stroller.

The current path closures can be seen on the SwitzerlandMobility map below, although according to our on-site research they do not completely match the local signaling and the black marked path is outside the restricted zones.

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Starting point Pontresina, train station (1,774 m above sea level)
Accessibility Accessible by public transport
Length 15 .2 kilometers
Altitude ↗ 316 m ↘ 267 m
Duration 3:45 h
Destination Pontresina, Surovas train station (1,819 m above sea level)
Refreshments available Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher (June 10, 2023 to October 22, 2023)

Practical tips for your trip to Val Roseg

  • The Val Roseg is a popular excursion and hiking destination on nice days. If you want to enjoy the magic of the valley for yourself, it’s best to start the hike early or do the tour on a weekday in the low season.
  • The Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher is open in summer from mid-June to the second half of October. In winter the season starts around December 10th and lasts until early April. A highlight is the cake buffet there. There are around twenty different cakes, fruit tarts, tarts and seasonal dessert specialties to choose from.
  • During the summer season, Val Roseg can also be reached with the “Horse Omnibus”. Between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. there is an hourly public carriage ride from Pontresina train station to Hotel Roseg. A one-way trip costs 25 CHF for adults (return 36 CHF). A reservation in advance is recommended – but in the low season you can usually still find a seat even without a reservation. You can purchase tickets at the ticket booth at the entrance to Val Roseg (cash only!) and at the Hotel Roseg. Further information and timetables for summer and winter operations can be found on Website of Wohlis Kutschbetrieb, which operates the “Horse Omnibus.
  • Private rides can also be booked with various carriage operators. Prices here start at around 140 CHF (one way) or 250 CHF (there/return).
  • In winter, a signposted winter hiking trail leads from Pontresina to the Hotel Restaurant Roseg Gletscher.

Other recommended hikes in the region

The following are a few alternative hiking tips in the region:

  • If the simple valley hike through Val Roseg doesn’t seem challenging enough, you can follow the signposted Route No. 53 (Bernina tour) continue uphill to the “Murtèl” middle station of the Corvatschbahnen and reach an altitude of 1,100 meters.
  • Further back in Val Roseg there are two more SAC huts to discover: the Tschiervahütte and the Chamanna Coaz. The Chamanna Coaz is currently being renovated and will be open to hikers again from the 2024 summer season. The Tschiervahütte season lasted until October 1st.
  • Not far from Val Roseg you can visit the national park Val Trupchun take an equally worthwhile autumn hike.
  • The ones described in this article are somewhat more physically demanding Mountain hikes from Muottas Muragl to La Punt and along the Via Albula from Bever to Preda.
  • And if the sun doesn’t shine in the Engadin, then I have you in this post we have put together a few really cool bad weather tips.

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