Hiking Val Fex


Hike Val Fex: Sils-Maria – Val Fex – Piz Chüern – Sils-Maria

The hike from Sils-Maria via Alp Muot to Piz Chüern to Lej Sgrischus to Furtschellas and back to Sils-Maria offers majestic views into and across Val Fex, magnificent Alpine flora, and an abundance of wildlife. During very hot summers, the shallow mountain lake Lej Sgrischus offers a welcome cool-down as does the large Lake Sils in the main Engadin valley. Traditional Grisons delicacies can be enjoyed on the way up from (or down towards) Sils-Maria at the historical Hotel Sonne Fex in the hamlet of Fex Crasta, near Alp Muot.

Click here for:
How to get there
dine tip, facts and figuresmap,
my experienceconclusion
practical information.

Sils-Maria (1809m) – Alp Muot (1950m) – Piz Chüern (2689m) – Lej Sgrischus (2618m) – Furtschellas (2313m) – Sils-Maria

5 h

12 km







View down into Val Fex from trail to Piz Chüern
View down into Val Fex from trail to Piz Chüern

Hiking Val Fex: How to get there

LocationSils Maria, Engadine region, Canton Grisons, Switzerland
Starting pointSils Maria
Starting point of the hikeNietzsche-Haus (Sils Maria)
The end point of the hikeSils Maria
Highest point of the hikeFurtschellas (2786 m)
Arrival by public transportArrival by train via St. Moritz. Change to a post bus to «Sils/Segl Maria, Posta»
How to get there by carTravel time from Zurich: approx. 2 h 40 | Travel time from Bern: approx. 3 h 40
ParkingCar park in Sils Maria (address: Via Fedacla 1) 
Profilbild von Solène Stucker, Mitbegründerin von Hike&Dine
Solène’s Dine-Tip

Dine-Tip on the hike Val Fex

«Coming soon: Marc will take you to the Restaurant/Hotel Sonne Fex.»

Hike Val Fex: Facts and Figures

Walking time5 h
Recommended hiking monthsJune to October
Type of hikeCircular hike, alpine hike
WaypointsSils MariaAlp MuotPiz ChüernLej SgrischusFurtschellasSils Maria
TerrainMountain trail, natural ground, gravel path
Altitude meters880m vertical meters uphill | 376m vertical meters downhill
RestaurantsHotel Retaurant Sonne Fex
Highlights✅ Enjoying peace and quiet in Val Fex
✅Lake Lej Sgrischus
✅View of Lake Sils and Lake Silvaplana
Good to knowDepending on the season, the last descent from Furtschellas to Sils is at 5:05 p.m.
Webcam & WeatherThe current weather situation in Val Fex can be seen on this webcam or here.

Free interactive map of the hike Sils-Maria in the Val Fex valley.

Here you can find a free map of the hike in the Val Fex Valley (Sils Maria – Alp Muot – Piz Chüern – Lej Sgrischus – Furtschellas). In addition, you can download a GPX file of the hike here, which you can then use with your smartphone or smartwatch. Below you will find an interactive map of the round-trip hike Sils-Maria in the Val Fex Valley.

My experience hiking on the Val Fex trail

I enjoyed the picturesque Val Fex trail on a pleasant August day. As the quiet Val Fex valley lies between 1800 and 2000 meters, the temperatures are never getting too hot, even in the sizzling hot summer we’ve experienced this year.

Hiking car-free Val Fex has always been high on my To Do list as it is a well-preserved, sunny nature enclave with only a few permanent residents, no ski infrastructure, no power lines, and plenty of pure, plain nature.

Val Fex Arrival: from Sils-Maria to Alp Muot

I arrived by car in Sils-Maria – the Engadin’s place of power – and first admired the Nietzsche House where the famed writer lived from 1883-1888.

House above Platta in Val Fex
House above Platta in Val Fex

The raging Fexbach river (Fedacla in Romantsch) flowing through Sils-Maria carried enormous amounts of brown ice melting water, further evidence of the aggressive glacier meltdown taking place on the peaks high above the Val Fex. One can also easily bike to Sils-Maria along the sparkling blue Engadin lakes or take the post bus. I then followed the sign post towards Val Fex and Fex Platta.

Fexbach river (Fedacla) flowing through Sils-Maria
Fexbach River (Fedacla) flowing through Sils-Maria

On the Val Fex Trail from Sils-Maria to Piz Chüern

The initial steep ascent through the impressive, narrow Sils Gorge is already spectacular. The trail’s slope then gradually loosens its incline and the sound of the raging Fexbach down below in the gorge matched the peaceful calmness of the green pastures, meadows, and rich alpine flora. Towards Alp Muot and the hamlet of Fex Platta, one hikes through good-smelling larch and pine forests. On that particular day (as most likely on any day), there were clearly more grazing cows than humans in Val Fex.

Val Fex is just plain, quiet nature at its best!
Val Fex is just plain, quiet nature at its best!

Spectacular views on the way to Piz Chüern along the Val Fex trail 

After approximately one hour of hiking on the Val Fex trail, the wide gravel path turned instantly into a typical, narrow, and steeper mountain trail, zig-zagging up towards Piz Chüern. Make sure to turn left across the Fexbach prior to reaching the hamlet of Muot. The signpost will point you towards Lej Sgrischus and Piz Chüern. With every turn of the steeply climbing trail, more of the glacial peaks encircling the end of Val Fex appear. The Piz Tremoggia (3441m), Piz Fora (3363m), and Il Chapütschin (3388m) are the most dominant peaks, while the Fex Glacier closes out the valley. The trail crosses numerous, gushing mountain streams – a welcome cool-down on the way up. Even at an altitude well above 2000m, the Alpine flora was still colorful and versatile.

View of the mountains on the Val Fex hike
View of the mountains on the Val Fex hike

From Piz Chüern to Lej (Lake) Sgrischus on the Val Fex trail

The final ascent towards Piz Chüern is quite rocky and demands sure-footedness and stability. The North face of Piz Chüern drops vertically and steeply while the Val Fex hiking trail descends softly over green meadows to the lake Lej Sgrischus. However, prior to descending to the lake, take in the stunning views towards Piz Corvatsch (3451m), the previously mentioned peaks, and the sights all the way back to Lake Sils.

Stunning views appear after each turn and ridge
Stunning views appear after each turn and ridge

A welcome cool-down in Lej Sgrischus

After the short hike down to Lej Sgrischus on the Val Fex trail, I decided to take a jump into the surprisingly warm mountain waters. Fun fact: Lej Sgrischus in Romantsch means “horrible lake” – nothing could be further from the truth on a bright, sunny warm day as its blue waters are quite a treat….

Lej Sgrischus in Romantsch means “horrible lake”
Lej Sgrischus in Romantsch means “horrible lake”

Take a swim in Lej Sgrischus

Make sure to take along some swimming clothes to enjoy the refreshing, clean mountain waters of Lej Sgrischus, near always smiling, friendly Swiss cows.

View of the west ridge Fil da las Furtschellas
View of the west ridge Fil da las Furtschellas

Lej Sgrischus to Furtschellas and Sils-Maria on the Val Fex trail

The next stretch from Lej Sgrischus to the Futschellas gondola station along the Val Fex trail offers more stunning views of the main Engadin valley and the mountains surrounding Val Fex. The Val Fex trail passes literally below the impressive Piz Corvatsch massif, high above pristine, green mountain pastures and many small mountain ponds.

A word of caution: There are two options to reach Futschellas

There are two options to reach Futschellas from Lej Sgrischus on the Val Fex trail: The easier, flatter one demands a left turn down towards the small hut on the Alp Munt; this trail eventually merges with the more challenging descent from the upper trail that initially ascends across many small ponds and pastures and awards even more impressive views. It then drops quite steeply towards the end underneath the Grialetsch rock formation before merging with the lower-level trail.

View of the lake Sils from  Piz Chüern
View of the Lake Sils from Piz Chüern

I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet on this upper trail option as most people take the lower-level trail. Several chamois and the sounds of numerous marmots enriched the Val Fex hiking experience up there. As you approach the final ridge underneath the Grialetsch rock formation, a surprisingly wide view opens up towards the Engadin Valley, Lakes Sils and Silvaplana, and even the peaks behind Maloja.

Colorful flora on final stretch down to Sils-Maria
Colorful flora on the final stretch down to Sils-Maria

Val Fex: Futschellas gondola to get back to Sils-Maria

If your knees start to feel tired on that last segment on the Val Fex trail and it is getting late, make sure you check the schedule of the Futschellas gondola’s final valley run. It will save you 500 vertical meters. I was cutting it very close and ended up running downhill towards the station, but ultimately missed that final ride. In the end, though, it was a blessing as I was forced to take the beautiful nature hike down to Sils along the lush, green, and flowery ski piste pastures, ultimately getting me to a magical forest and swamp area from where a narrow trail led me back to the starting point of the Val Fex trail at the Nietzsche House.

Conclusion of my hike along the Val Fex trail

In all, I enjoyed the versatility in landscapes, geology, stunning views, lakes, and streams on this pure nature hike in and above the Val Fex. An extra bonus of the Val Fex trail was the various wild animals I could observe and the refreshing swim in Lej Sgrischus.  It was also pleasantly empty on the trail, so I felt truly at one with nature and the mountains – heavenly!! The locals told me that in the winter and spring times, the segment of the Val Fex trail down on the valley floor is also a favorite for snowshoeing.

Lake Sils with Nietsche peninsula
Lake Sils with Nietsche peninsula

Of course, one can also do the Val Fex trail vice versa – i.e., take the gondola Futschellas (an instant gain of 500m in vertical) or hike up to Marmorè and then towards Piz Chüern on the same trail. Personally, I always prefer hiking more up rather than down, so I followed the described route.

Things to do near Sils: Sky paragliding Silvaplana

If you are in the Sils region for an extra day and want to see the mountains from a bird’s eye view, we recommend paragliding in Silvaplana. The flight takes 20 minutes, and the whole activity about 1.5 hours. Book your ticket right here:

Preparation for the hike Val Fex

Val Fex: Practical information

How to get there by public transport
From St Moritz or any of the other villages between Maloja and Samedan/Pontresina, catch the postbus to Sils Maria or – even better and more ecologically – rent a bike and enjoy the ride along the upper 3 Engadin valley lakes until you reach Sils Maria. You can find the connection for public transport in the SBB timetable.

How to get there by car
In Sils-Maria there is a large underground car park. The address of the car park in Sils-Maria is as follows: Via Fedacla 1,  514 Sils.

Restaurants along the Val Fex trail
Make sure to make a reservation at the Hotel Sonne Fex, right next to the picturesque small mountain chappel in Crasta, shortly after you hike up from the initial Sils Maria gorge on Val Fex’s initial leg.
The phone number of the restaurant is 081 826 5373 and the email info@hotel-sonne-fex.ch.

Good to know
The hike per se is well marked and the narrow trails are in tip-top shape, even over at times fairly steep and rocky passages. Make sure though you have solid hiking boots with well-profiled soles. During the warm summer months, bring along your swimsuits to enjoy not only Lej Sgrischus but also Lake Sils after your hike. Picnicking spots are plentiful along the Val Fex trail. The best time for this hike is clearly July through mid-October when the intense fall colors add yet another memorable dimension to any hike in the Engadin. Hiking the Val Fex Valley floor in late May and June, when the snow cover is still partially present, is also greatly recommended by the locals. 

Val Fex Hike: Impressions from the trail

Find more pictures of the Val Fex trail

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