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Hiking trail Stage

50.03 Splügen - Isola (I), ViaSpluga

Hiking trail · Switzerland
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Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren Explorers Choice 
  • Splügen
    / Splügen
    Photo: Romedi Conradin, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Viamala Tourismus, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Viamala Tourismus, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Viamala Tourismus, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Consorzio per la Promozione Turistica della Valchiavenna, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • /
    Photo: Foto © Viamala Tourismus, Graubünden Ferien - normierte Touren
  • / Dorf Isola
    Photo: Viamala Toursimus
  • / Splügenpass
    Photo: Viamala Toursimus
  • / Splügenpass
    Photo: Viamala Tourismus
  • /
    Photo: Viamala Toursimus
m 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Splügen

Stage three of the viaSpluga, the 65 km long classic cultural and long-distance hiking trail, takes you from Splügen  to  the  Splügen  Pass  and  on  to  Isola  via Montespluga and the Cardinello Gorge. The highlights of this stage include the restored historic mule track on the Splügen Pass and the unspoilt romance of the Cardinello Gorge.
moderate
17.1 km
6:00 h
1008 m
1213 m
The viaSpluga is a cultural and long-distance hiking trail in the central Alps which has linked the peoples of  the  German,  Romansh,  French  and  Italian-speaking  regions,  as  well  as  the villages  of  Thusisand Chiavenna. The viaSpluga mainly follows historic mule  tracks,  whose  original  structures  have  largelybeen preserved or restored. The viaSpluga stretches for a total distance of about 65 km.  

Stage  3  /  Splügen-Isola:  Today  we  reach  the culmination point of the tour, the Splügen Pass, which stands at an altitude of 2115 metres. It appeared as a mule  track  on  a  Roman  military  map  and was previously called "Colmen d'Orso", which means "Bear Pass".  From the  14th century  onwards, the  Splügen Pass  was  known  as  a  mule  route  from  southern Germany  to  the  Lombardy  lowlands.  Transit traffic across  the  Splügen  Pass  only  declined  sharply following the opening of the Gotthard railway in 1882. Travelling via Montespluga and the Cardinello Gorge, which was long regarded as the most hazardous part of  the  route  (it  is  all  well  developed  nowadays), today's stage ends at the village of Isola.

Author’s recommendation

 Today's highlights are, for example, the Marble Bridge along the route of the viaSpluga, the restored historic mule  track  on  the  Splügen  Pass,  the  300  m  long avalanche gallery, which was created in 1843 to make the pass accessible in winter, in defiance of the snow and  ice.  In  former  times,  the  romantic  Cardinello Gorge was the most notorious section of the Splügen route.
outdooractive.com User
Author
Romedi Conradin
Updated: February 28, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2119 m
Lowest point
1256 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

The viaSpluga is a mountain hiking trail. You need to be  sure-footed  and  have  a  good  head  for  heights (bridges,  Cardinello  Gorge)  along  some  sections.

 

Tips, hints and links

Viamala Visitor Information
Bodenplatz
7435 Splügen 
Tel. +41 (0)81 650 90 30 
info@viamala.ch 
www.viamala.ch

Start

Splügen, village ()
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.551996, 9.323360
UTM
32T 524788 5155431

Destination

Isola, village

Turn-by-turn directions

 The viaSpluga is marked throughout from Thusis to Chiavenna as regional hiking trail No. 50, as well as with brown viaSpluga signposts.

 Stage 3: Splügen–Isola (I): Hike along an Alpine pass on the unique mule track over the Splügen Pass with an exposed descent through the gorge of the Val Cardinello.  Setting off from the mountain pass village of Splügen, the  trail  takes you  through  larch  woods  running alongside the Hüschera Stream and then crosses the large car park. Keeping to a track, follow the stream until you reach the main road at the actual Splügen Pass.  Veer  right  at the Marble Bridge and take  the hiking  trail  close  to  the  Hüschera  Stream  in  the direction  of  Bodmenstafel.  After  the  switchback  (pt. 1845), cross the road and then the stream. The path soon  leads  along  carefully  assembled  cobbles over the Altbäärg and on up to the border. This is definitely the section of the route on which you will experience the  most  pronounced  sense  of  the  old mule  track. When you reach the culmination point (alt. 2115 m),the trail continues straight ahead on the cobbled path and crosses a run of bulky rocks. At the Cantoniera, cross  the  road  and  follow  the  trail  to  Montespluga.The  route  runs  along  the  right-hand  side  of  the reservoir up to the dam wall, of which you walk along the crest. After the dam, follow the signposts  which lead to the mule track through the Cardinello Gorge. The  path,  which  is  cut  into  the  rockface  in  some places, leads  to Isola via  the hamlets of  Soste and Torni.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Southbound  by  Rhaetian  Railway  to  Thusis  and  by postbus to Splügen, Post Office. 
Northbound by  rail  to Bellinzona and  by postbus to Splügen, Post Office. 
www.rhb.ch 
www.sbb.ch 
www.postauto.ch (Switzerland) 
www.stps.it (Italy) 

 

Getting there

Southbound on the A13/E43, in the direction of San Bernardino, "Splügen" exit.  
Northbound on the A13/E43, in the direction of Chur, "Splügen" exit. 

Parking

Splügen (free parking)  - Diagonally opposite the post office - In the direction of the Splügen Pass after the steel arched bridge on the left.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Appropriate,  weather-proof  equipment  is  strongly recommended. 

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
17.1 km
Duration
6:00h
Ascent
1008 m
Descent
1213 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available

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