What makes the Bernina Trek the perfect hiking trip for all ages, is his variability, as its offers options for leisure, sporty and 'alpine junkie' hikers: The "Classic" route takes you through magnificent alpine scenery, along deep blue mountain lakes, icy glacial streams and snow-capped peaks over seven days. Those who seek and/or need more thrills should choose the "Summiteer" option that adds several peak experiences to the route. However, families with kids as well as groups with hikers of different fitness levels will certainly enjoy the beautiful mountain world while hiking the „Pachific“ route.
... the Chamanna d’Es-cha with the oldest stucco ceiling in a SAC-mountain hut (dating back to 1934)
... the Julier region (Chamanna Jenatsch) with its impressive geology ... the Upper Engadin lakescape
... the (almost) omnipresent panoramic view of the Bernina region with the prominent peaks of Piz Palü and Piz Bernina incl. the world-famous Bianco ridge
... the sixth stage of the trek (from Pontresina to Lagalb) which is travelled by the Rhaetian Railway via its UNESCO World Heritage line
... the lovely and warm Puschlav with its unique Italianità and inviting piazzas
Safety informationThe trails which are located at around 2'900 metres above sea level, are both field and high alpine mountain paths. They are marked "red-white-red" according to the standards of the Swiss Hiking Trails Association with yellow signposts as direction signs. For trips of up to 9 hours and up to 1'650 metres of elevation gain, a good fitness level is required as well as surefootedness and a head for heights.
In short: the Bernina Trek classic is a moderately challenging trek (mostly T2) and hikers should be in good/excellent physical condition.
Tips and hintsAs there is often still a lot of snow at the beginning of June and most SAC huts are no longer staffed at the end of October, the best time to complete the Bernina Trek is from the end of June to the beginning of October.
ParkingLong-term parking is available in Pontresina and St. Moritz, from where you can take public transport (Engadinbus and/or RhB) to the start of the stage. However, it is not recommended to travel by private car.
EquipmentHiking/trekking shoes with high traction rubber soles; trekking poles; weatherproof clothing (rain trousers, jacket and cover); all-weather clothes for a tour of up to 7 days; personal documents (IDs) and cash; small first-aid kit (poss. Ohropax); sleeping bag; camera (if needed); pocketknife; map and GPS tracker; mobile phone; sun protection; head lamp; gaiters, cap and gloves (depending on the season); provisions for a day with energy bars (can be purchased in the valley or in the mountain huts); at least 1.5 L of drinking water; some rope (if needed)
This equipment list is mainly a guide for packing and is not exhaustive. We recommend focusing on the most important things when planning a multi-day tour from mountain hut to mountain hut. The stages cover long distances so the heavier your backpack is, the slower you will be and the more tired you will get. The equipment should fit your individual needs as well as the weather and the duration of the trek.
Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Hikes
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- Tent (3- or 4-season)
- Stove (including fuel and utensils)
- Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
- Toiletries and medication
- Toilet paper
Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut
- Toiletries and medication
- Quick-drying towel
- Ear plugs
- Sleeping bag liner
- Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
- Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.
- 7 Stages