Anyone who knows a bit about the holiday region of Saas-Fee/Saas Valley will immediately think of the Mischabel chain. The adventure trail leading up to the Almagelleralp is not as widely known, however. Venturing across suspension bridges and rocky sections reminiscent of a via ferrata, as well as through a magical fairy-tale forest, you finally reach the mountain hotel run by Urs Anthamatten, the hotel’s host – or, as he jokingly calls it, “hotel director”.
Taking the Adventure Trail up to the Almagelleralp
The trail starts with a pleasant chairlift ride, which takes its guests from Saas-Almagell up to the small village of Furggstalden. The small idyllic setting, which is particularly popular with families in winter thanks to its wide range of activities on offer for children, is the starting point for various hikes in the Saas Valley in summer. The Adventure Trail is equally popular. The first few metres are a relatively leisurely affair, taking hikers through a wonderful evergreen forest until they reach the rocky passages, where they will need both hands to grasp the well secured climbing aids.
The last few metres…
Once you have the steep, rocky passage behind you, it’s on through the “fairy-tale forest”. In the afternoon and evening sun in particular, the many different gleaming green tones compete for attention. This section is characterised by the gentle breeze, the rushing stream and the creaking old trees. Shortly after leaving the forest, you’ll already be able to see the Almagelleralp in front of you. And it’s worth taking a look back over your shoulder as well, especially when the weather is good. As soon as you’re above the tree line, you’ll be treated to unimpeded views of the Mischabel chain, including the Dom, the highest mountain found entirely in Swiss territory.
Urs Anthamatten runs the mountain hotel in line with this motto. To him, it doesn’t matter what his co-workers do in their day-to-day lives down in the valley – on the alp, everyone is equal. And this applies to the alp’s visitors too. Since 1910, when the mountain hotel was built in the middle of steep cliffs and mountains, mountaineers have found a tiny world of their own on the alp, far away from everyday life. Urs Anthamatten, a retired teacher who shows his guests great hospitality, has also been part of this world for many years.
Of course, Urs also enjoys the time spent with his guests or employees. After a hard day’s work, the time spent together after hours is also part of life on the alp. However, the highlight for him is clearly the early morning, when the first of the sun’s rays creep across the mountains and the mighty flanks of the Mischabel chain turn a glorious red. A truly magical moment that guests lucky enough to experience this spectacle will never forget.
After breakfast, it’s back towards Kreuzboden again. The Almageller High-Altitude Trail first leads steeply up above the treeline and out of the valley. It is well-known for the breathtaking views that can be enjoyed along the trail. In addition to the mighty peaks of the Mischabel chain to the west, you can also make out the Mattmark natural reservoir at the furthest end of the Saas Valley to the south. The largest earth dam in Europe is used to generate electricity and is a real power spot.
The Saas Valley offers hikers more than 350 kilometres of trails. The valley is the starting point for the most beautiful 4,000m peak tours. There’s also plenty on offer for those who’d rather not venture quite so high: with its adventure forest, via ferrata, petting zoo, bike trails, suspension bridges, marmots, gorge crossing, toboggan run, theme trails – there’s no limit to the activities on offer here. Summer holidays just the way you want them.
Published: May 2022