On the road with Yvonne
Hike from the Ofen Pass to Val S-charl
It is the first summery hot week of the year, in which the locals and guests of the Engadine also long for mountain freshness. For this reason, I started the hike together with friends early in the morning. We took the train and bus from Scuol via Zernez to the Ofenpass. At the top of the pass, at the PostBus stop Süsom Givé, we get off and immediately enjoy the view of the unspoilt Val Müstair.
We cross the pass road and start hiking. The sky is still a little grey. While the sun fights its way through the cloud cover, we enjoy the splashes of colour in the forest, which we cross at the beginning, and then the splendour of the flowers in the mountain meadows. After a leisurely start, it now gets a little steeper and we slowly start to sweat. Again and again we look up to the nearby skiing area of Minschuns and try to imagine it in winter dress. In our mind's eye, we glide down the slope on skis and snowboard and can cool off a bit right away.
Soon we reach the highest point of the hike at "Funtana da S-charl" at almost 2400 metres above sea level. After the obligatory photo stop, we go a little further and look for a nice spot for a well-deserved break. The sun is now shining at full strength and makes us forget the alpine altitude. The whistling marmots, however, immediately remind us that we are in the Engadine Alps and show us with an exciting duel that they can do more than just look cute.
With some salsiz and bread in our stomachs, we continue our hike. After the Mattun plain, where a large erratic boulder can be admired, we finally reach Alp Astras and shortly afterwards the God da Tamangur – the highest stone pine forest in Europe. We then reach the gravel road that runs along the Clemgia stream. Here we immediately notice that the valley is busier and we meet more hikers as well as bikers, but this fits wonderfully side by side.
On the way we keep encountering herds of cows and cattle. It's the big day of the drive up to the alpine pastures. From near and far, the animals are brought to the alp for the summer. It is a true spectacle that we can observe. Joyfully and full of energy, the cows and cattle move towards the extensive alpine pastures. With great skill and obvious pride, the farmers and alpine herders tame their animals.
The Clemgia accompanies us along its meandering riverbed to the small village of S-charl. Once here, we immediately head for the sunny terrace of the Gasthaus Mayor to reward ourselves with a delicious lunch and a cooling dessert. We enjoy the cosy atmosphere in the village and after a while we set off for the PostBus, which takes us down through the wild stone landscape of the Val S-charl to Scuol, our starting point.
Important to know
- Alternative: The hike is recommended in both directions
- Arrival: by train and PostBus
- Duration: approx. 5 hours hiking time
- Equipment: hiking boots, warm clothing, sun and rain protection, binoculars recommended, picnic
Yvonne Schuler has lived in Scuol since 2015 and works for the Engadin Samnaun Val Müstair holiday region as a product manager for nature and sustainability. In her free time, she likes to be out and about in the Engadine countryside on foot or by bike, and in winter she enjoys snowboarding on the Motta Naluns.