At Compatsch, you hike the Vanal valley northward up to Unteralp (Pt. 2061). The lower section of Alp Bella is littered with erratic serpentine boulders. Near the cabins, you find an unusually large boulder which must be among the mightiest erratic boulders in Switzerland.
From Unteralp, you head westward climbing for a short time through pastures and boulder fields of Alp Trida (Pt. 2263). Dozens of creeks merge here into the Mühlbach creek. The region is cut off towards the north by a huge, semicircular border ridge. This consist mainly of Bündner slate. Triassic limestone can be found on Alp Trida itself. Sizeable gypsum formations can also be seen from afar.
The mountain pastures and meadows extending up to 2700 metres have produced surprising discoveries for botanists. In the grass ridges of Chomps and Vanal, an extremely rich orange hawkweed flora (hieracium) can be found.However, there are also a wide variety of orchids: Depending on the composition of the soil, the Alpine orchid (chamorchis alpina) and the frog orchid (coeloglossum viride) grow here, in addition to the ubiquitous lobelia.
From Alp Trida, you continue westwards through the wide valley trough, then head southwards with a very slight incline up to Alp-Trida-Sattel, the mountain station of the cable care, which leads up from Ravaisch in the main Samnaun valley. From the mountain station, you head northwest over the Alptrider Eck and alpine pastures dotted with springs to the Outer Viderjoch at Pt. 2738 (national border). The wealth of ski lifts and cable cars to the east and west make it easy to guess what goes on up here in winter!
Inns en route: Samnaun: Alp Trida (Open end of June – mid-October) Tel. +41 (0)81 868 51 20, Panoramic restaurant Alp Trida Sattel Tel. +41 (0)81 868 51 17. In Compatsch and Ravaisch: Various restaurants.
Best time of year
Tips, hints and links
Compatsch: Compatsch may be the main town in the valley, but it is not the tourist centre. Here in Compatsch, you go to church and school. The stately, late-Gothic parish church of St. Jakob, built around 1500, was renovated and extended many times. Since the start of the reformation in Engadine in 1529, the conflict between the municipality of Ramosch (the main political town in Samnaun at the time) and the Samnauners themselves increased continually, until these were finally able to demand their freedom and independence in 1806.