From the middle of town we walk up to the Catholic Church. From here we follow the signpost Cristolais – Alp Saluver. For a short distance the path is paved. At first through meadows and then through beautiful larch woods, we walk up to Cristolais. Here there is a Nature House. We enjoy a magnificent view up and down the Engadin Valley and, in a southeasterly direction, to Pontresina and the Bernina region. Our hike is particularly beautiful in the month of October. Now we are in the midst of golden larch country. It is all around us and continues at the bottom of the valley and on all the mountain slopes, as far as the eye can see. The larches also look good during May and June, when they are fresh and green.
Up above the Nature House – we are still following the signpost to Alp Saluver – the trail goes for a time through the woods. Then a little later, a comfortable path branches off and leads us in long loops down to Celerina. Shortly above the railway line, we turn back towards Samedan and follow at first the tracks of the Rhaetian Railway, then cross the tracks and the road, and arrive on the banks of the River Inn. In a pleasant way, we walk along the riverbank into the village of Samedan or right to the station.
Best time of year
Tips, hints and links
The Larch: The larch is our only native conifer that loses its needles in the autumn. The larch is a mountain tree. 75% of all larches grow at an altitude higher than 1400 metres. In Wallis and the Upper Engadin, they go up to an altitude of 2400 metres. The tree itself grows to a height of 35 to 45 metres. Particularly in Wallis, there are stands of ancient larches. They are 500 to 800 years old. Almost all the larches in Switzerland grow in cantons Wallis, Grisons and Ticino. In the middle of Switzerland there are only small stands of larch which are constantly being replanted.
In mixed woodland we find that larches are hungry for light, and they fight their way out over the other trees with their slender treetops. Young larches in particular are very elastic. Which explains why they are often found in areas subject to avalanches, where no other trees can survive.
We find larches as impressive, single trees with roots deep in the earth, especially in the fought-for areas near the limit of woodland. And we find larches in bright, but fairly thickly planted woods. The most beautiful to human eyes are the larch groves, which with their loose stand of trees and their hospitable clearings combine the characteristics of lone trees and woodland. We feel quiet inside when we enter a larch grove. A kind of reverence overtakes us, and peace too. In the Spring, we seem to sense the joie de vivre incorporated by the youthful green of the larches, and in the autumn we feel we can hear the copper-coloured needles fall to the ground. And when we take long hikes between the old and the young stands of trees, we get to feeling that the larches are our brothers and sisters.
Places to eat: In Celerina.
Samedan - Cristolais - Celerina - Samedan
Getting there and back: By rail to and from Samedan.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
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