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To the Rhine source: Oberalp Pass – Lake Toma

· 11 reviews · Hiking trail · Switzerland
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  • Tomasee, Lai da Tuma, Rheinquelle, Tgina dil Rein
    / Tomasee, Lai da Tuma, Rheinquelle, Tgina dil Rein
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Die schönsten Wanderungen in Graubünden: Rheinquelle (Disentis Sedrun)
    Video: Graubünden
  • / Die Wanderung zum Tomasee beginnt
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / auch Ziegen sind unterwegs
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / der süss duftende Türkenbund am Wegesrand
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Alpenrosen schmücken die Hänge
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Kühles Nass nach der Anstrengung
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Glück hat, wer hier nicht auf weitere Wanderer trifft
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Aus Zwei wird Vier
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Viel Platz zum Picknicken
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
  • / Tomasee
    Photo: Heidi Meier, Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
m 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 km Maighelshütte SAC / Camona da Maighels Lai da Tuma -Tomasee Badushütte SAC
The shortest way to the Rhine source, to the beautiful Tomasee.
moderate
Distance 8 km
4:00 h
468 m
468 m

Lake Toma, the source of the river Rhine, is a special place. Even the travelling Benedictine monk of the Disentis Cloister, Father Placidus Spescha (1752-1833), already mentioned the Tomasee in his description of the Tujetsch valley as follows: "This 200-foot-wide and 400-foot-long lake is the basin from which the anterior Rhine originates. It is a beautiful area and therefore worthy of being the source of such a river."

The lighthouse: The former front light of Hoek van Holland, the 14-meter-high lighthouse that once stood at the Rhine estuary for seventy years, now stands as a harbinger of the Rhine source on the Oberalp Pass. The replica creates a first connection to Rotterdam at the other end of the Rhine. The lighthouse delights numerous mountain pass visitors and hikers in the summer as well as skiers in winter.

Lai da Tuma / Lake Toma: The 1230-kilometer journey of the Rhine begins here at the Rhine source. Much of what happens here has an influence on the river’s course. Therefore, the inhabitants of the municipality of Tujetsch - the land on which the Rhine source lies – take great care of their natural wonder. The mighty Rhine glacier once covered the entire Surselva region during the last ice age. The mountain landscape of the Oberalp Pass, formed by glaciers, is the source region of ​​the anterior Rhine (Vorderrhein). The stream of ice has long since melted away, leaving a basin in which Lake Toma is embedded into the valley of Six Madun at the foot of Piz Badus. At 2345m above sea level, the lake is a jewel among Swiss mountain lakes - unique in its beauty, magic and importance.

Oberalp Pass: The Oberalp Pass – called the "Alpsu" in Romanic - is the connection between Disentis in the canton of Graubünden and Andermatt in the canton of Uri. The highest point of the mountain pass is located at 2044m above sea level. From Disentis to Andermatt, the mountain pass is 32km long. In the Middle Ages the mountain pass allowed the Grisons access to pig and goat markets in the cantons of Uri and Ticino. Through the construction of today's road in the years 1862/63, the traffic over the Oberalp increased greatly. The romantic stagecoach age was born. The horse-drawn carriages only disappeared in 1925 when cars were introduced in Graubünden. The road is only accessible during the summer. In winter, travellers have to use the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway. The mountain pass is a popular starting point for skiers, ski tours and snowshoe hikers.

The railway line was put into service in 1926. During the first 16 years, before electric locomotives, steam trains ran only in the summer. The slowest express train in the world, the Glacier Express, also runs over the Oberalp Pass, connecting the Matterhorn village Zermatt with St. Moritz and Davos.

Author’s recommendation

In July, alpine roses and sweet-smelling martagon lilies bloom along the edge of the trail.

Overnight guests with a guest card can travel by train between Disentis and the Oberalp Pass free of charge.

Profile picture of Heidi Meier
Author
Heidi Meier
Updated: April 01, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Tomasee, 2,368 m
Lowest point
Abzweigung Passtrasse, 1,981 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Maighels hut

Safety information

The hike can only be done from approximately mid-June. However, until the end of June occasional fields of snow may still be found in the upper part of the trail. Inexperienced hikers should calculate an additional hour of hiking time.

The trek cannot be undertaken with a pram or by bike.

There is no place for meals or refreshments at the lake.

Tips and hints

Train timetable www.sbb.ch

 

Start

Oberalppass (2,040 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'694'324E 1'168'371N
DD
46.659914, 8.671059
DMS
46°39'35.7"N 8°40'15.8"E
UTM
32T 474833 5167425
w3w 
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Destination

Oberalppass

Turn-by-turn directions

The hike begins at the lighthouse on the Oberalp Pass. At first we walk along the mountain pass road and then follow a trail to Val Maighels. At point 2056, we branch off to the right and ascend in a zig zag up the mountain. As soon as we have left the last rocky bends behind us, we reach the lake. The return route follows the same path.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

By train from Andermatt or from Sedrun to the top of the Oberalp Pass.

Getting there

By car from Andermatt or from Sedrun to the top of the Oberalp Pass.

Parking

Parking spaces are available at the top of the mountain pass (free of charge).

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'694'324E 1'168'371N
DD
46.659914, 8.671059
DMS
46°39'35.7"N 8°40'15.8"E
UTM
32T 474833 5167425
w3w 
///thank.automate.spared
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Hiking equipment is recommended.

Questions and answers

Question from Marlene Büeler · March 28, 2021 · Community
Ab wann ist denn diese Wanderroute frühstens schneefrei, bzw. mit normalem Wanderequip erreichbar?
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Answered by Stefan Schwenke · March 29, 2021 · Community
Das hängt von den Schneefällen und der Witterung im Frühjahr ab. Aktuell hat's noch brutal viel Schnee – aber aber es gibt auch frühlingshaften Bedingungen und viel Sonne. Ein konkretes Datum gibt's aber nicht. Je nach Winter und Frühling können locker vier Wochen Unterschied sein. Aktuell [28. März, 15.30 Uhr] sieht es Richtung Oberalppass noch so aus...
Photo: Stefan Schwenke, Community
2 more replies
Question from Daniel Pittelkow · September 22, 2020 · Community
Ich bin dieses Wochenende vor Ort (26.09.-28.09.2020) und möchte vom Oberalppass bis zum Tomasee wandern. Es ist Schneefall/Regen angesagt. Hat jemand Infos über die aktuelle Situation auf dem Wanderweg? Liebe Grüße, Daniel
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Answered by Heidi Meier · September 24, 2020 · Sedrun Disentis Tourismus
Hallo Daniel Im Moment regnet es in Sedrun und die Wetteraussichten sind alles andere alles gut. Die Temperatur fällt ständig und fürs Wochenende ist oberhalb 1500 Meter Schnee angesagt. Ich empfehle, die Tour auf ein schöneres Wochenende zu verschieben, sodass Sie den Aufenthalt geniessen können Heidi
Question from Janine Fellmann · June 24, 2020 · Community
ist ein weg 4std?
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Answered by Manuela Kroll · June 25, 2020 · Community
Für den Weg in eine Richtung passt das
1 more reply
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Rating

4.5
(11)
Judith Paula Senn
September 16, 2020 · Community
Wirklich wunderbare Tour. Wer hingegen die Bergruhe auf der Wanderung sucht, tut dies vergeblich. Die Motorräder und Autos, die über den Oberalppass fahren, dröhnen bis fast ganz zuoberst. Sehr schade. Die vielen Wanderer stören hingegen nicht im Geringsten.
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When did you do this route? September 16, 2020
Susanne Krauch
August 10, 2020 · Community
Wir haben die Tour als Anfänger gemacht. Teilweise sehr unwegsames Gelände welches Gute Trittsicherheit und Kondition erfordert. Viel Verkehr auf schmalem Pfad ist mühsam gewesen. Weg sehr steinig teilweise felsig. Bewertungen die diese Tour als einfach beschreiben kann ich nicht zustimmen. Es entschädigt der Anblick der Natur und des Tomasees, bis zur Badushütte hatten wir es nicht geschafft wegen des Wetters, trotz der Strapazen wunderschön.
show more
When did you do this route? August 10, 2020
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Susanne Krauch
August 10, 2020 · Community
Wir haben die Tour als Anfänger gemacht. Teilweise sehr unwegsames Gelände welches Gute Trittsicherheit und Kondition erfordert. Viel Verkehr auf schmalem Pfad ist mühsam gewesen. Weg sehr steinig teilweise felsig. Bewertungen die diese Tour als einfach beschreiben kann ich nicht zustimmen. Es entschädigt der Anblick der Natur und des Tomasees, bis zur Badushütte hatten wir es nicht geschafft wegen des Wetters, trotz der Strapazen wunderschön.
show more
When did you do this route? August 10, 2020
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
Photo: Susanne Krauch, Community
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+ 48

Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
8 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
468 m
Descent
468 m
Public-transport-friendly Out and back Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights

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