3h 30min.
Oven pass (bus stop)
June – October

Breathtaking panoramic hike with a view of the Graubünden and South Tyrolean Alps, the mixed pine and larch forests, unique sand dolines and extremely rare edelweiss flowers

by Marc Gottwald

Childhood dream Edelweiss

«Every hiker dreams of seeing this unique flower in the wild. But edelweiss is a very rare flower, so rare that I haven’t seen it for at least 10 years,” I said to my companion. “Even though she is considered a symbol of the Alps, even the Queen of the Alps,” I added.

Are you ready to see this wonderful and strictly protected plant wild in nature? Then pack your backpack and start this wonderful hike.

Hike has a lot to offer

You start this breathtaking hike at the Ofen Pass, which you can reach by postbus or car. This hike is a highlight because it has so much to offer in a very short time, despite only a few meters in altitude.

It is important that you take the path towards Fuorcla Funtana-da-S-Charls (2h) at the beginning. This is how you walk around the imposing Munt de la Brescha.

After the first 250 vertical meters, which you have to do at the beginning, you have almost made the ascent. You are impressed by the exceptionally beautiful mountain panorama of the Swiss National Park. In autumn you will also be amazed by the golden-green mixed pine and larch forests. A magical moment that you must have experienced once.

This indescribable Edelweiss

Soon you will come to a larger meadow (near Chaschlot), where you will be overjoyed to see the first edelweiss plant of this hike in the middle of the path. She stands there extravagantly and proudly, no wonder she is called Queen of the Alps. A real beauty.

The edelweiss only grows above the tree line and is therefore a typical high mountain plant. It thrives above all in mountain meadows and on stony subsoil and gets along well with few nutrients. It is important that the plant gets a lot of sunlight.

Did you know that there are between 30 and 40 types of Edelweiss? On this hike, if you are lucky and keep your eyes open, you will see at least two different species.

That’s why you hike on, fascinated, after a break to find more edelweiss plants. You wander and wander. The more exposed the location, the more a light tuck will pull around your ears, which will provide you with finely scented and pure Graubünden mountain air.

After about 1h 45 minutes you will see a cable car. Yes! Here is the Val Müstair ski area in winter. And what is probably even more surprising: suddenly you see a field full of edelweiss flowers in the meadow. How gorgeous! It’s such a rare moment that you just have to enjoy it.

The Legend of the Sanddolin

Arrived at the Fontana da S-Charls (ski lift), you continue hiking in the direction of Alp da Munt, where you could theoretically stop off at the Alpbeiz. Otherwise it goes directly to Tschierv, where you hike down a partly rather steep path.
At the Alp da Munt you will see unique sand dolines. This is a very rare phenomenon as sinkholes are usually made of limestone (carbonates), this being a mixture of limestone and sand. The sinkholes swallow the water and channel it through an underground cave system. The water then comes out somewhere else.
A legend tells that fairies lived in the sinkholes and helped the farmers with haymaking. One day a peasant woman stole one of the fairies’ beautiful sheets. The fairies were so outraged and disappointed that they cried out so loud that the sand sinkholes locked and the fairies never showed up again. From now on, the farmers had to do everything themselves.

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