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Sassal Mason Viewpoint: See The Stunning Palü Glacier

Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Darla

The Sassal Mason Viewpoint, situated 2,355 above sea level, is a well-liked observation point in Poschiavo, Switzerland. The viewpoint is approximately 677 meters lower than the 3,032-meter-high Sassal Mason Mountain and offers stunning views of the Palü Glacier, Lake Palü, Alp Grüm, and the Val Poschiavo region.

Image of Sassal Mason by
Image of Sassal Mason by

Only accessible by foot, this viewpoint offers breathtaking views of high mountains. At Sassal Masson Viewpoint you will find the Rifugio Sassal Masone hut. At present, this cabin is closed, but its terrace is open to the public. Sassal Mason is particularly popular in the summer and autumn when it is easy to get here without snow.

Overview: Sassal Mason

Image of Sassal Mason Viewpoint (left) and Sassal Mountain by

Sassal Mason is a viewpoint located in Poschiavo, Switzerland. It is situated at an altitude of 2,350 meters above sea level. Although it is not accessible by cable car, you can hike here from Ospizio Bernina or Alp Grüm.

From Sassal Mason, you have breathtaking views of the following mountains:

  • Piz Palü Ostgipfel – 3,882 meters
  • Sasso Rosso – 3,488 meters
  • Pizzo di Varuna – 3,453 meters
  • Piz Canton – 3,147 meters
  • Piz Sena – 3,075 meters
  • Curnasel – 2,809 meters
  • Pizzo Sassalbo – 2,844 meters
  • Cima di Rosso – 2,856 meters

The viewpoint, named after the nearby Sassal Mason Mountain, provides a distinct experience compared to ascending the mountain itself, which poses greater challenges due to its towering height of 3,023 meters. Scaling the Sassal Mason Mountain demands advanced alpine expertise, given its arduous path replete with climbing sections, unmarked trails, rugged terrain, and an elevated risk of slipping.

Image of the Crott Stone Houses, Sassal Mason by
Image of the Crott Stone Houses, Sassal Mason by

The Sassal Mason Viewpoint can be easily reached by most hikers of a reasonable level of fitness.

Upon arrival, you’ll notice two crott stone houses, unplastered structures locals once used as makeshift refrigerators for food storage.

The viewpoint features a spacious terrace that provides visitors with an unobstructed view of the mountains and the Palü Glacier. The terrace is equipped with limited comfortable seating areas facing the glacier, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the view.

Sassal Mason Hike from Ospizio Bernina 

Image of Lago Bianco by

The hike from Ospizio Bernina to Sassal Mason is a straightforward one that begins at either the Ospizio Bernina Hotel or the Ospizio Bernina train station.

If you start from the hotel, you’ll need to cross the Bernina Pass road to access the hiking trail. This trail runs roughly parallel to the train tracks but at a slightly higher elevation. Alternatively, if you begin at the Ospizio Bernina Train Station, you’ll find a wider and easier path that also follows the train line.

Both of these trails eventually converge near the edge of Lago Bianco after crossing the train tracks.

Image of the Ospizio Bernina to Sassal Mason Hiking Trail by

Once you reach the lake, you can stroll along the dam and enjoy the lake’s scenic views before embarking on a brief ascent.

The climb is relatively easy and safe, and it won’t be long before you catch sight of the Sassal Masone Hut and the glacier. In general, the hike takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes, but you can adjust the time according to your pace by using the hiking time calculator below.

Hiking Time Calculator

Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.

Sassal Mason Hike from Alp Grüm 

Image of Lake Palü and the Palü Glacier from Alp Grüm by
Image of Lake Palü and the Palü Glacier from Alp Grüm by

The hike from Alp Grüm to Sassal Masone is more challenging when compared to the one from Ospizio Bernina due to the 300-meter elevation gain.

The trail mainly involves an uphill climb starting from the Alp Grüm train station. It also tends to be narrower, particularly as you start ascending the mountain’s side. Additionally, I noticed that this trail has more loose, sandy stones in comparison to the approach from Ospizio Bernina, which felt more solid underfoot.

Image of Sassal Masone from the Hiking Trail from Alp Grüm by
Sassal Masone viewed from the Alp Grüm Hiking Trail, Image by

On your journey, you’ll pass through a forest and meadows, before reaching the higher alpine landscape. As you ascend, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy scenic views of Lake Palü and the glacier.

The climb is relatively easy and safe, and it won’t be long before you catch sight of the Sassal Masone Hut. In general, the hike takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes, but you can adjust the time according to your pace by using our hiking time calculator.

Tourist Attractions Nearby

The Sassal Mason viewpoint in Poschiavo provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains. After visiting it, there are several other tourist attractions nearby that visitors can explore:

Cavaglia and the Glacier Garden

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Cavaglia is a quiet village located on the valley floor of Val Poschiavo. Simple, cozy inns offer local cuisine from Poschiavo and the nearby Engadine Valley. A short walk from Cavaglia train station will take you to Glacier Garden. 

The Cavaglia Glacier Garden features glacier mills that are 10 meters deep. By visiting it, you will have a glimpse into the geological history of the last 30,000 years.

If you would like to read more about the glacier garden, you can check out Cavaglia Glacier Garden: A Beautiful Trip in Val Poschiavo.


Image of Poschiavo by
Image of Poschiavo by

Poschiavo is one of Graubünden’s most picturesque villages. There is a unique blend of Mediterranean and Alpine lifestyles here. This entire town is protected because of its historical significance. Beautiful squares and narrow alleyways characterize this charming village. 

Poschiavo is known for its culinary delicacies and cultural heritage as well. The climate here is ideal for growing produce and for supplying it to other regions of Switzerland. 

If you would like to read more about Poschiavo, check out our article: 9 Best Things To Do In Poschiavo, Switzerland.

Lagh da Saoseo

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Lagh da Saoseo is a beautiful blue lake in Val da Camp, surrounded by forests and big mountains like Piz Palü, Sasso Rosso, Pizzo di Varuna, and Piz Canton. It’s one of Switzerland’s most picturesque lakes and a beloved destination for tourists.

Just like Sassal Mason, reaching Lagh da Saoseo requires a hike. A hike from Sfazù to the lake is possible. You can take an alpine bus up to Rifugio Saoseo or Alpe Campo and hike from there. The simplest way is to catch the bus to Alpe Campo and then take a 10-minute walk to reach the lake.

If you would like to read more about Lagh da Saoseo, check out our article: How to Get to Lagh da Saoseo: A Comprehensive Guide.

How to Get to Sassal Mason

Image of the Hiking Trail to Sassal Mason by
Image of the Hiking Trail to Sassal Mason by

Sassal Mason cannot be accessed by public highways or cable cars. These are the locations from which you will need to hike:

Starting PointEstimated Hiking Time
Ospizio Bernina2 hours 30 minutes
Alp Grüm2 hours 50 minutes

As for accommodation, there are several options available in the surrounding area. Visitors can choose from hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability. Here are some of your options:

  • Hotel Bernina Hospiz (Via Dal Bernina 2371, 7710 Poschiavo) – This budget-friendly hotel located on Bernina Pass is simple, relaxed, and clean. It is within easy walking distance from Ospizio Bernina train station.
  • Casa Alpina Belvedere (Via Valtellina, 7710 Alp Grüm) – With a spacious terrace offering fantastic views of Val Poschiavo, this hotel has comfortably sized rooms that come with excellent en-suite facilities.
  • Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm (7710 Poschiavo) – This modern hotel, recently renovated and offered at an affordable price, provides a pleasant stay. The incredible views of Palü Glacier and the lake are a highlight. Plus, it’s a great starting point for hiking to Sassal Mason.

Our Experience: Sassal Mason Hike

Image of Palü Glacier from Sassal Mason by
Image of Palü Glacier from Sassal Mason by

The hike to and from Sassal Mason is a great choice for your next outdoor adventure in Val Poschiavo or Bernina. It is well-marked and well-maintained. I wouldn’t categorize it as difficult; it’s more of a moderate hike. If you prefer an easier route, you can opt to hike from Ospizio Bernina instead of Alp Grüm. Though both routes are equally enjoyable.

Although the hiking trail is not dangerous, some sections require a bit of focus, especially as you ascend from Alp Grüm after crossing the meadows.

The trail distance is manageable within three hours to half a day, even less if you are fast. On pleasant summer or autumn days, you’ll likely cross paths with fellow hikers.

Image of Lake Palü and Alp Grüm from Sassal Mason by
Image of Lake Palü and Alp Grüm from Sassal Mason by

What stands out most about Sassal Mason are the breathtaking views of the mountains, Palü Glacier, and Lake Palü. They’re not limited to the viewpoint alone; you’ll enjoy scenic beauty throughout your walk. The iconic red trains of the Rhaetian Railways add to the charm, making the experience truly delightful.

One thing worth noting is that Sassal Mason Viewpoint doesn’t have a restaurant, facilities, or information boards. It’s merely a place to appreciate nature’s beauty. To grab a bite or a drink, you’ll need to make your way down to either Casa Alpina Belvedere or Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm.

Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting this spot, especially on a sunny day. It’s stunning and offers an unforgettable experience to visitors who want to enjoy the breathtaking views of Switzerland’s mountains.

Final Thoughts: Sassal Mason

Image of the Sassal Mason Terrace by

Sassal Mason is a viewpoint in Poschiavo, Switzerland that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is a popular destination for those who come to enjoy the tranquil scenery.

You can reach Sassal Mason on foot. Although there is no restaurant on the viewing platform, there are two restaurants nearby in Alp Grüm. After visiting Sassal Mason, you have other places worth visiting nearby such as Poschavio, Cavaglia Glacier Garden, and Lagh da Saoseo.

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Darla is the owner of Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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