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Val Trupchun Hiking in the Swiss National Park

Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by Darla Uhl

Val Trupchun is a stunning valley in the Swiss National Park, Switzerland’s biggest nature reserve and its sole national park. The place is well-known for its alpine trees, like larches, firs, and pines. It’s also a popular destination for spotting animals like red deer, ibex, chamois, and marmots.

Image of Val Trupchun by

The valley is situated in S-chanf, which is in the Engadine region of Switzerland. Up at the top of the valley, you’ll find the border between Italy and Switzerland.

Val Trupchun in the Swiss National Park is a popular destination for families, hikers, and nature enthusiasts due to its diverse wildlife and stunning forests. More than 5,000 animals and 650 plants have been recorded in this area.

Overview: Val Trupchun

Image of Ova da Trupchun, Val Trupchun by

Val Trupchun is a beautiful valley located in S-chanf, in the Engadine region of Switzerland. It is located in the Swiss National Park, in the easternmost corner of Switzerland. The park itself lies in the municipalities of Zernez, S-chanf, Scuol, and Val Müstair.

As the only national park in the country, it holds the highest protection class and has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1979.1

Val Trupchun is known primarily for the presence of many wild animals, particularly stags or antlered male red deer. The park’s dense forests and open meadows provide plenty of opportunities for wildlife encounters. You can also observe ibex, chamois, and marmots. It is a very popular destination for hiking enthusiasts who want to explore the natural beauty of the region. When we went, we met a lot of hikers, and the parking lot in Prasüras was quite full.

Along Val Trupchun, you will see the rushing Ova da Trupchun River. Near Varüsch, the river is named Ova da Varusch, which eventually drains into the Inn River. Close by, you’ll find the valleys of Val Mela and Val Müschauns. Val Trupchun is surrounded by high mountains such as Piz Trupchun (2,941 meters) and Piz Chaschauna (3,071 meters).

Regulations in Val Trupchun

Image of the Swiss National Park Entrance and Regulations by

As one of the best-protected areas in Switzerland, there are more regulations in Val Trupchun compared to elsewhere.

When visiting the Swiss National Park, you should be aware of all the Nature Conservation Regulations based on the National Park Act.2

Here are some of the most important regulations that you need to know before visiting:

  • The National Park is closed in winter so that the animals can rest.
  • Dogs are not allowed anywhere in the National Park.
  • Biking is not allowed.
  • Skiing and snowshoeing is not allowed.
  • Swimming is not allowed.
  • Making bonfires is not allowed.
  • Leaving the hiking trails is not allowed.
  • Nature must be left alone.

Hiking Trails in Val Trupchun

Image of the Hiking Trails, Val Trupchun by

Hiking in Val Trupchun is enjoyable due to the variety of animals that you can find here, including ibex, chamois, marmots, golden eagles, bearded vultures, and other rare bird species. It is a popular destination for hikers of all levels.

Several hiking trails lead through the valley and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The Fuorcla Trupchun Trail, which links Val Trupchun to the Italian town of Livigno, can be quite challenging. Visitors can also explore the valley on guided tours.

Here are two main hiking trails in Val Trupchun to explore:

Circular Hike in Val TrupchunThe circular hike starts at Prasüras parking in S-chanf, accessible by bus, car, or the Express Park Naziunel train. Follow the forest path to the Swiss National Park, where you can spot wildlife like chamois and eagles. Return via the valley path, passing a marmot habitat, and reach Prasüras parking.
Fuorcla TrupchunThis difficult hike goes to the pass between Piz Trupchun and Piz Saliente in Val Trupchun, near the Italian border. The steep upper part may require surefootedness. Caution required.
Image of the Stag behind the Trees, Val Trupchun by

We hiked a modified version of the circular route, beginning by the Ova da Varusch and Ova da Trupchun rivers and then ascending a short, steep section to the higher forested path. It was in the forest where we spotted a stag in the image above. I believe that you’ll encounter more wildlife as you venture deeper into the valley, away from S-chanf. Sighting the stag was truly a fantastic experience and the highlight of this hike.

Val Trupchun offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of hikers. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, there is a trail for you to explore.

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.

When is the Best Time to Visit Val Trupchun?

Image of Val Trupchun by

The best time to visit Val Trupchun is from September until early October when the trees are golden and the deer rut is ongoing.

However, it is also a great place to visit in the late spring and summer months. During this time, the valley is lush with greenery and the weather is mild, with warm temperatures during the day and cool temperatures at night.

The Swiss National Park is closed in winter starting mid-November to let the animals rest. It reopens in June again.3

Practical Information: Hiking in Val Trupchun

While hiking in Val Trupchun can be enjoyable, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and successful trip. Here are a few safety measures hikers should keep in mind:

  1. Plan your hike based on the route and the weather forecast.
  2. Wear proper hiking gear such as sturdy hiking boots, enough layers of clothing, and extra layers in case of unexpected weather changes.
  3. Carry enough drinks and snacks and a map.
  4. Take note of the Alpine train schedule in case you want to take it.

How to Get to Val Trupchun

Image of the Alpine Train in S-chanf by

Val Trupchun is car-free. The only way to reach it is by walking from Prasüras or Varusch.

The closest SBB Train Station to Val Trupchun is the one in S-chanf. From S-chanf, you can take the small yellow train called Express Parc Naziunel. Alternatively, you can also take the yellow train from Zuoz train station.

For those coming by car, you can park your car in Prasüras Parking at the entrance of Val Trupchun. Coming by bus is also a possibility.

Alpine Train:Express Parc Naziunel
Car Parking:Prasüras Parking
Train:– S-chanf
– Zuoz
Bus:S-chanf, Parc Naziunal

Final Thoughts: Hiking in Val Trupchun

Image of Val Trupchun by

When we visited, the forest had just started turning a beautiful shade of yellow, and I can only imagine how stunning it will become as autumn continues. While we didn’t spot many animals, we did have the privilege of seeing a stag, which was truly amazing.

The hiking trails were quite manageable, with only a short steep section. The rest of the path was safe and enjoyable. Strolling alongside the river is pleasant, but you’ll likely encounter many fellow hikers coming from the opposite direction.

Val Trupchun is a popular spot for people of all ages; the parking lot was really full. All in all, it was a positive experience, and I’m eagerly looking forward to returning and exploring more. I highly recommend hiking in Val Trupchun.


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Darla Uhl 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.