Swiss National Park
The Swiss National Park is located in the Western Rhaetian Alps, in eastern Switzerland. It is within the canton of Graubünden, between Zernez, S-chanf, Scuol, and the Fuorn Pass in the Engadin valley on the border with Italy.
It was founded on 1 August 1914, the national holiday of Switzerland. It was one of the earliest national parks in Europe.
As of 2009, it is the only National Park in Switzerland, though there are plans to create more. It has an area of 174.2 km² and is the largest protected area of the country.
In the park, it's not allowed to: leave marked paths, light a fire or sleep outside the Chamanna Cluozza; the mountain hut located in the park. It is also forbidden to disturb animals or plants, or to take home anything found in the park. Dogs are not allowed, even on a leash. Due to these strict rules, the Swiss National Park is the only park in the Alps which has been categorized by the IUCN as a strict nature reserve, the highest protection level.
A visitor centre is located in Zernez. The road through the park leads over the Fuorn Pass (or Ofenpass) to South Tyrol in Italy.
In addition to the Swiss National Park, Switzerland also has sixteen regional nature parks.
The national park is somewhat secluded and it will take some transport to get there. The easiest way is to travel with your own car. However, there are good options to reach the visitor center with public transport.
When to visit
There are plenty of hiking opportunities throughout the different seasons. You should be prepared to experience some rough weather in the colder seasons. You should be properly prepared if venturing into the park during winter.
Map of Swiss National Park
Image gallery of Swiss National Park
Visitor/Information centres in Swiss National Park
Most national parks have an associated visitor centre to help visitors. They are usually open most of the year but some close in the off-season. You will often be able to find information on all the activities in the national park. A visit to the visitor centre is often recommended before venturing into the park.
Hiking trails in Swiss National Park
Almost all national parks have some opportunities for hiking. You can see some of the more popular trails here. You should get local information for detailed information on all trails of the national park.
Cabins & Shelters
This section lists some of the cabins and shelters for the national park. They can be great places to stay for the experience or as overnight stays on hikes.
Mountains in Swiss National Park
This section will list some of the famous peaks in the national park. Be sure to do proper research before venturing on to the high peaks.
Wildlife in Swiss National Park
These sections shows you some of the characteristic wildlife to the national park.
Bears in Swiss National Park
Few bears in the park
This national park has bears and you need to take the necessary precautions. It is however unlikely that you will come across a bear.