Mountainbiking in Switzerland

Sankta Maria Val Müstair

We spent a couple of days in Sankta Maria Val Müstair in the south eastern corner of Switzerland. Val Müstair is almost third worldish. There is a little agriculture, pastures, and tourism.  The towns are ancient and small. Even though one follows the main road one has to stop at point because the streets are so narrow that only one car can pass. Val Müstair bets heavily on hiking and mountain biking. The tourist office in Müstair hands out good biking route descriptions.

One of the main attractions is Val Mora, a valley that drains into the Lago di Livigno. Bikers frequently cross the border from either side. Some years earlier when we were biking in Livigno we had meant to cross into Val Mora but heavy weather made us turn back before we reached Alpo Gallo.

We went twice into Val Mora. First we went straight up on a dirt road from Sankta Maria, to the watershed that is known as Dösso Radond. There was not any singletrack but it was still a splendid outing. The next day we crossed the Ofenpaß (2149), on the main road, to Buffalora (1973). We continued climbing first on dirt road to Jufplaun, to a customs house, then on singletrack to the highest point, which is some 2332 m. Beyond we had some splendid singletrack down to Val da las Funtaunas. As one approaches Alp Mora one hits dirt road again, which one follows over the Dösso Radond back to Sankta Maria. The last bit back to the camping is yet another little bit of singletrack.

Camping in Sankta Maria VM

Dösso Radond, Val Mora


Getting ready to ride

Ofenpaß 2149

Climbing on dirt road

Steep section


High altitude singletrack

Val da las Funtaunas

Pure fun

Singletrack above Sankta Maria


Andermatt has lovely high alpine singletrack. Arriving we visited the local bike shop, which supplied us with an excellent map , Swiss Singletrail Map — Uri, and gave us some good advice about the local trails. The next morning we set off for the Maighels Pass, climbing first on road to the crest of Oberalp Pass. On the other side we picked a traversing trail to avoid losing altitude. After two kilometres we joined a dirt road that we followed up to the Maighels Hut, that is operated by the Swiss Alpine club. Then, we followed a fine singletrack through the Maighels Valley, slowly gaining altitude. Some five kilometres into the valley the trail left the valley floor and climbed strenuously to the Maighel Pass. Then, it was all down hill, first on beautiful winding singletrack, later on heavily armoured trail, until we reached a small dirt road that rapidly brought us back to Andermatt.  The Maighels trail was no doubt one of the finest rides we did that summer.

Andermatt Camping

Andermatt Camping


Oberalp Pass, 2044 m

A fine traverse

Oberalp Pass is in the background

Techincal bit

Approaching the Maighels hut

Singletrack in the Maighels Valley

Slowly gaining altitude

Close to the crest of Maighels Pass

A small pond almost on the  crest

The watershed, 2421 m

Rolling down on a splendid trail

Heavily armoured downhill section


Brigg was our last stop for mountain biking. We stayed at the camping by the ancient Briggerbad, a famous spa with hot springs. Brigg is one of the best places in Switzerland for biking. There are lots of fine trails, and it rarely gets crowded, though most rides are strenuous as the altitude differences tends to be immense. Most trails are well described in a booklet calle Biking im Oberwallis.

We bet on doing an old favourite from a previous visit, the Gebidempass, a trail that can also be done from Zermatt. We started early and biked on paved roads up to Stalden where we caught the téléphérique up to Gspon, at 1899 metres altitude, saving us 804 metres of climbing. Then, we climbed on a fine trail up to Gebidempass slowly gaining altitude all the while having staggering views of the Rhone Alps. Close to  the Gebidempass it is all pastures. Then one follows an ancient trail, that is said to have been a Roman road in a distant past. Nowadays, it is mostly singletrack, parts of it goes on exposed ledges, and there are some really fine switchbacks. As one gets closer to Brigg it turnes first into fast downhill dirt road later into a screaming fast narrow paved road.

We had a splendid outing.

Briggerbad Camping

Briggerbad camping

The lift

Cheking out the map

Enjoying double espressos in Gspon

Strenuous climbing

Weisshorn in the background

On high pastures

Bischhorn in the background

Water trough

Ruminating cows

Gebidempass, 2203 m

Finally downwards

Ancient Roman road


Elisabeth coming out of a switchback


Going under a brook

Riding on a ledge

Briggerbad from above

Packing up to leave Brigg