Sankt Moritz is one of the most famous skiing resorts not only in Switzerland, but in all Europe, but St. Moritz summer hiking activities are great up there. Actually, it is the first one in the world. In winter it is extra busy, but in summer you can find this Swiss village to be even pretty slow.
There are not so many people over there during summer, it is not that busy and crowded. As I was there in summer, it is quite hard to understand and feel then how busy it is during high skiing season. It can be almost completely empty 🙂 Even though it is more known as a great skiing destination, it is a great hiking location as well. St Moritz summer hiking can be pretty exciting, as it has a lot of over 3000 meters peaks all around. As well, I must mention that St. Moritz is located in a beautiful Engadine valley. The location is perfect to have some exciting hiking activities, so let’s talk today about hiking to Piz Nair.
Facts about Piz Nair, St Moritz summer hiking
Distance: 8.8 kilometers one way. If you decide not to use cable car from Piz Nair, it is going to be over 17 km in total if you walk back to Sankt Moritz.
Time of the hike: up to 4 hours one way. Both ways: around 7 hours.
Difficulty level: it is not a technical hike, but it is not easy. You are going to gain more than one kilometer in elevation, so you have to be in good physical condition. If you decide to walk back, then this hike is pretty tiring. It would be a very long day in the mountains.
Elevation: you will gain around 1220 meters.
Trail: well maintained, nothing to worry about.
Costs: one way ticket is 37.80 CHF. You can actually do it the easy way and go up there to Piz Nair with train/cable car and hike down. Check all the latest prices here: Sankt Moritz cable car prices.
Best time to do it: As Piz Nair is sitting at 3057 meters, snow is almost all year long up there. The trail is very long snowed in. So best time to hike there is Mid July – early October. Always be sure to check the latest weather conditions.
How to get to Sankt Moritz
Sankt Moritz is a very popular destination in Switzerland and Swiss Alps region, so it is easy to reach.
You can go there by car or by train.
If you choose to go by train, it would take you around 3 hours from Zürich. So better leave Zürich early as it is better to start longer hikes earlier. Please check all the time schedules and latest prices right here: Swiss trains.
If you come by car, it is even easier, just drive to St. Moritz direction through beautiful Swiss Alps. From Zürich it is just over 200 kilometers, but it will take you around 3 hours as quite a lot of road will be in narrower Swiss Alps roads and some serpentines. You must consider that St. Moritz itself is quite high: at 1822 meters. Just 300 meters lower than the highest Swiss village: Juf. And St. Moritz is a beautiful, big, very well developed Swiss village.
There’s quite a lot of parking places in St. Moritz, but I would suggest Parkhaus Serletta which is at address: Via Grevas 53, 7500 St. Moritz. It has a central location and right next to Moritzersee (Moritz lake).
Always when I come to St. Moritz, even though it’s not a small isolated settlement, it has this very calm and stranded locations feeling. I like it 🙂 I guess in winter it’s another story, but in summer I have never met too many people up there. As it is in a pretty high place, it was never too warm or hot for me in St. Moritz, which is perfect for a hike.
Hike to Piz Nair
Let us first have a look at the map to get a feeling of this hike.
As you see in the map and elevation scale, the hike is very gradual, it goes up in a pretty same way all hike long. Right from the start you will start to go up (St. Moritz is located on a slope, all village streets are going up) and after couple of kilometers or even faster (depending where you start) you will leave St. Moritz and will get into more nature. If you are lucky, may get to see marmonts, cows, horses, goats 🙂 It is always a pleasure to meet the local fauna, especially the wild one.
I would highly suggest to do at least one stop during this hike to Piz Nair as it is not a short hike, quite tiring and steep, so after an hour or two, just sit, relax, eat your snacks and enjoy the views. Mountains are magnificent up there. The hike will be rocky, so be careful not to slip anywhere.
Once you are close to the top of Piz Nair, you will cross the whole Piz Nair station and settlement. There’s a restaurant, so of course, the perfect place to have your lunch.
The peak is a bit higher than the station, but not that much to reach it. Piz Nair is sitting at 3057 meters! So it is higher than 3000 meters, always a great feeling to hike that high. It is not mountaineering, not climbing rocks, but still a great pleasure to conquer something higher than 3 kilometers high.
Once you are on the top, the views to the valley are simply majestic. As well, if you have a bit more time, I highly suggest hiking to the lake Lej Suvretta. It is a very beautiful small Swiss Alps lake. OR you can have a peek to Lej da la Pêsch (if it is not frozen). There’s a nice restaurant just next to it.
On Piz Nair, do not forget to take pictures next to famous mountain goat statue 🙂 The goat looks down the valley and actually you may be lucky to see the live goat in the mountains. I was lucky maybe 3-4 times in all my hikes to meet the wild goat 🙂 But there’s maybe 99.9 percent chance that it will run away from you as fast as it sees you, or for sure won’t let you to walk to her/him.
If after your lunch on the top you still have power, you can choose to hike down, it will be faster than the hike up, but be aware that joints don’t really like long descents 🙂 So you must really consider your physical condition.
If you feel like you are down for the day, take a cable car then funicular right down to St. Moritz. You are going to love that ride as the views are breathtaking.
What to consider before hiking to Piz Nair
The hike to Piz Nair is not an easy one. It’s not out of this world, it’s not for mega super duper fit women/guys, but you must act accordingly.
You should consider these things:
- Take good hiking shoes. As the hike is long, I would take very robust hiking shoes with you, so your feet won’t get tired that fast. As well, always the best to have goretex shoes just in case.
- At least 3 liters of water for each. The hike is long and if even the weather conditions are not hot, better to drink as much as you can. You don’t want to get extremely hard headaches just because you didn’t drink enough water. Believe me, I am learning from my own mistakes.
- Take some snacks. The hike up is 4 hours and even if you had your meal right before the hike, you may want to energize yourself one more time before reaching the peak.
- Take extra clothes. I have never been in St. Moritz in hot conditions as it is so high (I guess it happens sometimes), but over 2500 meters and especially at 3000 meters, weather can get pretty chilly. There’s a big chance there will be some snow as well. Take a good jacket with you – best, the goretex one, so no unexpected rain will ruin your St. Moritz experience.
- Keep the pace slow, if you have a chance to measure it with your phone or smart watch, keep it under 3km/h, so you won’t get tired after an hour or two.
Most important, enjoy the views and pristine Swiss nature! 🙂
St. Moritz is full of hiking trails, it is surrounded by huge mountain peaks, so it is a perfect location for passionate hiker, but I myself, always love to hike to some places where you can have a nice lunch, dinner or cup of coffee. Always fun after a long hike to reach a place of civilization. And Piz Nair is that beautiful location put so high on the mountains that it is even hard to appreciate it.
Having a cup of cappuccino at 3000 meters elevation is something special and we must all value it. Nature and the views from Piz Nair are majestic. I even would like to find a more strong word than majestic for the views 🙂 Simply exceptional.
If you have time and strength, hike to Piz Nair and back, if you are limited in time and still would like to enjoy it: go there with a cable car and hike down or simply hike around Piz Nair, go to the lakes I mentioned, these are beautiful. Have a short hike to Lej da la Pêsch and back 🙂
If you have any questions about St Moritz summer hiking, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
As well, if you are spending more time in the Swiss Alps I would like to suggest you to visit the highest Swiss village called Juf! All information about it is here: Highest Swiss Village.
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