Wonderful hike in the Val da Camp to tot he Lagh da Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola. A Swiss hike accompanied by wild streams, romantic lakes and swimming opportunities.
Text and pictures Marc Gottwald
Lagh da Saoseo Hike in a nutshell
- – In the german-speaking Switzerland, the Val da Camp with its Lagh da Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola is still rather unknown, but many families from Graubünden and Italy come to the lakes during the weekends. As it can get very noisy, I recommend doing the hike during the week if possible.
- – Lagh da Val Viola is very quiet even at weekends, as families go swimming at the closer Lagh da Saoseo
- – On the hike up to Lagh da Saoseo, we did not encounter a single hiker in the morning starting at 9 a.m.
- – You can also take the post bus to the bus stop Rifugio Saoseo or Camp (12 francs each way) or from there back to Sfazù. Advance reservation necessary under +41 81 844 10 42
Starting point: Sfazù bus stop (also parking for cars).
Destination: Camp or Sfazù
Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: conditionally and technically easy
Migration period: June-October
True magic of nature when you look at the cover picture.
And that’s exactly how it was during the whole hike! Welcome to the beautiful valley called “Val da Camp”, which lies between Val Poschiavo and the Bernina Pass. Here we visit two stunning lakes, the Lagh da Saoseo (or: Lago Saoseo) and the Lagh da Val Viola. Let’s start the excursion to one of the most beautiful places in Graubünden!
A Swiss hike into a nature paradise
The starting point of the hike is the bus stop Sfazù (1622m). You can reach this place from Val Poschiavo (e.g. in about 20 minutes from Poschiavo) or via the Bernina Pass.
You hike the first five minutes up the road to a hiking trail sign. Now there are two directions to get to Camp. Nearby are the two lakes Lago Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola.
My recommendation is to take the path that does not follow the road (approx. 1.5 h). It is also easy for families (without prams). And the scenery is unique.
On this Swiss hike, you continue through the wonderfully mixed larch and pine forest until the vegetation slowly thins out.
After about 30 minutes, there is a fountain where you can refresh yourself if necessary. This is also the last opportunity to refill your water bottles, after there are only two restaurants (Rifugio Saoseo or Camp).
By the way: This is a traditional cold store that is still in operation. It’s fascinating how old techniques still are used.
In the Val da Camp you will repeatedly hike past enchanting mountain streams. These are also a great photo motif.
The first lake in Val da Camp
After about an hour you reach the first lake. No, this is not yet Lago Saoseo, as we first thought. But it’s still a beautiful Swiss mountain lake. That’s the advantage of hiking. You discover so many great places and landscapes that you would never see by car. That’s why it’s really worth it to do the hike through the Val da Camp instead of taking the post bus.
It is simply wonderful, this idyllic wild landscape paired with a unique tranquillity. Not a soul in sight. The crystal-clear water with the impressive mixed forest makes this hike an unforgettable experience. The dreamlike view of the Palü glacier when you look back is also delightful.
Lagh da Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola
And it gets even better. After about 1.5h you reach Lagh da Saoseo (2028m). The shimmering green-blue water with the boulders and the Swiss stone pine forests as well as the Bernina massif in the background are simply fantastic, even magical.
Since it’s the weekend, there are a lot of families on the lake, where the idyllic peace and quiet is over by 11 am. And this despite the nature reserve. That’s why I recommend arriving during the week if possible. On the weekend, I would come as early as possible.
After a snack at Lagh da Saoseo, the hike continues to Lagh da Val Viola. This is only about 30 minutes away.
Lagh da Scispadus – often dry in summer
On the way, you will pass a dry lake, the Lagh da Scispadus (2071m). I don’t know if it is sporadically or permanently dried up. However, on the mountain flank above the Lagh da Val Viola there are still the last remnants of a glacier that will soon have disappeared completely.
It’s one of the possibilities why there is not so much water anymore.
Arriving at Lagh da Val Viola (2159m), you can enjoy, or let’s put it this way, take a dip in the very cold lake. This place is also perfect for a picnic. There are as well fewer people here than at the Lago Saoseo.
Now there is the variant of a 1.5h round trip back to the restaurant or a direct variant. This time we take the direct shorter route to the bus stop and SAC hut “Camp”. At the bus stop we take the post bus to Sfazù (12 Fr. per person). A reservation (+41 81 844 10 42) is necessary because the buses are relatively small. In our case, many people could not be transported.
Conclusion Lagh da Saoseo hike
The hike in Val da Camp to Lago Saoseo and Lagh da Val Viola is unique. For me, one of the most enchanting Swiss hikes in the Alps. Since the region with the Val Poschiavo and the Bernina Pass has a lot else to offer, I recommend spending a few days.