1 Via Alpina
1 Via Alpina

Hiking

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Via Alpina

Stage 2, Sargans–Weisstannen

Route report
44 photos

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Via Alpina

The wide, steep and remote Weisstannental valley awaits with lovely hamlets such as Vermol and the wonderful Champersee lake. You climb high-level trails on the west flank of the valley towards the Weisstannen stage point.
Sargans with its distinctive castle is also known as the “double gate to the Alps”. Established in 1250, the medieval town is located at the intersection of the Rhine and Seez valleys. Traces of Roman, medieval and modern settlements can be found here within a very small area. From the train station, follow the tracks first and then pass the Capuchin monastery of Mels to cross the Seez River on the outskirts of town. This stage through the pristine valley to the destination of Weisstannen always follows above or along this tributary of Lake Walen.

Past the vineyards of the ruins of Niberg castle, the route continues above the Seeztobel ravine up to Vermol. Some of this path is very steep. Look behind you to see Sargans castle, the symbol and landmark of the entire region. The hamlet of Vermol is reached via a road built in the late 18th century according to the Napoleonic model which has the characteristic features of paving, parapet walls and curb stones integrated into the walls. These details are particularly clear on the section between St. Martin and Vermol. The latter is the highest and youngest permanent settlement on Melserberg. And by now you have accomplished most of the elevation gain.

Through forests and across meadows you walk deeper into the Weisstannen valley with its waterfalls. The area here is solitary and quiet. And yet, findings from the Bronze Age provide proof of early settlements. The names of the fields suggest that the first settlers were Rhaetians, followed by the Walser. Near Schwendi, the first village in the valley, you head down to the Seez. A beautiful hiking trail along the river takes you to the authentic alpine village of Weisstannen.
The wide, steep and remote Weisstannental valley awaits with lovely hamlets such as Vermol and the wonderful Champersee lake. You climb high-level trails on the west flank of the valley towards the Weisstannen stage point.
Sargans with its distinctive castle is also known as the “double gate to the Alps”. Established in 1250, the medieval town is located at the intersection of the Rhine and Seez valleys. Traces of Roman, medieval and modern settlements can be found here within a very small area. From the train station, follow the tracks first and then pass the Capuchin monastery of Mels to cross the Seez River on the outskirts of town. This stage through the pristine valley to the destination of Weisstannen always follows above or along this tributary of Lake Walen.

Past the vineyards of the ruins of Niberg castle, the route continues above the Seeztobel ravine up to Vermol. Some of this path is very steep. Look behind you to see Sargans castle, the symbol and landmark of the entire region. The hamlet of Vermol is reached via a road built in the late 18th century according to the Napoleonic model which has the characteristic features of paving, parapet walls and curb stones integrated into the walls. These details are particularly clear on the section between St. Martin and Vermol. The latter is the highest and youngest permanent settlement on Melserberg. And by now you have accomplished most of the elevation gain.

Through forests and across meadows you walk deeper into the Weisstannen valley with its waterfalls. The area here is solitary and quiet. And yet, findings from the Bronze Age provide proof of early settlements. The names of the fields suggest that the first settlers were Rhaetians, followed by the Walser. Near Schwendi, the first village in the valley, you head down to the Seez. A beautiful hiking trail along the river takes you to the authentic alpine village of Weisstannen.
13 km
800 m | 280 m
4 h 00 min
easy (hiking trail) | medium

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Sargans
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

More …

Ascent Weisstannen
201
Ascent Weisstannen
Rail, bus, boat recommendation
Sargans, Bahnhof–Weisstannen, Oberdorf
or
Weisstannen, Oberdorf–Sargans, Bahnhof
Reason: metres in height saved approx. 700m.
SBB Timetable
Via Alpina hiking pass
With the Via Alpina hiking passbook, you collect 38 stamps with memories to cherish. The stamp stations are located at each stage start and finish. More information about the hiking passbook.
Overview map of all stamp stations

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Weisstannen, Oberdorf
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Contact

Gestione della segnaletica
La segnaletica è gestita dall'associazione cantonale per i sentieri escursionistici su incarico del cantone. Aiuta anche tu! Diventa socio nel tuo cantone.
Associati
Schweizer Wanderwege
Monbijoustrasse 61
3000 Bern 23

Services

Accommodation

Catherine’s Loft BnB
Catherine’s Loft BnB
Mels
Hotel Restaurant Gemse
Hotel Restaurant Gemse
Weisstannen
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Bookable offers

1 Via Alpina Eastern Switzerland
1 Via Alpina Eastern Switzerland
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Places

Sargans
Sargans
Weisstannen
Weisstannen
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Places of interest

Gonzen mine
Gonzen mine
Schloss Sargans
Schloss Sargans
Mels–Vermol
Mels–Vermol
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization