The Swiss National Park was founded in 1914 as one of the first national parks in Europe.
Spanning 172 square kilometers (66 square miles) , the Swiss National Park is Switzerland’s largest nature preserve and its only national park.
The elevation is from 1400 to 3173 meters (4593 to 10410 feet) above sea level.
There is 80 kilometers (50 miles) of hiking paths and nature trails.
The Swiss National Park is located in the very east of Switzerland in the Canton Grisons in an area where the local language is Romansh , therefore its official name is “Parc Naziunal Svizzer“.
The Swiss National Park is 1/3 alpine forest, 1/3 alpine meadows and 1/3 rock.
There are 4 different habitat in the Swiss National Park:
High alpine habitat – Dominated by weather and erosion, this barren habitat demands maximum adaptablity from both plants and animals.Here, in between the flower meadows and the highest mountain tops, stones and rocks dominate the landscape. Jagged rock edges stand out against the sky, whilst enormous debris chutes descend towards the valley.
Alpine meadow habitat – In the alpine meadow zone you can find plants that favour the lower altitudes as well as arcto-alpine species that prefer the upper alpine zone.According to soil types, localised climate conditions, exposure and altitude, highly different mixtures of species, described as plant associations, develop in proximity.According to soil types, localised climate conditions, exposure and altitude, highly different mixtures of species, described as plant associations, develop in proximity.
Alpine mixed forests – An alpine mixed forest is not merely a community of trees – it is a habitat for plants and wildlife, provides protection against avalanches and acts as a ‘green lung’. This mixed alpine forest consists of cembra pine, mountain pine, larch and spruce.
Pass dal Fuorn forests – Intense forest clearance in former times has radically altered the original woodland structure.The forests of the Pass dal Fuorn region are the most extensive mountain pine forests in the Alps. In the course of time they will most probably be regenerated and become mixed sub-alpine forests.
During the summer months a wide variety of walks and a multitude of plants await visitors. July and August are the ideal moment to visit the National Park. All the trails are accessible; days are long and the temperature agreeable. Flowers in bloom, colorful butterflies – a feast for the eyes.
You can’t miss the marmots in the Swiss National Park. They have their dens everywhere on open meadows. While the group feeds on grass, a few marmots keep an eye on the sky. As soon as they spot a golden eagle, they produce a sharp sound and each marmot will disappear in its den instantly. The sharp sound is often referred to as whistling, but the marmot is actually shouting.
The Swiss National Park provides hiking details with locations to see particular animals.
It is part of the worldwide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
It is forbidden to set up tents or to stay in the park overnight including all parking lots, except in the hotels along the Pass dal Fuorn road or in the Chamanna Cluozza (a beautiful hut with rooms of different sizes)
It is also forbidden to disturb the animals or the plants, or to take home anything found in the park.
Dogs are not allowed, not even on a leash.
There is approximately 150,000 annual visitors.
There’s no charge to enter the park and parking is free.