Felix Jaray’s hiking tip: Wasserweg “Ils Lejins” in the Engadin valley

Wanderlust: Foresight

The last hiking tip from our Wanderlust series is not just an opportunity for some exercise, but also for a unique feast for the eyes. On this circular hike in the Engadin valley, you will walk past 6 Lejins – the Romansch word for small lakes – Lejin Cristal, Lejin Magnetit, Lejin Malachit, Lejin Rhodonit, Lejin S-chaglia and Lejin Epidot. These crystal-clear, high alpine mountain lakes take their names from the minerals and types of rock that they contain.

The Alpine meadows, full of colourful flowers, also provide an enchanting view on this hiking route. While older generations frequently knew the names of all these flowers, knowledge of flora is limited to a minority today. So it’s fortunate that technology can help us to be better informed. If you would like to quickly become more familiar with world of wild plants, at the end of this article you will find our recommendations for different apps that you can use for this purpose when you’re in the country.

Wasserweg “Ils Lejins” Sils/Furtschellas

The starting point for this circular hike is at Bergstation Furtschellas (2313 m above sea level). The Wasserweg first takes you in the direction of Alp Munt. After the path has branched to the left and you have a steep but fortunately short climb behind you, you will then see the first of the six mountain lakes, Lejin Cristal. Then, little by little, the five other Lejins will come into view. They are Lejin Magnetit, Lejin Malachit, Lejin Rhodonit, Lejin S-chaglia and finally, Lejin Epidot. If you would like to know more about the stones and minerals in the lakes, you will find information here – article in German.

While you are discovering these high Alpine lakes along your route, you can also enjoy an uninterrupted view of the peaks and craggy slopes in the Corvatsch massif. If you want to linger for a while in a particular spot, there are numerous rest areas where you can take a break and have something to eat. If you’re not the picnicking type, you can fortify yourself at Restaurant La Chüdera, which has good food and breathtaking views from the terrace.

With no breaks, the circular hike takes 2.5 hours and covers a total of 6 km. The ascent and descent are 420 m each and technically the trail is classified as moderately difficult. The best time of year for hiking along this route is between June and October.
It is also particularly attractive for families. The fun-and-games booklet “Plitsch & Platsch” is available free of charge at Talstation Corvatsch or Talstation Furtschellas. The booklet includes a funny story about Furbaz the kobold and Mara the mountain fairy, who accompany small lake-explorers on the circular hike. The hike will fly by and the children will learn interesting and useful things about the six Lejins on the Wasserweg.

Felix’s tips for nature enthusiasts:

As well as the beautiful mountains and the clear lakes, there are colourful flower meadows to admire on this hike. “What’s that flower?” is something you will often wonder. Even the rarest of plants or animals can be identified with the technical support of free apps. One app providing identification services is called Flora Incognita. It has a rating of 4.8 (out of 5) and Felix is very happy with it too. You can download the app free of charge onto your mobile phone (both iOS and Android). The app PlantNet provides an alternative.

If you are prepared to pay a little money to get to know the natural world around you a bit better, there are numerous other apps. For 5 francs, you can, for example, download the app PeakFinder AR to discover more than 650,000 mountains around the world. All you have to do is point your phone at the mountains and then a 360° panorama with all the mountains and their names will appear from every location. A rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 tells you what you need to know about this app’s performance.

Meanwhile, there is a large selection of apps for nature lovers. All you need is a working smartphone and often an internet connection, although several apps also work offline. Here is a small selection of nature apps:

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