The water castle of Europe presents itself wild and full of contrasts. Dreamy at Lake Toma, timeless at the eternal ice of the Rhône Glacier and then again as a playful spring at the source of the Reuss. The hike to the sources of Europe's most important rivers starts high up on the Obealp Pass. Discover the sources of the Reuss, Ticino, Rhine and Rhône rivers as well as the Gotthard massif, the Leventina and the Goms in Valais.
The first stage leads from the Oberalp Pass to the source of the Rhine at Lake Toma and ends at the Vermigel Hut. The highest point of the hike is at the Maighelspass (2421 m), where the idyllic Portgerensee lake invites you to linger.
The second stage starts at the Vermigel Hut and ends on the Gotthard Pass. It leads to the highest point of the Four Springs Trail, Piz Giübin (2776 m), a great vantage point.
The third stage starts on the Gotthard Pass. The hike leads along Lago Lucendro. At the foot of the Lucendro Pass you discover the source of the Reuss and cross the pass. After a long, panoramic high-altitude hike above the Bedretto Valley, you reach the Piansecco hut.
The fourth stage leads from the Piansecco Hut to the headwaters of the Ticino below the Nufenen Pass. The trail continues over the Nufenen Pass and through the Ägenetal valley to Ulrichen/Obergesteln. The highest point of this hike is the Nufenen Pass.
The last stage leads from Obergesteln via Oberwald, Gletsch and Muttbach up to the Furka Pass and from there to a viewpoint over the Rhone glacier. The source of the Rhone can be viewed from a distance.
More information and detailed information on the individual stages can be found here.
In principle, we recommend the many huts and inns along the hiking trails. However, if you are travelling with a tent, you are allowed to pitch it for one night according to the law. The most important principles must be observed: Always take rubbish with you, do not enter private property without permission and be considerate of nature and animals.
We recommend travelling to Andermatt by public transport and then continuing to the starting point on the Oberalp Pass with the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. There is also a public transport connection at the end point on the Furka Pass. The post bus leaves from the Furka Belvédère station. Alternatively, there is a call bus service called «mybuxi».
Depending on the mobile phone network, there are areas where you have no mobile phone reception, for example in the Vermigel, Sella and Piz Giübin area.
There is a luggage transport service, which can be booked through travel provider Eurotrek. This package always includes the overnight stays. Luggage transport to the mountain huts is not possible. Information is available at Eurotrek.
The Four Springs Trail goes up to 2,780 metres above sea level. We therefore recommend the hike from the beginning of July until around mid-October. However, due to the weather and snowfall, there can always be deviations - current information on the conditions can be found on vier-quellen-weg.ch. The trail is not accessible in winter.