The best things in life are free. Sleeping above 2000 meters in your own, or rented camper, tent or just a sleeping bag might the life-changing experience. Why would you decide for 5 stars if you can have millions of them? 🙂
I live in Zurich and travel by camper in central Switzerland almost every weekend – for hiking, climbing or ski touring. Over the last 2 years I discovered my affection to the mountain passes, not only related to the activities you can do there, but also to camping – yes! They are high, remote and give the best mountain views possible.
Sleeping in camper is forbidden in many places in Switzerland, but not all. General rules are:
- The more touristy it gets, the more you should aim for a formal campsite spot. Otherwise, you may get a ~200 CHF fine.
- In less touristy places, you should look for a spot without explicit sign ‘no campers/camping allowed’
- For campers – the higher you go, the more overnight parking spots you will find
- For tents – sleeping above the forest line is free and allowed
Here is my personal, subjective list of the best park 4 night spots:
My number 1 in Switzerland and beyond. You drive to the Steingletscher Alpine Lodge and take a very narrow asphalt road leading to the glacier itself. During the season, there is a parkometer at the entrance to the road (5CHF only). The road has about 2-3 km long and 3 different parkings on the way to the glacier. One overseeing the lake and 2 more with the glacier view, Umpol being the last one. A view that normally takes you 4+ hours of a hike, here you can reach by car and stay there for a night even. It is unbelievable and it is my top of the tops. Another benefit – all 3 parking have a water stream access.
Number 2 on my list. This Alpine Pass usually gets very busy in the summer. It is the highest Mountain Pass in Switzerland and is a big attraction not only for people who come here for climbing, but also for motorcyclists, unfortunately. Nevertheless, it is quiet in the night and moreover there are 2 places, where you can make a small road detour and find a remote smaller parking.
Driving from Andermatt, Realp, you will have at least 2 opportunities for overnight sleep in a remote place:
- Small road next to Tiefenbach Hotel
- Kostenloser parking before Hotel Belvedere
A paradise for climbers at any level and flat surfaces enthusiasts. A see of hike routes as well with Eldorado routes being well known. A spectacular dyke and a lake.
All of above mentioned makes it a very attractive overnight spot as well, although it gets busy at times, and you will be surrounded by others like you.
Fluellapass is Davos’s pearl of outdoor sports. I know it mainly from ski touring, but I am sure there is much more to this place than snowy adventures. I really like the view, the calmness and the fact that you can reach it in 1.5 hours drive from Zurich. Not too far at all.
One more recommendation – Brüggler camping spot
Much below 2000 meters, and not as wild, but it is a beautiful spot with a view over Brüggler climbing wall and still in the forest line. This spot is paid (only 10CHF per person though) and you will not be alone here. I thought of adding it to the list as it has good toilet and basic bathroom facilities, a couple of fireplaces and generally great vibe 🙂
Stay tuned for more spots being added to the list!