The ViaStockalper

The Stockalperweg (also ViaStockalper) is a mule track built more than 300 years ago by Kaspar Stockalper. Since 1991, it has been given a new lease of life as a cultural hike.

As one of the most important Alpine crossings, the Stockalper Trail can be hiked for the most part on original paths in several stages. A special experience is the hike accompanied by a local hiking guide.

Stage 1: Brig – Simplonpass

Past the Stockalper Castle, the trail leads up the old castle shank to the “Bach” and on to the Riedbachstrasse. On the so-called “Römerweg” you reach the hamlet of “Brei” through open meadowland via Lingwurm. Through the “Gfalte Wald” to “Chalchofe” leads a slope path carved into the rock under Stockalper and restored in 1992 in the old alignment with an impressive view of the Saltina Gorge and the Rhone Valley. Along the old Napoleon road, a connecting section brings you to the ViaStockalper situated below the road. After the descent into the “Grund”, the trail follows the Tafernabach stream. On this path, you climb through the wildly romantic valley to the former inn in the “Taferna”. In artfully designed serpentines, the mule track overcomes the steep step between the Taferna valley and the pass summit.

Light variant: Take the PostBus to Schallberg, where you join the Stockalperweg.

Places of interest on this stage:

Stage 2: Simplonpass – Simplon Dorf

At the top of the pass, a new hiking trail leads west of the national road over flat pastureland to the rejoin the old mule track. Below the “Alter Spittel”, along the asphalt road for a bit, the hiking trail continues to the “Niederalp” and on to the Engiloch inn. Up to the hamlet of “Maschihüs”, the mule track leads through a charming wooded pasture landscape with a partly park-like character. The most striking building on this medieval section of the trail is the Susten building at “Engi”, which dates from before Stockalper. From the “Maschihüs”, the path leads parallel to the national road through the hamlet of Egga and up into the forest, where the original course of the mule track can only be guessed at under the mighty debris of the 1901 glacier slide. Below the Sengg group of houses, the mule track descends to Simplon village in a line that is optimally adapted to the terrain.

Places of interest on this stage:

Stage 3.1: Simplon Dorf – Gondo

Variant Gondoschlucht

From the paved village square, the mule track leads past the “Alter Gasthof” through the “Stutzji” to the southern village exit and on the Napoleon road to a field road. This crosses under the national road and from there descends over the meadowland of the “Chluisä” towards Gabi. From Gabi, a direct path leads through the impressive Gondo Gorge to Gondo. In the Gondo Gorge, individual parts of the mule track laid out by Kaspar Stockalper have been preserved with the original paved path surface. After the construction of the Napoleonic road, however, most of the Stockalper path was destroyed. For this reason, during its renovation in 2001/02, the hiking trail had to be rebuilt in the gorge, which is highly susceptible to rockfall, with metal passerelles and footbridges and on the galleries of the national road. At the northern entrance to the Gondo Gorge, the trail passes a ruin in the “Äbi”, a building designed by Kaspar Stockalper as a goods depot. From here, the trail passes the “Alte Kaserne” (old barracks), a Napoleonic military building connected to the Stockalper trail by a passerelle. At the Gondo infantry fortress, the trail runs underground through a tunnel-like passage. Below the Gondo fortress, a well-preserved, carefully paved section of path has been preserved on the right side of the valley. Then the path crosses the Doveria on a new metal footbridge. On the left side of the valley, the path descends to Gondo.

Places of interest on this stage:

Stage 3.2: Simplon Dorf – Gondo

Furggu variant

This variant of the ViaStockalper leads you from Simplon village to Gondo, but not through the notorious Gondo Gorge, but via “Furggu” into the Zwischbergental. On the right side of the Zwischbergental, the trail leads out of the valley past the ruins of the gold mines. Through a beech forest you reach the former mule track down to Gondo.

Combined with cultural highlights and impressive Alpine flora in an imposing mountain setting, the Stockalperweg is a real experience.

Places of interest on this stage:

  • Feerberg Waystick
  • Ruins of the gold mines
  • Stockalperturm, Gondo

Stage 4: Gondo – Monscera – Bognanco

From Zwischbergen to the Monscerapass, a signposted hiking trail leads up many natural steps. You can take the call bus from Gondo to Zwischbergen, Bord during the summer months.

After the Monscerapass, the trail heads south to the Rifugio Gattascosa, on to Lago Ragozza and via San Bernardo to the scattered village of Bognanco.

Places of interest on this stage:

  • Rifugio Gattascosa
  • Lago Ragozza

Stage 5: Bognanco – Domodossola

Descent from the scattered village of Bognanco, which today is only a shadow of the once flourishing thermal spa. On the left slope of the valley, a fantastically beautiful mule trail leads us through poetically sleepy hamlets to the pleasant town of Domodossola.

Places of interest on this stage:

  • Torchio di Monteossolano
  • Sacro Monte Calvario, Domodossola