In my opinion (and many of the world’s top athletes), the running trails in St Moritz are the very best in the world! Not only are they near endless in every direction, they are traffic free, can be flat, undulating, mountainous or a mixture of all three! Furthermore you can choose between perfectly groomed, wide, hard packed gravel surfaces, smooth forest trails, tarmac, or, again a mix of all 3! To top it all they wind their way through perhaps some of the most stunning Alpine scenery on offer anywhere in the world.

This may well be a big claim, but I’d urge all runners to add St Moritz to their bucket list of places to try. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

When you get there, here’s a guide to some of my favourite places to run

Quick route finder

Route Terrain Surface Distance
Drei Vals Undulating Gravel & forest 13 – 24km
The great lakes Flat Gravel 0 – 34km
Val Roseg Undulating Gravel & rocky 24 – 32km
Mighty Morteratsch Uphill Gravel 11 – 22km
Taxiing for take off Tempo loop – flat Asphalt 5km
Celerina Arena Road reps – flat Asphalt 1.2km

Drei Vals

The three valleys loop has got to be my favourite loop in the whole of the St Moritz area. It really does show off all the engadin trails have to offer from gorgeous mirrored lakes, to gently undulating forests, glacier views and flowing riverside trails.

This loop starts in St Moritz Bad, heads over past Lake Staz, part of the way up the Val Roseg before dropping down towards Samedan, following the rivers to circumnavigate the airstrip before heading back to Celerina and up the dreaded Camel Humps back to St Moritz.

Description Directional note Distance change
Omit Val Roseg loop Turn left down the valley just before Pontresina train station -3km
Omit Samedan loop Turn left past San Gian church towards Celerina when you reach the bottom of the Pontresina valley -7.5km
Omit Samedan loop (but add section along the old river) Continue straight at the bottom of the Pontresina valley along the old river (bordering the west side of the golf course) before turning left over the river just after you have past San Gian church to your left -5km

  • Undulating
  • Gravel
  • 13-24km

The great lakes

Do you like taking time to reflect whilst you run? Well this is definitely a route for you. It winds past the lakes of Chamfer, Surlej, Silvaplana & Sils. The water is so perfectly clear that you get a mirrored image of the epic mountain scenery as you past. For best results head there first thing in the morning whilst the air is still.

The route is also mostly flat or hard packed, wide gravel trails so an excellent choice for faster efforts or when you want to give your legs a rest from the hills. It’s out and back so choose whatever distance you feel. PS – I normally turn around the end of Lake Silvaplana, making 19km in total, although Lake Sils also has a trail around it’s southern edge which makes the route up to 34km in distance for any ultra runners out there!

  • Flat
  • Gravel
  • 0-34km

Val Roseg

Being a professional runner often means you have a set goal for every workout so I always set out with a plan. I always remember my first time running up Val Roseg as I had to pause my plan and take a break whilst I gazed in wonderment at the epic scenery that surrounded me as I wound my way up this glacial valley.

It must be the most scenic valley I’ve ever had the pleasure to run along. From Pontresina it rises steadily, with some small steeper sections for about 7km until, boom, the valley open out with a wide plain of glacial meltwater. From here cross back over the main river and head up past the restaurant. The path now gets a little rocky and narrow, however if you persist for a further 2-3km the main glacier comes in to view, a sight to behold.

On your return down the valley you can either head down the main gravel road, or, alternatively stay on the right hand side of the river and take the forested trails back to Pontresina. Or if you are very tired, wait for one of the many horse & cart rides that frequent this route!

Description Directional note Distance
Turn around at the restaurant The restaurant is at the top of the val Roseg climb, just as the valley opens out 24km
Finish at Pontresina Catch the train or bus back from here! 26km

  • Undulating
  • Gravel & rocky
  • 24-32km

Mighty Morterasch

Want a tough workout whilst at altitude? Why not make the most of the local environment and go for a 11km uphill tempo effort. Starting down near the San Gian church, this route is a perfect near constant uphill gradient to allow you to push hard without anything too steep that would bring you to a standstill.

A slight meander into the Val Roseg half way up ensures you miss the real steep gradients and instead gradually contour up around the mountain. From there you cross the railway line around 3 times as you head up towards Morterasch. If a train is approaching, I’d advise taking a short break (obviously pause your Garmin first) rather than overestimating how quick you can sprint, the overall time will definitely be faster if you make the finish line.

If you want an even tougher end to the workout, head north east from the train station towards the Morterasch glacier. The gradient here gets significantly steeper but still perfectly runnable. Instead of mile markers, you see signs indicating the year the snout of the glacier reached that point. Get past 1970 and the serious climbing is definitely in the past.

Once you’ve finished, if you don’t fancy running all the way back, just hop on the train at Morterasch which is less than 20 minutes back to St Moritz. There’s also a restaurant for water and snacks whilst you wait.

Description Directional note Distance
No warm up or cool down Get the bus/train to Punt Muragl or Celerina Staz to start without warm up 11km
Finish at Morterasch train station Stop at the train station instead of taking on the steep glacial valley section 17km

  • Uphill!
  • Gravel
  • 11-22km

Taxiing for takeoff

A flat 5km asphalt loop around the Samedan airfield. At the far end there is a very slight rise through the camp site section, however for a flat “tempo” location at altitude this is among the very best in the world. Just watch out for helicopters and jets taking off within 50m of you – always nice to get the adrenaline flowing.

If you don’t have the luxury of drinks support, there are two well placed yellow benches towards the north west corner of the loop where you can place your bottles ready to pick up on subsequent loops.

It’s around 6.5km from St Mortiz Bad but well connected by bus and train (using Samedan station) if it’s too far for a warm up / cool down.

Top tip – save yourself some extra cash / commuting time and use Celerina stations that are under 3km away from the airstrip and only one public transport “zone” from St Moritz Bad.

  • Tempo loop – Flat
  • Asphalt
  • 5km

Celerina Arena

This is a fantastic little 1200m road loop that forms a perfect rectangle. It’s perfectly flat and with a asphalt surface it’s ideal for road reps. Furthermore it’s 4km from St Moritz Bad, so just the right distance for a warm up.

Don’t fancy the dreaded Camel Humps trail to get back? Well Celerina bus & train stations are only a few hundred meters away, just don’t forget your spare change.

Just to make this location even better for intervals, there is a water fountain and toilets located on the loop to ease those pre-workout nerves 🙂

  • Road intervals – Flat
  • Asphalt
  • 1.2km