The Vorder and Hinter Rhine converge at the historical location of Reichenau, which is reputed to be the birthplace of the Alpine Rhine and is the gateway to the Rhine Gorge.
10,000 years ago, more than 100,000 million cubic metres of rock tumbled into the depths during the mighty Flims landslide. The Hinter Rhine then lay buried beneath a several-hundred-metre-thick mass of rubble, creating a 25 kilometre-long lake in the process. Gradually, however, the river worked its way deep into the masses of rubble, the lake drained off and the Rhine Gorge was created.
The locals have a name for the Rhine Gorge in Romansh: Ruinaulta, a portmanteau of “Ruina” (scree/quarry) and “aulta” (high). Rare birds, white rock faces and bizarre stone formations combine to form a natural spectacle in the Rhine Gorge.
This natural backdrop can be comfortably explored without a guide – on foot, by bike, on the water and by public transport. The Rhine Gorge (Ruinalta) Ticket can be used for unlimited one-day railway and postal bus travel in and around the Rhine Gorge. Valid on trains between Trin and Ilanz as well as on the postal buses between Tamins – Flims – Falera – Ilanz and Ilanz and Versam Safien.
Stage 2 of the Alpine Passes Trail takes hikers from Tamins to Illanz via the spectacular Rhine Gorge. It’s particularly impressive from the bridge over the Versam Ravine. This route requires a very good level of fitness, so it might be worthwhile jumping into a Rhaetian Railway train or postal bus for part of the way.
On the Rhine Gorge Tour, cyclists circle this natural spectacle on forest roads and single trails. As the route is technically difficult and requires a good level of fitness, it’s worth purchasing the graubündenPASS Bike if you want to vary the tour or travel on to the next tour.