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September 18, 2014 / hhsiegrist

The Swiss National Park

Much has been written in Switzerland about our national park. This year it celebrates its 100th birthday. In 1914 a small part of the canton of Grisons (Graubünden) was selected for protection of the highest possible level. All human intervention was banned and strict rules are enforced. Visitors are not allowed to leave the footpaths. Dogs are banned. Camping and lighting fires are forbidden. Staying overnight, except at the Cluozza hut, is illegal. So what can you do, really? Carefully plan your hikes and enjoy the pristiine nature of this exceptional jewel of conservation.

The views from different altitudes, roughly between 1800 and 2800 metres above sea level, are spectacular

Be sure to bring all sorts of clothing since alpine weather conditions can change dramatically within one or two hours.

Wildlife photography, albeit possible, is not an easy task in the park. While there are lots of different species, getting them within reasonable distance for taking pictures is not easy at all. In addition, as this is not a zoo, some species may simply not be available for observations at a particular moment.

There is one exception, though. Around the rare rest areas you may see Alpine Marmots running in and out of their dens and, if you are quick enough, a good snapshot is possible

Especially now in autumn these lovely critters are very busy harvesting whatever they can get in order to accumulate fat reserves for their hibernation

As to flowers, spring is the season of choice with an immense variety of plants. The Edelweiss stays on and can also be seen towards the end of the year

Much more information can be found on the park’s website:

http://www.nationalpark.ch/

More pictures, as usual, on http://hhsiegrist.zenfolio.com

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