Alphütte Fops in the canton of Graubünden has traditional Swiss dishes on the menu in a spectacular setting. Situated at an altitude of 1,886 meters, this cozy mountain restaurant offers incredible views of the mountain peaks across the Lenzerheide valley, such as the Lenzerhorn, Piz Ela and Corn da Tinizong. My family and I stopped in for a hot cocoa and snack here during a hike down from the Piz Scalottas mountain.
Built over 140 years ago, Alphütte Fops serves an agricultural purpose for the farmers keeping an eye on their cows grazing in their summer pasture. Metal milk pails and cow bells appear in rows along the side of the hut. Since its construction, six generations of the Malär family have continued to maintain this property. In 1998, it opened to the public as a mountain restaurant. You can reach this destination in the summer on foot, as part of a scenic hike, or in the winter on skis.
Public awareness of traditional wooden hut has grown in the last decade due to increased media attention. For the 2009-2010 winter season, the Swiss tourism office filmed a television commercial at this location. Also, the Swiss-based travel writer Claus Schweitzer included this alpine hut in his 2016 guidebook about the most beautiful ski huts and mountain restaurants in Switzerland. Most recently, mountain bikers Danny MacAskill and Claudio Caluori were filmed jumping off the railing of this hut on their bikes.
If you would like to eat at Alphütte Fops in the summer or winter, here are some tips to help you plan your visit there. Along the way, you will also find two other mountain restaurants that offer local specialties from Graubünden.
How to get there:
Val Sporz – Tgantieni – Piz Scalottas – Alp Fops – Tgantieni – Val Sporz
Distance: about 4 km
Estimated hiking time: approximately 1 hour (not including the chair lift rides)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate mountain trails. There are many options to increase the length of this hike, by forgoing the chair lifts or by hiking all the way back down to Lenzerheide, for example.
To reach the chair lift at Val Sporz from the center of Lenzerheide, it takes about 5 minutes by car or 20 minutes by foot. You can also get there via the free Sport Bus.
Take the chair lift from Val Sporz up to Tgantieni. Then, board a second chair lift from Tgantieni to Piz Scalottas. (Alternatively, you can walk from Tgantieni to the summit of Piz Scalottas, which will take about 1.5 hours).
Bergrestaurant Piz Scalottas – At Piz Scalottas, you will find the Bergrestaurant Piz Scalottas (2,323 meters). Here you can try regional specialties like salsiz, a dried sausage made from pork and beef with a rectangular shape, or a slice of Bündner nusstorte, a local cake with a caramelized walnut filling surrounded by a flaky, short crust pastry. The local tourism office includes this restaurant in its list of “5 of the Best Mountain View Restaurants in Graubünden.”
June Hütte – From the Bergrestaurant Piz Scalottas, follow the signs down to June Hütte (2,214 meters). In about 10 minutes, you will reach little mountain hut. Built in 1936 and constructed of stone, this restaurant is known for its baked macaroni and cheese and pizokels, a hearty dumpling-like noodle similar to spätzli.
Alphütte Fops – After leaving June Hütte, begin your descent to Alphütte Fops. It will take approximately 35 minutes to get there. Specialties here include Hüttentee (a mug of hot tea with a shot of rum), Bündner gerstensuppe (barley soup) and hot chocolate. They also serve Fopserbrettli, a platter of regional cheese and dried meat specialties from the region with hearty slices of bread. If there is a cool breeze during your lunch, you will find woolen Swiss army blankets on the weathered wooden benches outside.
Continue hiking downhill until you reach the chair lift at Tgantieni. It will take about 15 minutes. Take the chair lift down to Val Sporz. For a longer hike, you can skip the chair lift and choose one of several routes back down to Val Sporz or Lenzerheide.
To confirm the opening dates/hours for the summer and winter seasons at Alphütte Fops, I recommend contacting them directly:
Alphütte Fops, c/o Mr. Gian Malär, Voa Tgantieni 9, 7078 Lenzerheide/Lai, Tel. +41 (0)78 797 08 06, firstname.lastname@example.org