The Valstertal valley, located in Grison county, a fissured and wild valley, runs almost in North South direction parallel to the Domleschg valley and Safien valley. Well-known and by the ”Valserwasser”, a mineral water of first quality. The Valsertal however is located far off from normal tourism routes and only Insiders may find the way up to here.
From a countryside perspective the Valsertal valley has much to offer. We recommend to visit the valley in the months of October and September. Then you should not visit the valley later than 9:00 in the morning through the village Ilanz. At this time of day the sun is very low and leaves the many waterfalls, which fall down on the left and on the right side of the road in an unreal magic light.
Entrance to the Valsertal valley is Ilanz (GPS N46°46 `29” E009°12 `16”). Up to the village Vals the road runs relatively well developed with handy road surface in harmonious curves, following the river and easily rising. After 20km / 12.5mls the village Vals is reached and we climbed up starting at 699m/2,224ft in Ilanz to 1.261m/4,012ft at the entrance of Vals. The road up to here leads through original Swiss villages, passing farmsteads and chapels and disappears from time to time in an avalanche shelter or in the forest.
Who then really wants to do himself a wealthy favor, should take a break in Vals and visit the Valser hot fountain mineral bath. This will only take additional 2hrs and leave a deep impression of the Valser grottos. After that, you can continued fully relaxed the rest of the trip up to the storage lake with its huge dam. This recommendation is not just for the bon vivant of the travelers that plan a whole day for the Valsertal valley.
The road leaves the village southward and becomes now very narrow. Over several zigzags uphill it reaches a single-track raw stone tunnel with traffic light regulation. Passing the tunnel and the forest uphill, with some zigzags the road continues until you end up at the bottom of the mighty Zerveila dam that by a sudden appears at the end of the forest.
When you arrive at the top of the dam (GPS N46°34 `37” E009°07 `12”) we recommend to drive to the center of the dam and to shoot a picture to the south over the lake with the fissured summits in the background. One curve underneath the dam you will find the is the Zerveila guesthouse. A very snugly mountain hostel with excellent prices and very good local kitchen. We reach this place at 1.868m/6,129ft just 6.3km/4mls after the village Vals.