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Connbächli boat adventure trail featuring Lake Cauma and Rhine Gorge, also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon - a family guide

Updated: Jul 5

Hike along the Connbächli stream with a boat on a string, stopping at lake Cauma (Caumasee) and enjoying views over the Rhine Gorge. Two options: 3.2 km one-way hike with a horse carriage return or a 6 km circular hike. Not suitable for strollers.

Flims Wald | Laax - Flims - Falera region (Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland).

The "it" factor


Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge walk along the stream

What makes it special:



What needs to be considered:


  • No barbecue spot

  • Access to Caumasee may require a fee and the lake can get quite crowded during holidays

  • Roots along the path can be challenging – recommended for kids who are comfortable with hiking

Don't feel like reading? Watch a video instead!



The fun factor


CONNBÄCHLI is a free hike along the Connbächli stream, passing lake Cauma (access fee may be required), and concluding at the stunning Rhine Gorge, which is also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon (free access). The highlight for kids is pulling a boat on a string all the way along the stream. The additional highlight for parents are the beautiful views.


There are the following options:


  • Option 1: Hike & Horses - 3.2 km one-way slightly downhill hike plus a horse carriage ride back

  • Option 2: Hike all the way - c. 6 km round trip (return slightly uphill)

  • Bonus Option: Rhine Gorge (Swiss Grand Canyon) Best Views (Il Spir) - additional 700 m mostly flat walk to and from the viewing platform


Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge hiking map

We did the Hike & Horses option, as our kid was already tired after the 3.2 km, and it still took us almost a full day.


Overall, it is a top family activity that we thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.


Here are our top 4 Fun Factors of Connbächli Boat Adventure Trail in Flims



1. Walk along the stream with a Boat Buddy


To enjoy this hike, you'll need a boat on a string. You can bring your own or buy one at the tourist office in Laax, Flims, or Falera, or at the mountain railway station at the Laax Murschetg valley. Then, you can decorate it as you wish. Here's a MacGyver-tip for you, if you buy one: the string it comes with is short, but the linen pouch it comes in also has a string. Combining both strings works really well.


You walk along the Connbächli stream for about 3.2 km, holding the boat on a string. Our kid was extremely excited about the hike, and even though there were no fun stations along the way, she was motivated to walk the whole distance. She even named her boat and had conversations with it as she walked along the stream...



2. Stop over at Caumasee


About 15 minutes in, you come across a free lift that takes you down to the beautiful Lake Cauma (Caumasee), also known as the jewel of Flims, famous for its striking turquoise-colored water. There, you can enjoy a pop-up kiosk (while the restaurant is renovated in 2024), a playground, a beach volleyball field, or, if the weather allows, go for a swim, rent pedalos, or try stand-up paddleboarding. It's absolutely stunning so we highly recommend it. During the summer, there is an entry fee to access the lake.


If you chose Option 1, Hike & Horses, we recommend taking the lift down and stopping by the lake at this point, as you will not be passing it again. Once you're done with your Caumasee adventure, you can take the lift back up and continue the trail.


If you chose Option 2, Hike all the way, you will be coming back past the lake, so you might want to keep it as a reward after the hike. Just ignore the lift and continue walking along the river.


3. Discover Rhine Gorge (Swiss Grand Canyon)


In both options, the hike concludes at a Conn restaurant with a mini playground, next to Rhine Gorge, also know as the Swiss Grand Canyon. This stunning location is renowned for its breathtaking views of deep gorges and towering rock formations. Here you can already enjoy a great view of the canyon.


For an even more spectacular panorama, you can extend the hike by approximately 700 m round trip (flat) from the Conn restaurant, to reach Il Spir, an observation deck with an incredible view.



4. Option 1 only: Enjoy a horse carriage ride


If you choose the Hike and Horses option, you can take a horse carriage from the Conn restaurant back to the parking. The carriage is scheduled to depart three times a day at 11 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm. However, we highly recommend calling the restaurant to reserve and confirm beforehand (they speak English) as the schedule may vary and it can get booked out on busy days. You can find all the details here.


Our kid was already tired after the walk with the boat and the Caumasee adventures, so we opted for the horse carriage, which she enjoyed immensely. It was definitely an adventure on its own!



If you choose to hike back, you can stop along the way at the beautiful Lake Cauma (Caumasee).


The fitness factor


For all options, the first 3.2 km of the route follows the river and is slightly downhill (approximately 160 meters). While most of it has a path alongside, there are several sections without a proper path where you need to walk over roots next to the river. Officially, the hike is recommended for children five years and older. We suggest it for kids who are already confident hikers, as there are many tricky parts that require navigating over roots.

Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge Conn restaurant

Additionally, be sure to bring good shoes with a solid grip.



Option 2: Hike all the way 


After you finish the trail along the river, you will hike back over a dirt road. The path is easy to navigate but slightly uphill (approximately 160 meters). There are quite a few benches to rest, and you can stop at Caumasee along the way for a refreshment. After Caumasee, you can take the lift up, which will save you a bit of the climb.

Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge map


Bonus Option: Rhine Gorge (Swiss Grand Canyon) Best Views (Il Spir) - additional 700 m mostly flat walk to and from the viewing platform, along a dirt road.


The food factor


There are not many picnic spots along the river. However, you can take a break at the Caumasee restaurant (or in 2024 - pop-up kiosk) or eat self-brought food by the lake. Please note that due to fire hazards, barbecues are not allowed.

About two-thirds of the way through the river hike, there is a Verweilbank—a funky-looking resting bench where you can rest.

You can also exit the hike in four places and find a bench along a dirt road if you need a break.



At the end of the river part of the hike (first 3.2 km), you'll find the Conn restaurant, which offers a kids' menu and a small playground. This is also where the horse carriage departs to take you back to the parking spot.

Nearby, there is a nice grassy area, perfect for a picnic—so bring a blanket if you prefer to bring your own food.



If you go for option 2, you'll have additional resting options with the many benches along the way back or at the lake Cauma.


The value factor


  • Hike access: Free (can be accessed directly from the parking lot)

  • Viewing platform access (Rhine Gorge | Swiss Grand Canyon): Free

  • Lake Cauma access (2024 prices): Admission is free up to and including 06.06.24. From 07.06.24, there is an entrance fee from 8.00 to 17.00 hrs: Adults CHF 14 (with a guest card: 7 CHF) | Children (from 6-17 years): CHF 7 (with a guest card: Free) | Kids below 6: Free

  • Toy Boat: You can bring your own (just ensure it is attached to a string) or buy one for 24.50 CHF (2024 prices) from the tourist office

  • Option 1: Horse carriage (one way): Adults: 25 CHF | Kids (5 - 12): 15 CHF | Kids below 5: Free


 

Connbächli boat, Lake Cauma and Rhine Gorge (Swiss Grand Canyon) hike | Practical info


Arrival by car: Parking address - Rudi Dadens 3, 7018 Flims

  • Arrival by public transport: Flims Waldhaus, Caumasee Bus stop (bus 81 from Chur)

  • Start & end:

    • All options: The entrance to the path is from the parking. Go through the CONNBÄCHLI gate. The path is not indicated from there, but as soon as you see the river, start following it downstream to the left

    • Option 1 (Hike & horses): Descent: 160 m | Length: 3.2 km | Duration: 1-3 hrs

    • Option 2 (Hike all the way): Descent / Ascent: 160 m | Length: 6 km | Duration: 2-5 hrs | From Conn restaurant, follow signs to Caumasee (lake Cauma) and from there, follow sighs to Flims Waldhaus

    • Bonus Option (Viewing platform) - can be combined with both options: Length: Additional 700 meters back and forth from Conn Restaurant | Mostly flat | Follow Il Spir signs

  • More info


Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge

 

HIKE MAP


Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge Conn restaurant map


Connbächli lake Cauma Caumasee Swiss Grand Canyon Rhine Gorge Conn restaurant



 

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