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Hike: Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Easy, bear themed hike (2.3 km), downhill (180 m descent), with alpine playground and a bear sanctuary. Suitable for off-road strollers. Arosa (Switzerland).

Final verdict: Highly Recommended*

The "it" factor

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail  Bear

What makes it special:

What needs to be considered:

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail impression video

The fun factor

The gondola from Arosa brings you straight into a small but nice alpine playground. There are slides, climbing areas and wooden animal statues (no swings). Our 3.5 year-old insisted to go twice - upon arrival and after visiting the bear sanctuary.

The highlight is the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. Their mission is to rescue bears from bad conditions (e.g. held in small cages and displayed in restaurants as "entertainment" for guests) and give them a good life in nature. Above the park there is a sky-walk platform for the viewers to admire the bears. Our toddler liked the wobbly platform walk itself and we all enjoyed being able to see the bears from close up.

There is also a nice play area with a bear trail drawn on the floor. Kids can play their own invented games and pretend to be bears.

Just above the Arosa Bear Sanctuary there is a cute bear themed mini-golf course. It is self service and you need to ask for the golf clubs and balls at the gondola station.

The downhill hike to get back is all about searching for bears. First, make sure you take the special Themenwege (Themed routes) booklet from the Arosa gondola station. The hike you need is Bear Sanctuary Adventure Trail (page 11). Your goal: find 6 big black metal bears and punch a letter in with a special puncher attached to each bear. You need to match the bear species to do it right (unlike like us!) and they're not in the same order as on the card. This gives you a secret word. If you do it correctly, you get a prize which you can collect from the information desk of the Arosa Tourism Office or the Arosa Bear Sanctuary. It's a great way to motivate kids to keep walking and search for the next bear.

Other fun family hike in the area: Arosa Squirrel Trail.

The value factor

The Arosa Bear Sanctuary is a joint project between FOUR PAWS, Arosa Tourism and the Arosa Mountain Railway Company, with a mission to rescue bears from bad conditions and offer them a better life in the sanctuary. When you pay the entrance fee, you also support this cause - a feel good addition. Check the latest prices here. In 2023 access with gondola ride was 20 CHF (without 12 CHF) for adults and 10 CHF with gondola (6 CHF without) for kids above 6 years old (younger kids are free). Make sure you ask for a gondola & sanctuary combined ticket at the gondola station, as it is less expensive. You only pay an entry fee to see the bears and access the sky-walk - playground and the hike back to Arosa are free.

The views factor

At the top of the gondola you get a real treat of alpine views. As the Bear Sanctuary Adventure Trail starts just above 2000 meters, you see high mountains and rocks but also forests and fields with flowers.

The way down is also beautiful. It goes through a gravel road (off-road stroller friendly) with fields and mountain views.

The official hike ends as soon as you reach Innerarosa. In order to get back to Arosa (where the hike begins), there is still a 30-minute walk through the town or a bus ride.

The fitness factor

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail skywalk

To get to the beginning of the hike you can take a gondola so no climbing needed here. The hike is very easy, just going slightly downhill on a gravel. If you want to make it more difficult, you can always do the hike in reverse or walk both ways.

The food factor

There is a Bergrestaurant Brüggerstuba at the top of gondola with great views, outdoor space and a small kids menu. We thought the burger was great.

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail - practical info

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail hiking paths
Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail map

Arosa bear sanctuary & adventure trail map

* How does the rating work?

As it is unfair to compare different types of activities, each one is evaluated against similar in its category (e.g. themed hikes are compared against themed hikes). The scoring is completely subjective. Activities scored 4 (recommended) or 5 (highly recommended) are considered as best in class and worth a visit.

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