The “Hexenplatte” (“Witch Stone/Plate”) hiking route near Sedrun, Grisons, Switzerland leads up to the cultural landmark of the same name and back down with around half of the route being shred between the ascent and descent.
According to legend, witches flew this almost perfectly level rock in, carrying it on either spiders’ silk or a hair (depending on whom you ask) in order to dance upon it to demon’s music (presumably heavy metal). Hence the moniker “Witch Stone”.
The hike itself leads through forests, then grassy highland hills on an easy trail, and overlooks the Grisons Alps.
- Neither witches nor demons are guaranteed to appear.
With my ankle somewhat healed after spraining it at the end of my Pilatus hike three weeks earlier and the warm weather holding on deep into autumn, but this looking like the last nice and snow free day at these altitudes, I set out for one more summer season hike this year. Having learned my lesson, I was wearing my heavy hiking boots to support my ankle this time.
Also, Halloween, or the day before Halloween, seemed like the perfect time for this witch themed hike.
The route starts out with grazing meadows featuring cute wooly cows, followed by forests for most of the steeper part of the ascent.
Upon clearing the tree line, one is presented with vast open highlands, golden brown this time of year. I just love this scenery, which is why I try to do routes in these regions in Autumn.
Having reached the end of the “official” route, I could not for the life of me find this witch stone. I finished my planned route which includes the “peak” of Platta dil Barlot, which I figured was Romansh for “Witch Plate”, but no big flat rock in sight.
I decided to have lunch at the little pond with a view and resume my quest for the witches’ stone a bit later. I enjoyed the mood of this location so much, I ended up staying more than half an hour and just soaking it in, which is unheard of for me, much to the dismay of my former companion and more smell-the-roses inclined Jenny. I digress.
After lunch, I looked around the area of the official end of the route again, and finally spotted the stone from a perch. Turns out it’s located a bit before the end of the route, which seems to be a random private hut, and I just walked right past it, looking for something bigger (or not paying attention while taking in the mountain views).
When in Rome: It’s customary to dance on the stone as the witches once did, so I figured why not. I might have made a different decision had it not been more than an hour since I saw the last human, but I have to admit it was kind of fun, and not the least bit sad at all. Ahem.
The way back offered more of this golden autumn landscape and alpine views and kept the dopamine levels high, at least until the treeline. Nothing against forests, but they’re not the most interesting part of this hike.
A fantastically enjoyable experience with a wonderful atmosphere and an awesome day overall. I would definitely recommend this route, especially in Autumn, if the weather holds.
Would you like to share your own experiences with this hike? Do you have any questions? Something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂
Route Report / Gallery
Don’t miss a hike 🙂
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