Source of the Rhine

The source of one of Europe's most important rivers is at Lake Toma. Discover this magical area and learn more about the natural attraction of the source of the Rhine.
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Hiking in Disentis Sedrun
Short hike to Lake Toma
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Tomasee - Quelle des Rheins
Over the Pazolastock to the source of the Rhine
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Wandern in Disentis Sedrun
All hikes at a glance
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The lighthouse

The highest lighthouse in the world stands on the Oberalp Pass. 

Why actually?

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Trailrunning & Nordic Walking in Disentis Sedrun

The ultimate challenge. Rheinquelle Trail

The original route of the Rheinquelle Trail

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Legends from the region of the source of the Rhine


Even today, the "Pazolamännchen" is occasionally seen at Lake Toma. "Sometimes, when the guests in the hut were making too much noise or doing who knows what else, he would knock vigorously on the window," recalls an alpinist who knows the Badus hut very well. "If someone opened the window, they would see a small grey man standing outside, with a square face and brightly shining eyes. Others saw it running along the slopes and finally disappearing among the boulders." According to the legends, such stone spirits and dwarves act as guardians of their territory, among other things.

The Fairy of Lake Toma

According to legend, a very vain young woman lived in Tschamut. In order to show off all her beautiful clothes, she always went to mass only when the congregation was already gathered in the church. In general, she enjoyed it when people looked around for her and walked for hours through the village. As punishment for her vanity, she was banished to the Badus after her death, where she has to flaunt her skirts to this day. When she walked on the ridge between Badus and Nurschlas in her red skirt and straw hat, the farmers knew that a bad storm was coming and hurried to get under cover, and the shepherds drove their flocks into the stables.


The spring mermaid Mariuschla lives in Lake Toma. During the day she sleeps and early in the morning she collects dew drops on the meadows and thus fills the spring so that there is always enough water. Mariuschla is very curious and once wanted to know what it looks like on the other side of Lake Toma. She is carried along by the current and thus experiences exciting adventures all the way to the mouth into the sea.

Wandern zur Rheinquelle
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Experience report.

Hike to the source of the Rhine

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Key figures of the Rhine

The Rhine is one of the most important rivers in Europe. This is not primarily because of its length of 1,231 kilometres, but because of its importance for energy and water supply, for navigation, fishing - and last but not least as an attraction for recreation and leisure. 50 million people live in the Rhine catchment area. Their lives are influenced and shaped by the Rhine every day.

Things to know

  • Length of the river: 1'231 km
  • Age: ca. 12´000 years
  • Population in the catchment area: 50 million
  • Navigability: 800 km
  • Source location Vorderrhein: Lake Toma, Oberalp Pass
  • Hinterrhein source location: Rheinwaldhorn
  • Tributaries: Aare, Reuss, Moselle and Main
  • Muzzle: Rotterdam (NL)
  • Use: busiest waterway in the world and longest North Sea tributary