Canyoning in Switzerland - The 9 best canyons for 2023

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Canyoning Activities and tickets

You love to be in nature, but can't decide between water and mountain sports? Then canyoning could be just right for you. This water sport is practiced in rivers and canyons. Here you can let off steam on natural slides, abseil through rushing waterfalls and climb over mighty rocks

Switzerland is a real canyoning paradise thanks to its numerous rivers and gorges. In the Bernese Oberland, in Central Switzerland, in Eastern Switzerland or in Graubünden you will find wonderful places for your adventure. However, the absolute center for canyoning in Switzerland is Ticino. Here you will find the largest selection of spectacular canyons with perfect conditions for every level

Canyoning is a sport that you should not do alone. If you are inexperienced and don't know the gorge well, it can be very demanding and dangerous depending on the weather. That is why we strongly recommend you to join a guided tour. If you are planning a canyoning trip on your own, you can find descriptions of 289 tours in the Canyoning Directory.

To enjoy your canyoning trip you should have a good basic fitness, be able to swim and be surefooted. We also recommend a minimum age of 8 years. Some operators specify a minimum age of 12 years.

This article gives you an overview of the nine best and most popular canyons where you can go canyoning in Switzerland on guided tours.

Canyoning gorges in Switzerland

CanyonLevelmax. length slides (m)max. height jumps (m)max. length rappels (m)duration tour
Boggera,Ticinoeasy251025half day
Iragna,Ticinomedium to difficult813405 hours
Verzasca,Ticinoeasy to medium1510153-4 hours
Maggia Val Grande,Ticinoeasy2510304 hours
Viamala,Grisonseasyunknown10none3 hours
Saxeten,Berneeasy105102-4 hours
Grimsel,Berneasy58502-3 hours
Chli Schliere,Obwaldendifficult1510253-4 hours
Amden,St. Galleneasy to medium151720half to full day

Canyoning Boggera Gorge in Ticino

Ticino, with its impressive gorges and rapid rivers, is a true canyoning paradise. The Boggera Gorge is particularly suitable for beginners and those who want to try canyoning for the first time.

In and around the gorge you can expect a varied, wild landscape and crystal clear water. The river is located above the village of Cresciano in the Cresciano Valley and rises at an altitude of 2700 m. Here you will find deep gorges and roaring water for several kilometers. In the natural pool of the Boggera River you will find natural slides and you can abseil from a height of 25m. A real water playground for young and old!

  • Name of the river: Boggera
  • Height of jumps: 10 m
  • Length of slides: 25 m
  • Length rappels: 25 m
  • Duration tour: half day
  • Season: April to October
  • Level: easy
  • Suitable for: Families, adventurous children from 10 years, canyoning beginners
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Boggera for beginners

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 Jumping Canyoning Boggera (Photo: Pureelements) Jumping Canyoning Boggera (Photo: Pureelements)
Jumping Canyoning Boggera (Photo: Pureelements)Jumping Canyoning Boggera (Photo: Pureelements)

Canyoning Iragna Gorge in Ticino

If you are in the mood for something more challenging, the Iragna Gorge is the place for you. The gorge is also known as "Pózz Bórgh" and is located in Ticino near Biasca. You can reach it on an old flagstone path after an easy one-hour hike

The gorge has in certain places the narrowest incised gorges in Switzerland. Three waterfalls tumble down the gorge and create an impressive atmosphere. The sloping water channels and the particularly deep crevasses are also impressive. The Ignara Gorge offers abseils of up to 40 m in length as well as jumps of up to 13 m in height. Partly you even go through the middle of waterfalls

For a canyoning tour through the Iragna Gorge you need about 5 hours. You should have some experience, because some abseils and jumps can be challenging. Of course, at the canyon there are also quieter places with an open water pool for swimming and sunbathing. These areas are ideal especially for families or for relaxation after the exhausting tour

  • Name of the river: Iragna
  • Height jumps: up to 13 m
  • Length slides: up to 8 m
  • Length rappels: up to 40 m
  • Duration tour: about 5 hours
  • Season: May to October
  • Level: medium to difficult
  • Suitable for: Young people from 14 years, experienced canyoning hikers, sporty people
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Iragna for advanced
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Iragna for experts
Iragna natural slide (Photo: Ticino Outdoor Canyoning)Iragna natural slide (Photo: Ticino Outdoor Canyoning)
Iragna natural slide (Photo: Ticino Outdoor Canyoning)Iragna natural slide (Photo: Ticino Outdoor Canyoning)

Canyoning Verzasca Valley in Ticino

The Verzasca Valley in Ticino near Locarno is popular for its countless waterfalls and crystal clear water. Probably the most famous destinations in the valley are the stone bridge in Lavertezzo and the dam in Gordola with its 007 bungy jump.

But did you know that canyoning is also possible in the Verzasca Valley? From Corippo numerous slides and jumps await you, which are perfect for beginners. But the canyon at Corippo is also interesting for advanced people, with abseils up to 40 meters high

Most of the tours last about 3 to 4 hours and take you to increasingly higher and longer slides and jumps. The canyoning ends in the 220 m deep Vogorno lake. If you are looking for more adventure after the tour, you can venture here on the Golden Eye 007 Bungy Jump.

  • Name of the river: Verzasca
  • Height of jumps: 10 m
  • Length of slides: 15 m
  • Length rappels: 15 m
  • Duration tour: about 3 to 4 hours
  • Season: May to September
  • Level: easy to medium
  • Suitable for: Families, adventurous children from 8 years, beginners, good swimmers
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Verzasca for beginners and families
Kids Canyoning Corippo (Photo: Pureelements)Kids Canyoning Corippo (Photo: Pureelements)
Canyoning Corippo (Photo: Pureelements)Canyoning Corippo (Photo: Pureelements)

Canyoning Maggia Valley Val Grande in Ticino

What makes the Maggia Valley near Locarno special is the versatility of the canyon and the spectacular atmosphere with the typical granite stones. The Val Grande in Ticino is ideal for newcomers to the sport of canyoning

The difficulty increases slowly and most of the obstacles can be replaced by easier ones. So if you get a bit overwhelmed in the meantime, there is often the possibility for an easier alternative. For experienced canyoning goers, however, the gorge also offers rapid slides and exciting rappels

There are two absolute highlights when canyoning in the Maggia Valley. On the one hand there is the abseiling through an almost 30 m high waterfall, also called "Little Niagara". On the other hand, the "cannon tube" awaits as a grand finale. At 25 m, it is one of the longest water slides in Ticino.

Pro Val Grande (Photo: Pureelements)Pro Val Grande (Photo: Pureelements)
Pro Val Grande (Photo: Pureelements)Pro Val Grande (Photo: Pureelements)

Canyoning Viamala Gorge in Graubünden

One of the most famous gorges in Switzerland is the Viamala Gorge between Andeer and Thusis in Graubünden. From the 300 m high rock face to the gorge, a whopping 321 steps lead you down to the young Rhine. But the effort is definitely worth it. Once you have reached the bottom, a spectacular, technically rather easy canyoning tour awaits you.

Here you will enter a special gorge. Over millions of years, the water of the Hinterrhein and the glacial ice have carved the massive rock. That's why the gorge is called "Via mala", which means "bad way".

In the Viamala Gorge, canyoning in the typical sense is not waiting for you. There is no abseiling. Instead, a few slides and jumps are waiting for you, which you can also avoid. In the Viamala Gorge you rather go on an impressive hike through the river between the high rock faces. A large part of your excursion consists of swimming, so you should feel comfortable in the water.

  • Name of the river: Rhine
  • Height of jumps: up to 10 m (optional)
  • Length of slides: unknown
  • Length rappels: no rappelling
  • Duration tour: about 3 hours
  • Season: approx. June to September
  • Level: very easy
  • Suitable for: Teenagers from 14 years, water rats
Viamala (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)Viamala (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)
Viamala (Photo: MySwitzerland)Viamala (Photo: MySwitzerland)

Canyoning Saxeten Gorge in the Bernese Oberland

You are not sure yet if canyoning is really something for you? Then the Saxeten Gorge is perfect for you. The gorge in the immediate vicinity of Interlaken offers everything that makes canyoning so exciting. Just in a slightly smaller and easier way

Nevertheless, in the partly narrow gorge you will find exciting rocks from which you can abseil. Also waiting for you are jumps into bubbling pools, small waterfalls and fun slides. Although the tour is rather easy, you will experience real canyoning and an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Bernese Oberland

At the beginning of the tour you have to abseil down about 10 m. Two highlights in the Saxeten Gorge are the 5 m high jump and the "Superman" slide. The remaining jumps are rather leisurely and about 1 to 2 m high. However, all obstacles can also be skipped if you prefer it a bit calmer.

  • Name of the river: Saxetbach
  • Height of jumps: once 5 m, otherwise 1 to 2 m
  • Length of slides: 10 m
  • Length of rappels: 10 m
  • Duration tour: 2 to 4 hours
  • Season: approx. May to September
  • Level: very easy
  • Suitable for: curious people who want to try canyoning, families, children over 12 years old
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Saxeteschlucht for beginners
Beginners Saxeten Gorge (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Beginners Saxeten Gorge (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)
Saxeten Gorge beginners (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Saxeten Gorge beginners (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)

Canyoning Grimsel in the Bernese Oberland

At the foot of the Grimsel pass, near Meiringen and Innertkirchen, you can experience a great canyoning even as a beginner. It is a comfortable, short and varied canyon. But beware, canyoning on the Grinsel is not for the faint of heart!

The tour is technically not very demanding, but it starts right away with a 50 m high granite wall, on which you are allowed to abseil almost vertically. No other tour makes your knees tremble like this and at the same time offers you such a spectacular view of the Bernese Alps

After the high abseil, the tour is peppered with exciting jumps and rock slides of up to 8 meters. There is also a tyrolienne waiting for you, from which you can jump into the crystal clear natural pool. The rock formation is impressive and the landscape of this alpine gorge is unique

  • Name of the river: Aare
  • Height of jumps: 4 to 8 m
  • Length of slides: 5 m
  • Length rappels: up to 50 m
  • Duration tour: 2 to 3 hours
  • Season: approx. May to October
  • Level: easy to medium
  • Suitable for: active, adventurous people, beginners without giddiness
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Grimsel for advanced
Slides Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Slides Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)
Gorge hiking Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Gorge hiking Grimsel (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)

Canyoning Chli Schliere in Central Switzerland

If you are looking for a challenge, you will find the supreme discipline at Chli Schliere in Obwalden in the heart of Switzerland. There you can expect high jumps and abseils of up to 25 m height as well as long slides, which guarantee an action-packed day

The Obwalden stream rises at 1580 m above sea level and flows to Alpnachstad. Physically and technically the "kleine Schliere" is very demanding, which is why you should already have experience in canyoning, good swimming skills and a lot of self-confidence. Once you are in the gorge, there is no other way than through the gorge.

So if you are not afraid of high jumps and fast speeds, you will love canyoning in the Chli Schliere.

  • Name of the river: Chli Schliere
  • Height of jumps: 10 m
  • Length of slides: 15 m
  • Length rappels: up to 25 m
  • Duration tour: 3 to 4 hours
  • Season: approx. June to October
  • Level: difficult
  • Suitable for: experienced canyoning hikers, sporty and brave adventurers
  • Swiss Activities Tour: Canyoning Chli Schliere for advanced
Jump Chli Schliere (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Jump Chli Schliere (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)
Chli Schliere small group (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)Chli Schliere small group (Photo: Outdoor Interlaken)

Canyoning Amden in Eastern Switzerland

In the Fallenbach Gorge in Amden, you'll feel like you're in a rainforest. The smooth rocks are often adorned with shimmering green moss and lush ferns, which are surrounded by crystal clear green pools. In addition, a unique flora and fauna awaits you.

The gorge is very suitable for beginners and families, but thanks to its diversity it is also interesting for experienced people. The first part is easy even for children and is the perfect preparation for the more difficult second part of the tour. You can also decide in each case whether you prefer to abseil down the jumps or even walk around them. At the same time, it is always possible to hike out of the gorge if it gets too much

  • Name of the river: Fallenbach
  • Height of jumps: 2 to 17 m
  • Length of slides: 15 m
  • Length rappels: 4 to 20 m
  • Duration tour: 4 to 8 hours
  • Season: approx. May to October
  • Level: easy to medium
  • Suitable for: Families, Nature lovers

To try canyoning in Switzerland, it doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or already a professional. Thanks to the versatile canyons, you will find various spectacular destinations for your next canyoning adventure.

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