You don't come to this rugged part of Switzerland to stay in your hotel room all day, not with a wilderness out there to explore. After leaving the chic resorts such as St. Moritz, you enter wild, untamed scenery.
For hikers, the Swiss National Park Service, Schweizerischer National Park (tel. 081/851-41-41; www.nationalpark.ch) maps out a group of panoramic half- or full-day adventures into the choicest and most scenic of its wilderness landholdings. Many of these take you along rugged and often steep mountain trails, so you should be in good shape. All major villages and resorts in the Engadine also offer signposted and well-maintained hiking trails and footpaths. Visit local or regional tourist offices to learn more.
For one of the great walks in the Engadine, you can take in vistas of four highland lakes at 1,771m (5,809 ft.) above sea level. Even at this high altitude, the walk is like traversing the floor of a valley. The walk begins at Maloja and goes for 14km (8 1/2 miles) to the resort of Silvaplana. Allow some 3 to 3 1/2 hours for this alpine stroll. From Maloja, traverse the eastern or southern tier of Lej da Segl. The route is well marked leading you to Segl-Maria, one of the most charming old Romansh villages. Eventually you reach the resort of Silvaplana. As you walk along, you'll be following in the footsteps of Nietzsche, who lived in this area and often took this walk "to think."
For serious mountaineering, the Bergsteigerschule Pontresina at Pontresina has a mountaineering school with guided tours. One day of instruction for beginners costs 600F. Call tel. 081/842-82-82 or visit www.bergsteiger-pontresina.ch to arrange for an appointment and to get prices and listings of scheduled climbing trips.
White-water expeditions are possible on the River En, but only between June and September. A half-day's outing, where you'll shoot the rapids in a rubber-sided raft, is priced at 120F, but cost can vary depending on the options you select. A full day's excursion goes for 180F. For more information about this, contact Swissraft Engadine (tel. 081/911-52-50; www.swissraft.ch), in Scuol, or any local tourist office within the Engadine.
The Engadine is known for its steep, river-eroded canyons, the sides of which rise vertiginously upward on either side. An outfit that can help direct you through some of the steepest of these is St. Moritz Experience, via Suot Chesas, CH-7512 Champfèr (tel. 081/833-77-14; www.stmoritz-experience.ch). For 180F per day from 9am to 5pm, they'll include transportation, use of all equipment, and instruction on how to navigate up and down the edges of canyons and valleys whose microclimates are softer and gentler than those on the wind-swept upper regions nearby. The same outfit will take you on an 8-hour glacier-and-rock hike for around 120F per person.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.