Weisstannen to Elm:
Distance: 21 km
***Although you can start your trek from Weisstannen on foot, this is a long and tough day. To save some time and energy you may be able to take a post bus or find transportation all the way up the road to Alp Vorsiez or the end of the road past Glatti at the trail head junction towards the Foopass to save you a few hours.
The tiny farming village of Weisstannen (1003 meters) is your first taste of rural life in the mountains surrounded by the ringing of cowbells, pastureland, and traditional Swiss wooden shingled Toggenburg style houses. The church dates back to nearly the 17th century with the village being served by several post buses to/from Sargans. In 2007 we stayed at the local hotel Alpenhof as you enter town, however the staff at that time only spoke Swiss German. This is a really long day and you climb almost 1200 meters, with the first 2 hours on tarmac and a lengthy trail afterwards towards the Foopass, with an even longer descent towards Elm.
Leaving Weisstannen follow the road up the valley passing farms and steep forested and mowed hills where cows pasture. Following the road about 2 km out of town you come to a junction where the road turns right, however keep straight on a clearly marked path keeping on the left bank of the river eventually crossing a metal footbridge over a stream before rejoining the road at Vorsiez. Alp Vorsiez has dorm accommodation and other facilities. The Foopass is about 3 1/2 - 4 hours walk from Alp Vorsiez. Follow the road, passing Glatti then following red/white markers that indicate you are on the APR. The road eventually ends and you begin following a trail that slowly ascends up a nearby rockfall up through high pastureland above the treeline until you come to a solitary farm. Keep following the high alpine trail up a steep grassy slope to the saddle of the Foopass. The path after the Foopass drops steeply, traversing down until you reach the Raminer Stafel building and another farm house. You eventually come to a road that continues to drop, sometimes steeply, passing meadows and various streams. Gazing across the Sardona & Segnas peaks you see several large waterfalls in the with houses perched high in the distance on a steep hillsides where the long funiculars are the only means to reach these houses and farms. Continue down, passing a long winding road and walking through short forested tracks until you reach the beautiful and quiet town of Elm (960 meters) with several lodging options, restaurants, a post office, laundries, bakeries, butchers, and a Co-Op grocery store. The small church in Elm dates to the 15th century.