St. Chrischona Rustelgraben

Bettingen, Switzerland

At the highest point of the canton of Basel-Stadt near St. Chrischona emerge the springs whose waters have formed the Rustelgraben - or Wilengraben as the Swiss call it - over the course of centuries. The deciduous forest near St. Chrischona is very diverse and there are isolated sweet chestnuts with their typical prickly fruit. To the south of St. Chrischona lies the Rusteltal, a narrow, narrow ditch in which the stream of the same name has deepened. Gorge forests, waterfalls and snake grass accompany visitors on their way to Wyhlen. Again and again you cross small spring creeks that feed the stream in the ditch from the side. In various places there are also seepage springs directly next to the path.

In spring, the marsh marigold unfolds its yellow blossoms along the stream. All year round, hart's-tongue fern and rough horsetail can be seen growing with sparse, dark green shoots in the wetter valley flanks. At the very bottom of the narrow valley, it becomes noticeably warmer; there, in the undergrowth of the forest, boxwood also develops, growing up to the Grenzacher Horn.

The biocoenosis of the streams, which also includes the fire salamander larvae, is joined by other typical spring dwellers, such as many species of caddisfly or the striped or twig-striped spring damselfly. These very exciting large dragonflies initially live as larvae buried in the fine debris of the springs for four to five years.


From the St. Chrischona bus stop, walk past the Waldrain Restaurant (with playground) and the TV tower to the national border. Shortly before, the "Grenzwächterweg" (border guard path) branches off to the right in the forest and follows the national border exactly. On the narrow path, the route soon leads into the signposted nature reserve. Following the stream, the path runs partly over small bridges or in places also on a footbridge. Shortly before the two arms of the upper stream join, the water plunges over a rocky ridge into the depths. The path finally leads to the village of Whylen, from where the return journey can be made by bus.

Due to the steepness of the gorge, the walk is unsuitable for small children and is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.


There are hardly any picnic or barbecue areas in the region, so it is recommended to bring food from your rucksack. Alternatively, there are various shopping facilities and restaurants in Whylen. The "Waldrain" restaurant on St. Chrischona is also recommended.

Other greenbelt sites in the vicinity 


Nature reserve Autal

Further information

Here you will find further information from our partner on the topics 'Brooks', 'Dragonflies' and the village of St. Chrischona.


  • By the water, Excursion with animals, Excursion with children, Hike (good footwear), Playground, Walk

  • Car, Public transport

  • Food must be brought along, Restaurant

  • Amphibians, Birds, Forest, Insects, Waters, Wetland

  • Tour

  • Families, Groups (< 10 persons), Groups (> 10 persons), Hikers, Pets, Walkers


Those arriving by public transport start the circular walk at the "Bettingen, Diakonissenhaus" bus stop. There is a public car park for cars, but in this case you have to hike back up the same way in the valley.

Calculate route


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