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Path of the Piora Valley lakes

Hiking Trail recommended route

Path of the Piora Valley lakes

Hiking Trail · Bellinzona and Valleys
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  • Path of the Piora Valley lakes
    Path of the Piora Valley lakes
    Photo: Bellinzona e Valli Turismo

Prepare to be immersed in one of the most beautiful and immaculate landscapes anywhere in Ticino. And you'll soon discover why they call it the paradise of alpine pools. The Val Piora lakes path always amazes its visitors and it is guaranteed to charm you, too. While on the walk, you'll discover the Piora alpage, an area which spoils you with the quality of its breath-taking panoramas.

 

 

moderate
Distance 15.9 km
5:30 h
778 m
780 m
2,196 m
1,782 m

The most impressive but also the most practical route to reach the Val Piora lakes is from Piotta, by taking the famous and stunningly picturesque Ritom funicular, both the start and finish point for this unmissable walking loop. The 87.8% maximum slope of the funicular puts it among the very steepest in the world. Once you reach Piora station, you are immediately catapulted into one of the most beautiful and pristine landscapes anywhere in Ticino, and where you get the chance to admire a true paradise of alpine lakes. Starting from the Piora station you climb upwards along a path taking you to the 2208m of Pizzo Föisc. There you can have a stop at the Föisc mountain hut. Then you continue downhill, after passing the Föisc cleft, reaching Lake Ritom, the largest mountain reservoir in the Canton, whose waters are used to produce hydro-electric power. Walking along the left side of the Lake (in the direction of travel) you carry on until the side-route to Lake Tom which, after a brief uphill section, reaches 2022m. The path continues towards Lake Cadagno, crossing the Piora alpage, the largest in Ticino and a protected natural reserve. Why not take advantage of the stunning Capanna Cadagno, it's nearby and has only just been renewed. A great stop to sample a wide range of local produce. After your rest, return to Piora using the path on the left bank; at the fork for Fontanella descend in the direction of Lake Ritom and continue on the educational path to the dam.

Author’s recommendation

To explore the route, we recommend buying the official maps of the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo. In addition, the following website map.geo.admin.ch offers constantly updated data.

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Author
Bellinzona e Valli Turismo 
Update: February 08, 2023
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,196 m
Lowest point
1,782 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Asphalt 13.38%Dirt road 13.34%Forested/wild trail 8.52%Path 61.46%Road 1.88%Unknown 1.39%
Asphalt
2.1 km
Dirt road
2.1 km
Forested/wild trail
1.4 km
Path
9.8 km
Road
0.3 km
Unknown
0.2 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

B&B Gottardo (Bike friendly)
Rifugio lago Ritom (Bike friendly)
Agriturismo Altanca (Bike friendly)

Tips and suggestions

Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: www.montagnepulite.ch

Start

Piotta
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'694'533E 1'153'610N
DD
46.527114, 8.670763
DMS
46°31'37.6"N 8°40'14.7"E
UTM
32T 474749 5152668
w3w 
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Destination

Piotta

Turn-by-turn directions

 

 

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'694'533E 1'153'610N
DD
46.527114, 8.670763
DMS
46°31'37.6"N 8°40'14.7"E
UTM
32T 474749 5152668
w3w 
///spades.releases.signs
Get there by train, car, bike, or on foot!

Equipment

  •  Hiking boots
  • Sun cap
  • Water-bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Hiking map
  • Camera
  • Food

Similar routes nearby

  • A look over Piora, Leventina and Bedretto valley
  • Lago Ritom Educational Path
  • La Strada Alta tappa 1: Airolo-Osco
  • The Strada degli Alpi of Bedretto Valley
  • «Highway» to Tremorgio
 These suggestions were generated by our system
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
15.9 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
778 m
Descent
780 m
Highest point
2,196 m
Lowest point
1,782 m
Public-transport-friendly Round trip Flora Fauna Cableway ascent/descent Family-friendly

Weather at the route's trailhead

Statistics

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Features
Maps and trails
  • 11 Waypoints
  • 11 Waypoints
  • Route
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 km Distance
: h Duration
 m Ascent
 m Descent
 m Highest point
 m Lowest point