Naturally wild. You know the typical postcard image of the mountains, complete with the snow-capped peaks, rustic wooden huts, winding river and soaring eagle? That’s what hiking in Valfurva is like.
Valfurva is 97% National Park. Which means that you will never be alone on your hikes. Nor will you tire of admiring the geological peculiarities of the area.
Of all the hiking routes that Valfurva has to offer, here are 4 of our suggestions for the most scenic and representative routes around the area.
‘La Panoramica’, Val Zebrù
Val Zebrù has a very distinct geology. Here metamorphic rock meets sedimentary rock at the ‘Zebrù Fault’. The valley is also brimming with wildlife. It is easy to bump into deer and other hooved animals, or spot birds of prey and woodland animals.
This circular hike is rather long, but you can choose to walk a few kilometres and stop for lunch or a snack at one of the refuges or picnic areas. The route is for the most part a fairly wide path through the forest that is accessible to cars, so it is possible to take all-terrain children’s buggies.
Val Zebrù is accessible for wheelchair users with the aid of a Joelette one-wheeled chair. You can book one by contacting the Santa Caterina Valfurva tourist office.
Glacier Path, Valle dei Forni
The Valle dei Forni is home to the largest valley glacier in Italy. It is also the second largest in terms of total surface area.
You can approach the glacier starting from the Forni car park and follow the signs for the glacier path.
You can choose between lower path and upper path depending on your level of fitness and that of other members of your group. The lower path is particularly suited to families with children. The upper path, which leads directly to the foot of the glacier, crossing two rope bridges, is suitable for all.
First World War path on the Gavia Pass
In the Valle di Gavia, easily reached via the SP 29 road that leads to the Gavia Pass (2,618m above sea level), there are very visible signs of the glacial origin of the area. The large glacial profile with a typical U-shaped section, the sheepback rock formations caused by glacial erosion and rock glaciers (mounds of rocky debris with a frozen core) are all evidence of past glacier activity, now reduced just to the small Vedretta di Sforzellina.
As well as evidence of a long-gone geological era, on the Gavia Pass you can find the remains of a war fought over 100 years ago on these very mountains. This hiking route still bears the scars of the extraordinary ability and stamina of the soldiers that fought as far up as the glaciers to defend the borders of their country.
Sunny Valley - Valle dell’Alpe
The Valle dell’Alpe is the arrival point of the Santa Caterina Valfurva gondola that serves the ski area in the winter.
When the lift is open in the summer you can easily reach the Valle dell’Alpe from Santa Caterina in around 15 minutes. The views from up there are nothing short of spectacular. From one side the panorama opens out over the Valle del Gavia and the peaks of Val Sobretta. From the other you directly overlook the Val di Rezzalo, in the district of Sondalo.
There are some short, easy hiking trails starting from the Sunny Valley refuge, that are also suitable for children.
Alternatively, you can link up with the trails of the Gavia Pass, that trace the history of humanity from the neolithic period to the Great War.