The upper road of Caffaro is a route that possesses all the striking features of the Alps along its 80 km stretch. The itinerary winds along the watershed that separates Valle del Caffaro from the valleys of Trento, Valle Camonica and Val Trompia, passing from cool beech groves to mountain pastures up to granite debris, typical of the Adamello chain. Its singular position allows us to gaze upon a unique panorama ranging from the legendary banks of Lake Garda to the perpetual snow of the Adamello and Brenta Dolomite chains. For history lovers, the upper road of Caffaro covers a part of what was once the border between Italy and Austria: the small barracks, the forts and trenches you meet along the route are the last traces of The Great War. You will be surrounded by nature with chamois, rockgoats, deer, roes and marmots along the majority of the itinerary. Thanks to the various supports and the numerous downhill roads it is possible to split the route into brief stretches and/or find easier access to the bottom of the valley.
Mode of Travel: on foot
Journey time: 4 days
Difference in elevation: over 5,000 m.
Recommended Period: June – September
Distance: Approx. 80 km.
How to get ther
From the A4 motorway (Milan-Venice) take the ‘Brescia Est’ exit. Continue along the SS45bis towards Madonna di Campiglio. Once you reach Lake Idro, follow the road that runs along the western shore of the basin. At the roundabout, follow the directions to Bagolino. After a few kilometres you reach the village. Park near San Giorgio Church where the itinerary begins.
1st day: Bagolino – Bruffione Pass: distance: 16.5 km – difference in elevation: 1850 m uphill – 450m downhill – approx. 7 hours.
The itinerary on the first day runs along the eastern crest of Valle del Caffaro and offers beautiful views over Valle del Chiese, Mt. Baldo, the southern part of Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites. Leaving San Giorgio churchyard, you walk up to Mt. Carena through pastures and beech and fir woods. Then continue on a long crest until the Cornelle Pass, cross the Brealone Pass, over which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Bruffione lakes to then reach Bruffione Pass. Accommodation at the camp (unmanned).
2nd day: Bruffione Pass – Lake Vacca: distance 20 km – difference in elevation 1700m uphill, 1500m downhill. Approx. 7-8 hours.
The second leg crosses the northern watershed between Caffaro valley and Trentino and offers us beautiful views of Val di Fumo and the Adamello chain. After a rapid descent towards the Bruffione plain, you climb up to the peak of Mt. Boia. You then pass alongside the peak of Mt. Bruffione and cross Pass 18, after which you can admire Lake Nero below. You arrive at Serosne Pass where you can find barrack, remains and artefacts dating back to World War 1. From here, you walk along a First World War military road until the crossing with path number1, firstly going down to the small building in Blumone (Casinello di Blumone) and then upwards to Termine Pass, where you can find other, well-preserved military buildings. Along Path 1, heading south, you reach the Blumone Pass and then Lake Vacca. Accommodation available at the ‘Tita Secchi’ refuge, open June – October.
3rd day: Lake Vacca – Maniva Pass: distance 23.5 km – difference in elevation: 1300m uphill, 2000m downhill. Approx. 7-8 hours.
The itinerary on the third day winds along the western ridge of the Caffaro valley and offers remarkable glimpses over the Caffaro valley and Valle Camonica. Numerous points offer us breath-taking sights of the Bernina chain and, on the horizon, we can clearly distinguish Mt Rosa and the Appenines. On leaving the T. Secchi refuge, walk along path number 1 towards Bazena. Here there are two ways to reach Valfredda Pass: the first way leads up to Mt Frerone (2664m) with a subsequent descent (proposed for the panorama but exclusively for expert excursionists), the second way is along path 1 (easier route). Walk from Valfredda Pass to Crocedomini Pass and so along a beautiful ridge up t5o Grapa di Vaia. After the lake (of the same name) you follow an old military road leading to Dasdana valley which passes over various waterfalls and continues through woods and glades to the Maniva Pass.
4th day: Maniva Pass – Bagolino: distance 19km – difference in elevation: 600m uphill, 1500 downhill. Approx. 5-6 hours.
The final leg takes us to Bagolino, passing through pastures and woods, offering us a spectacular view of Lake Idro, Chiese valley and the Brenta Dolomites. You proceed to the Portole rise from Maniva Pass, you then descend to the Berga Pass which reaches the Baremone refuge. From this refuge, you pass under Cima d’Ora fort, walk along the entire ridge which overhangs Lake Idro until the locality ‘Pozze’ where you divert towards Bagolino. You cross the Levras valley and reach the ‘Romanterra’ bridge near the Geological Site. On crossing an old road, you walk back up to Bagolino and then to the churchyard of ‘San Giorgio’.
The above description is purely indicative. Those wishing to follow one of the routes can find a detailed description on the site: Caibagolino.blogspot.com
Opening times and contact details
• Alpine Rescue Service – Bagolino tel. (+39) 036599782 or 118
• Refuge Tita Secchi tel. (+39) 0365903001 – Open from June to October