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Multi-day itineraries

Sentiero Alpino Calanca


Calanca Alpine Trail

The route follows the main north-south ridge of the mountain range that separates the Calanca Valley of the Mesolcina Valley in southern Graubünden. Most of the trekking is above 2,000 meters, but the highest peaks reach nearly 3,000. It is possible to walk the Calanca Alpine Trail in three convenient stages by stopping at the Pian Grand Hut (unattended) and the Buffalora Hut. The generally recommended route is from San Bernardino to Santa Maria in Calanca with a descent from Pian di Renten, but there is nothing to prevent trekking in the opposite direction.

The start of the first day, in this case, is from the San Bernardino Pass. We skirt Moesola Lake and cross the Mucia Alp basin to the lakes on Passit Pass. From here continue to Pass de la Cruseta and Bocca de Rogna, from which there is a splendid view of the Mesolcina mountains. Passing around the buttress of Piz Pian Grand, we reach the refuge of the same name. The estimated time for the first stage is about 5.30 hours for 14 kilometers and 1,200 meters of positive elevation gain.
On the second day we set off early from the Pian Grand hut along a steep ascent leading to the Fil de Bedoleta over passes, passes and large bodies of water such as Lac Trescolmen and Herzlisee (where it is possible to dive in for a rejuvenating bath) to the Buffalora Hut, the only guarded one in the Calanca Valley. Travel times of 8.30 hours are approximate for the 15 kilometers and 1300 meters of positive elevation gain.

The third and final stage leads from Buffalora Pass to Santa Maria in Calanca. On the descent we cross the south ridge of Nomnom, the pastures and basin of Aion, and the Auriglia Gorge. From Cima Mottone there is the last wide view of the Calanca Valley: from here continue on stone blocks to Alpe di Fora. Hikers can then continue on the downhill trail to picturesque Santa Maria, or descend in the direction of Braggio, a sunny terrace of the Calanca Valley.


Difficulty T3-T4


Distance 48.1 km


Duration 19:35 h


Highest point 2,483 m


Lowest point 952 m